Thursday, 1 December 2011

Winter Weigh-In

So it's been a while since I last posted and, get this; I've actually managed to watch two games in a row, in their entirety as well! I managed to get home from work on Saturday just in time for the Fulham game and even got Tuesday evening free to see the Carling Cup quarter final against Man City. Typical for me, Arsenal couldn't deliver the goods in either game but it wasn't for a lack of trying. In fact I'm feeling rather proud of the club of late and both games were thrilling right until the end.

Let's weigh-in on the Fulham game first then: I felt the Cottagers set themselves up to defend and tried to get us on the counter which, credit to them, worked. I don't hold a grudge against Fulham for using those tactics because unlike some teams (cough, Stoke) they didn't settle for parking the bus but instead actively looked to break out of their own area and try and attack. It worked for most of the game, as wave after wave of Arsenal attacks came unstuck in the final third, which enabled Fulham to break with pace and get the ball to the impressive Bobby Zamora, who was unlucky not to leave the game with a goal which he probably deserved. Despite dominating possession as usual we looked a bit tired, no doubt due to the earlier game last week against Dortmund. Aaron Ramsey was running his socks off in midfield and you could see how much effort he was putting in, grimacing in frustration as each and every move came to nothing. Even van Persie was having no luck on Saturday, as he had a certain goal cleared off the line by Fulham's Chris Baird. 

As the minutes ticked by you just knew the game could go either way; we'd either finally break the deadlock and rout them or let in a stupid goal and fall behind. Unfortunately it was the latter that occurred, with Thomas Vermaelen accidentally slotting the ball past Szczesny's outstretched hand to make it 1-0 to the visitors. There were still 25 minutes left but when Fulham scored I felt like the chance at 3 points had gone and we just needed to claw ourselves back into the game. Luckily we managed to do that when Vermaelen popped up in the box in the box with 10 minutes left  to head home from Walcott's cross. 1-1 and game on but that was effectively all she wrote because you could see the team pretty much had nothing left to give. So all in all it wasn't a disaster, hell we could have lost it, but we did drop precious points at home and missed a great chance to keep pace with the rest of chasing pack.

The squad didn't have much of a rest as only two days later Manchester City came to town for the Carling Cup quarter final. Everyone knows Wenger uses this tournament to play the kids and this idea has been implemented by a lot of other clubs now (which didn't pay off for United last night), but we all knew City wouldn't do that; they'd still play their "reserves" but their reserve team is practically good enough to compete for a top four place in the league. So Mancini had Dzeko, Kolo Toure, De Jong, Adam Johnson and pantomime villain Samir Nasri all starting, guys who would command a first team place at most of the top European clubs but instead get turned out against a bunch of Arsene's kids and bench-warmers in the Carling Cup. Up against the City playboys were guys like Frimpong, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Miquel. So this had a Manchester City win written all over it right? Surely the clear favourites would overwhelm Arsenal's young guns and progress into the semi final with ease... Well you'd be wrong actually, because apart from an early Adam Johnson shot and a couple of desperate long range shots from Dzeko, the billionaires were toothless in attack and our boys had them on the run for the majority of the match.

The only problem we had was up front, with the still-adapting-to-English football Park Chu-Young and the desperate-for-a-goal Marouane Chamakh leading the attack. The Moroccan really cuts a depressing figure out there on the pitch; you can see he's struggling and his confidence must be at an all-time low. I really want the guy to do well here but Chamakh just can't catch a break right now. Anyway, with Park and Chamakh firing blanks all night it was up to the rest of the team to carry the load and young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain stepped up in a big way. He was a constant menace to the City defence and had the experienced Zabaleta in all kinds of trouble. For such a young player he looks remarkably sure of himself when he's on the ball and looks a lot more dangerous than our other speedster Walcott when he's one on one with defenders; Chamberlain has no hesitation at all attacking the defence and taking them on, beating players with ease. The Englishman almost put us ahead with an unbelievable effort from way, way outside the box which City keeper Pantilimon (who was easily their Man of the Match, a great game from him) had to use every inch of his tall frame to tip it away from goal. 

Praise must also go to a few others who put in assured performances on Tuesday night. The defensive partnership of Koscielny and, unbelievably, Squillaci was brilliant with both players having excellent games in the heart of the defence. We cannot forget our Spanish youngster Ignasi Miquel who played extremely well standing in at left back. For a guy who is usually a centre back he looked pretty comfortable out there on the left, keeping Adam Johnson from causing too much trouble on the wing. Benayoung, Frimpong and especially Coquelin all had terrific games in midfield, bossing the play and keeping City's danger men quiet for practically the entire game.

Unfortunately Arsenal couldn't hold on and grind out the win. It was £35 million man Sergio Aguero who proved to be the difference. I should bloody hope so for £35 million, the guy cost more than our entire squad Tuesday night! Aguero made his entrance into the match after 32 minutes, coming on for the bemused Kolarov after just half an hour of play. Mancini has a very strange relationship with his squad; I appreciate he needed to change the game but to take a guy off after just half an hour is an insult to that player and you could clearly see Kolarov was pissed to be hauled off. But typically it proved to be the difference as the Argentinian Aguero was on the end of a swift City counter attack to make it 1-0 with only 7 minutes left. It was City's best and only real move of the entire match and it was enough to send the blue side of Manchester into the Carling Cup semi final. 

However, despite the loss and exit from the competition I'm not upset about the result. The guys put in a spirited performance and did the club proud. On paper we never should have been close to beating Man City on Tuesday but we took them all the way to the final whistle and had them quaking in their boots. Put it this way: City will probably go on to win the league this year and with all that money it'd be a disaster if they failed but I personally don't think they are everything they're cracked up to be and they'll never reach the heights of United and Barcelona. They'll certainly never be better than our 03/04 Invincibles!

That is all, thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Dortmund See Double Dutch

Arsenal faced German champions Borussia Dortmund this evening at the Emirates with the chance to secure passage through to the knockout stages of the Champions League; all we needed was a win. Unfortunately I worked late tonight and ended up missing the entire first half. Luckily it didn't matter one bit as I got home just in time to see van Persie head us into the lead and then score again just before the end to wrap up the win, 2-1 to the Arsenal (Dortmund got a late consolation thanks to some sloppy defending).

I'd only been watching for less than 5 minutes when the first goal was scored. Man of the match and fan favourite Alex Song picked the ball up near the half way line and went on a scintillating run, teasing and twisting the Dortmund defenders inside out. After skilfully making his way past his last opponents, Song chipped a delightful ball into the box where the prolific Robin van Persie was waiting to dispatch a powerful header down low into the ground. The ball was headed with such force and so low to the ground that the Dortmund goalie couldn't keep it out despite his best efforts: 1-0 the Arsenal and it gave the entire team the boost they needed. Momentum favoured the Gunners then and we looked more and more dangerous as Dortmund were forced to push harder and harder for an equaliser. The game was still in the balance until, with only 5 minutes left, Arteta's corner wasn't dealt with by the Dortmund defence and van Persie was perfectly positioned to sweep home his and Arsenal's second goal of the game. Game over (well, let's forget about that crap Dortmund consolation) and three points in the bag. Group winners and progress to the knockout stages ensured, exactly what we needed.

With tonight's win Arsenal are the first English team to make it through to the next round of the Champions League, with a game to spare as well. With the other English clubs struggling this year, (Chelsea lost tonight to Bayer Leverkusen, Man City fell to Napoli and United limped through to a draw with Benfica) it only makes tonight's achievement even more impressive. After our well-documented struggles early on in the season, Arsene and van Persie have really righted what once looked like a sinking ship. Our progress in Europe is just another part of this mini resurrection we're currently enjoying. The squad are certainly firing on all cylinders, especially our Dutch captain, and with the form in the team are in right now, we look unbeatable. Here's hoping the good times keep coming, all the way to the end of the season!

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cleaning Out The Canaries

Real football resumed at Carrow Road this afternoon after another predictably boring international break; Arsenal didn't lose a step since their last game at home to West Brom way back on the 5th November, coming out on top against Norwich with a 2-1 win and yet another brace from our irrepressible captain. Van Persie added to his tally of 2011 Premier League goals and is up to 31 now, joining the elite company of Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer as the only players to score 30 or more in a calendar year. The guy is untouchable at the moment and is easily the most in-form and deadly striker in world football, certainly the Premier League. It's not just our star man on form but the team are responding as well. Today's victory chalks up another win and 3 more crucial points in what's turning out to be one of the closest races for 4th place in league history. I'd obviously like us to push for higher than 4th but the way the season is going and how good the top teams are playing, 4th place will probably be quite an accomplishment come the end of the campaign. 

Anyway, one step at a time and all that, but obviously every win helps and team morale probably hasn't been higher this year. Here's hoping we ride this momentum into Wednesday's game against Borussia Dortmund; beat them and we secure our place in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, the highest priority right now. Wenger ought to name a full strength team and I'll be very disappointed if he doesn't. Only time will tell...

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Gunners Keep On Rolling

Arsenal's comprehensive 3-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday makes it four consecutive Premier League wins on the trot. The boys from N5 are really on a roll at the moment, banishing the early season memories. After that horrible start we've really turned things around and the whole squad are on top form right now, especially the man up front leading the attack, captain Robin van Persie. The flying Dutchman scored one goal and created two more this weekend - everything is clicking for the guy and the squad feed off this. Van Persie is having the season of his life and his goals are up to double digit numbers already. Naturally this is incredible news but every Arsenal fan out there, though enjoying our recent success, is also petrified of van Persie picking up an injury because be honest, who else have we got? Chamakh, as much as I want the guy to do well at the club, just looks lost out there every time he takes the field. Park Chu-Young? After a well taken goal against Bolton in the Carling Cup he stumbled around against Marseille in the Champions League, looking extremely rough and not quite ready for the big stage. Both players need match time to build confidence, but neither look close to filling van Persie's enormous shoes should the unimaginable happen and he get hurt. Past experience shows he will eventually - let's just hope he can stay healthy for all the important moments because we need him desperately. 

But lets not dwell on the future we have no control over and can't possibly foresee. Instead let's celebrate the comeback of Thomas Vermaelen, certainly one of our best players and don't we just look a lot better with him back in the side? With the Verminator running the show in defence alongside the excellent Koscielny and the physically imposing Mertesacker, our defence are starting to tighten up and the entire team look more confident. Vermaelen is of course a huge factor in our recent run of wins and his performance on Saturday was typical of the effect he can have. Solid at the back and ridiculously dangerous in attack you can't not love the guy. We really missed his leadership last year and especially his beautifully taken goals; he really does strike the ball like a centre forward and his goal against West Brom was a perfect example. Every Arsenal fan must pray that both he and van Persie can put their history of injury woes behind them and continue their fine form for a long, long time. If we can keep our best guys fit, which we haven't managed to do in years, then this team has the ability to win things. I still feel we lack depth to challenge for the title but an F.A Cup or a Carling Cup is never out of reach and if everything slotted into place perfectly then maybe even the Champions League (I'll keep dreaming about that one...).

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 29 October 2011


On this historic day, I will let the pictures tell the story. By now you already know what happened and if you don't know, you will soon see. What a magnificent game. Enjoy it Arsenal fans, this one will live long in the memory.

All photos belong to Zimbio and their respective photographers. Probably the best site to get sports photos, always use them, they're great.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Rambo To The Rescue

Arsenal left it late last night to record a win in Marseille, an Aaron Ramsey goal in the 92nd minute making the difference and taking the Gunners to the top of Group F in the Champions League. With time almost up I was content with a 0-0 draw; a clean sheet and a point away from home would have been a good result, especially against the team who currently sat top of the group. However our Welsh midfielder Mr Ramsey didn't want to settle for a draw and so he popped up unmarked on the edge of the box and delivered Arsenal all 3 crucial points and well-deserved victory in the south of France.

To be honest there's not a great deal to write about. We were never seriously troubled in defence all game. There was the odd panic moment but Szczesny didn't have any miracle saves to make all evening. Altogether we looked unusually steady and secure at the back, a sentence I didn't expect to utter after Marseille had beaten Dortmund so convincingly only a couple of weeks ago. Going forward we lacked that cutting edge, Walcott squandering our best chance in the second half, firing an off-balance shot which Marseille keeper Mandanda parried away with his outstretched leg. It really did seem like Marseille's clean sheet would remain intact. But Arsenal wouldn't relent. Djourou swung a hopeful cross into the box from the right which fell to Gervinho who couldn't quite get control of the ball; intentionally or not the Ivory Coast winger knocked the ball out to Ramsey who had cut in from the left and was completely free and unmarked. The Welshman calmly controlled the ball, switched it onto his right foot and rifled a shot past Mandanda and into the corner of the net. 1-0 to the Arsenal and game over, gotta love those last minute winners! The win puts us top of the group and in a very good position to progress to the knockout stages; just have to keep grinding out results like this one. 

Altogether a satisfactory night. Not a classic by any means but an away win in the Champions League is still a fantastic result.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Verminator Commits

Thomas Vermaelen, our quality but often injury-ravaged defender, has committed his immediate future to the club it was announced today. It's believed that the Belgian centreback has put pen to paper on a deal that will see him remain at Arsenal until 2015. Good news for the club and a boost to hear that our best defender on the team has reiterated his commitment to the club with the signing of this contract. In this age of football the length of these modern contracts are meaningless, as has often been proven over the past two decades. If a player wants out, he merely has to say so and then can proceed to pursue a move to a new club, regardless of how long term his previous contract was. Nonetheless this is still excellent news and its good to know Vermaelen has his head in the right place. Now all we need is for him to shake off this injury curse and have a prolonged spell in the starting eleven, because our defence plays like an under 11's side when he's out of action.

Can't wait to see him back on the pitch. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Can't Live Without The Captain

What would we do without our captain? This afternoon Robin van Persie put this Arsenal team on his back and carried them to victory single-handedly, scoring both goals in a crucial 2-1 win against Sunderland. It was essential Arsenal walked away with all 3 points today at the Emirates; any other result against this lacklustre Sunderland squad would have been disastrous. The Black Cats are really struggling this season and lack any significant firepower up front so anything but a win would have sent the Arsenal faithful home shaking their heads and muttering curses once again.

In the programme before kickoff van Persie put an end to the speculation concerning his future at the club: 'I am committed to Arsenal, and that's how it is, despite people (in the media) making up stories.' It's wonderful to hear those words from my favourite player but I haven't been losing any sleep about the prospect of him joining Manchester City in the near-future. Stories like this are 99% gossip most of the time and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it anyway. I have no worries that Robin will leave us and I expect him to sign another contract. You can read more about his pre-game programme notes here.

It didn't take the Dutchman long to back up his words: 29 seconds to be precise, the fastest goal of the Premier League season and what I believe ties the record for fastest goal in Premier League history. Van Persie let a sharp pass from Gervinho roll across him until he got it onto his right foot before unleashing an unstoppable drive into the bottom corner leaving Sunderland 'keeper Mignolet helpless. 1-0 to the Arsenal and just the start we needed. Ten minutes later and the captain nearly doubled the lead, and in the most spectacular way imaginable. On the edge of the penalty area, van Persie received the ball onto his left foot with his back to goal, before suddenly spinning away from Kieran Richardson and audaciously chipping the ball over Mignolet with his right foot. The ball hung in the air for an age before it hit the inside of the post and crawled away from goal to save Sunderland's blushes and preventing what would have been an absolute classic of a goal. The move to free himself from Richardson was incredible, Bergkamp-esque in every way, and if the ball had just drifted slightly to the right it would have been one of the best goals in Arsenal's history. Watch it here, mesmerising stuff...

Unfortunately the Gunners couldn't grab that important second goal and whadda you know, Sunderland go down the other end and score. Former Arsenal man and current darling of Swedish football Sebastian Larsson curled in a delicious free kick that instantly made me regret us ever getting rid of him. It really was a peach of a goal and credit must go to Mr Larsson because he didn't celebrate the goal; you could see he really made a point of showing respect to his former club. If I'd have been in his situation I'd have gone absolutely mental with joy at having scored such a brilliant free kick. Within five minutes of going level Sunderland nearly took the lead, but for a marvellous save from Szczesny, saving what should have been a certain goal, point blank stuff. The young Pole kept us in it for sure.

With Arsenal being typically wasteful and consistently suspect in defence, the game had Sunderland stealing a late winner written all over it. Yet it wasn't to be and it was the home side who were destined to grab the late lead, Arsenal scoring the winner with only minutes left. With roughly eight minutes left and the score level, van Persie had a free kick from just outside the box. He proceeded to produce a trademark beauty, curling his left peg around the ball which whipped over and around the wall and into the top corner. Cue celebrations and huge sighs of relief all around, Arsenal had finally taken the lead to make it 2-1 and it was all down to that man again, captain van Persie.

Overall a much needed 3 points and a morale lifting victory. Van Persie has been on fire this season and if he can just stay healthy this Arsenal squad will be so much better for it. Without him we are sitting ducks, dead in the water, and our hopes of playing European football next year go out the window. God forbid anything happen to our star striker and my favourite Gunner. I will literally cry...

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 14 October 2011

What I'm Reading - 14/10/11

With the always dull international break just about over and regular football back this weekend, I've had nothing at all to blog about these past couple of weeks. In the meantime I've being doing a spot of reading and have recently started the excellent A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke. We got a few copies in at work about two weeks ago and flicking through the pages and reading the odd extract, I immediately felt like picking this up. A Life Too Short has been long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year and should easily make the shortlist. Since I'll no doubt be creating a display at work to highlight the books in contention for this year's award I felt it only suitable that I actually read at least one of the books involved.

Now I'm only about five chapters in, around the time when Robert joined Benfica, but I can confidently say this is one of the best sporting biographies I have ever read. Author Robert Reng has done an incredible job retelling Robert's life story; his style of writing makes for a compelling read and it feels like reading a work of fiction at times because the book reads so well. During my browse to see if I wanted to buy the book, I read a few pages of the chapter where Reng recounts Enke's infamous time at Barcelona and it was so captivating, like you were watching the game itself, that I knew then I wanted to it. The majority of football fans that pay attention to the news know who Robert Enke is; the German goalkeeper who sadly took his own life roughly two years ago. When I heard a book was being released about his often complicated life I wasn't really that interested. Apart from knowing who he was, I had never watched Enke play and knew next to nothing about his career. Hell, my knowledge of German football is limited to say the least. However this book still appealed to me enormously; how can a man who had so much, the fame, the money, the adoration of the fans, take his own life? What level of torment and mental torture can force a man to see no other resolution apart from suicide? 

I have barely scratched the surface of this book but its already shaping up to be a fascinating read. I recommend this to all football fans, whether you knew who Enke was or not. It will certainly make you think twice about the criticism modern footballers receive every game and whether the media and fans should be so merciless in their opinions of a player's performance. Guardian writer Amy Lawrence wrote a superb piece about the impact Enke's death and Reng's book could possibly have on football today.

I can't wait to get back to reading it. Everyone connected with football should read this book, it's that good.

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

When It Rains, It Pours

With the morale-sapping loss to Spurs on Sunday, more bad news follows with information coming through that Bacary Sagna will be out for a minimum of three months. Our reliable right-back has had successful surgery on his broken leg but its another devastating blow for our already crippled squad. This Arsenal team are made of glass, they really are, our hopes of success consistently being destroyed by the injuries the side acquire. The international break has come at just the right time as we don't play again now until Sunderland visit us at the Emirates on Sunday 16 October. Let's hope we don't collect any more casualties to our already bloated injury list. Until then...

Thanks for reading.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Strictly Business Against Bolton

Well its been a while since my last post but come on, there hasn't been much worth talking about has there? Scraping a 1-0 at home against Swansea, nearly beating German champs Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League, dropping a clanger in the 4-3 loss to Blackburn and just about beating League 2 Shrewsbury this week in the Carling Cup. Not one of these games inspired me enough to write anything worth reading on here, especially after the disaster at Blackburn; I was completely disheartened with that loss.

However with Arsenal's 3-0 demolition of Bolton today, there is finally cause to write, read and rejoice in all things Arsenal. Two goals from captain Robin van Persie and a late effort from Alex Song ensured all 3 points at the Emirates this afternoon, a well earned and much needed victory for the Gunners. After a largely uneventful first half in which both teams squandered good chances, van Persie slotted home almost immediately after the half time break to give us the lead. Soon after going behind things got worse for Bolton when David Wheater was dismissed after tangling with Theo Walcott. Reduced to 10 men Bolton couldn't stem the Arsenal tide for long, let alone stage a comeback. With just under 20 minutes left the captain doubled his tally for the day and put the game to bed, making it 2-0 to the Arsenal. With the game almost over, Song capped off the win with a deliciously curled effort to make it 3-0 and job done. The only thing to spoil the day was young Theo limping off with only minutes left in the match, with what appeared to be a painful knee injury. With all the injuries we already have, and the news that Jack Wilshere will be out until Christmas, we really could do without losing Theo. Unfortunately injuries have been the bane of this Arsenal squad for many years now and things don't look like changing for us anytime soon.

Alas, lets not dwell on the negative and instead let us embrace the positive. And it doesn't get any better than seeing our captain, Mr Robin van Persie, scoring his 99th and 100th goals for the club this afternoon, joining an elite group in Arsenal history. With Robin joining the centenary club today, it marks a special occasion for our Dutch striker. He has been quality for us over the years, scoring some very important goals and winning some big games. Of course there's always been the other side to the coin, with Robin missing massive parts of his career through injury, always being struck down just when he was really hitting his stride. But during a time when the club needed a leader most, when the team needed their captain to step up, van Persie delivered today with two excellent goals, carrying the club on his back and ensuring all three important points stayed in North London. I'll never get bored of seeing my favourite Gooner smashing the ball past opposition keepers, and just pray he can stay fit for just one whole season. Let's hope Robin can keep up his incredible goals-to-games ratio and make his way up the Arsenal goalscoring leaderboard over the next few years.

So up next for the Gunners is a tricky home game against Greek side Olympiakos in the Champions League. We're at home and we traditionally do well in Europe at the Emirates so I expect nothing but a win. It's imperative to win your home games during the group stages, so we must get a win on Wednesday night. Hopefully I'll be able to tune in and after today's win, I'm even looking forward to it!

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Deadline Day: Busy, Busy, Busy

So the transfer window has closed and Arsenal had their most active deadline day in recent memory; I can't remember a transfer window when we made so many signings and at the last minute too. So let's run through who we bought and what I think:

Park Chu-Young

The first big signing we heard about was the acquisition of South Korean captain Park Chu-Young from recently relegated AS Monaco. The 26 year old striker, who scored 25 goals in 91 games for the French club, joined for a fee of under £3 million and will add some depth to our very thin forwards group. Unfortunately the South Korean has to go back to his country in 2013 for national service, which means we will lose his services for a couple of seasons. He'll wear the number 9 shirt this season.

Now I've never really seen Chu-Young play, apart from the 2010 World Cup, but I wasn't really paying attention back then because we weren't likely to sign him. Hopefully he can contribute this year but I'm not expecting greatness, so anything he can add to this squad will be brilliant in my eyes.

Signing grade: B-

Andre Santos

The next signing Wenger made was to shore up that problematic left back position. With Gael Clichy moving to Man City, Armand Traore moving to QPR and Kieran Gibbs continuously getting hurt, the boss had to buy someone experienced and he did just that. Brazilian international Andre Santos joined us from Fenerbahce for a fee thought to be around £6 million. The 28 year old has won 22 caps for his country so has plenty of top-level experience and should hopefully slot in nicely in what will be a new-look back four. I'm excited about this signing and I reckon Santos will really help this team move forward.

Signing grade: B+

Per Mertesacker

Finally Wenger addressed the crucial weakness to this team, the centre back position. He had the entire summer to do it and naturally left it right to the last minute. Nonetheless the signing was made, and relief swept across every Arsenal fan in the country. The mini-saga that was Gary Cahill joining us didn't materialise and in my opinion we got someone better, and cheaper, instead. The German international and Werder Bremen captain Per Mertesacker joined us for around £8 million and will hopefully become the immovable force of our back four. Mertesacker is 6'6 and has 75 caps for Germany at the age of 26, so there is still plenty of gas left in the tank and he is already so experienced, playing and doing well in two World Cups already.

This is the signing I'm most excited about. I think Per is perfect for our team and will thrive in English football. Some people have pointed out that he's not the quickest of defenders but we've had slower players succeed in our team before and I don't expect Mertesacker's pace to hinder his performances at all. A fantastic signing, I'm just praying he and Vermaelen can stay fit all year and have a really strong partnership.

Signing grade: A

Yossi Benayoun

With the transfer window just about to close, Wenger swooped for two players to add some creativity and depth to the midfield. The news came through that we had acquired Israeli captain Yossi Benayoun from Chelsea on a season long loan. All the news before Yossi's signing told us we were close to getting the Spanish playmaker Mikel Arteta from Everton, but when news reached us that the Arteta talks were off the idea of having just Benayoun as our only midfield signing was a bit of an anticlimax. No disrespect to Yossi, but a season long loan from Chelsea was the best we could do? Especially with cash still to spend, there had to be someone else coming surely? Well it was better than nothing and I'll forever be grateful to the Israeli for that goal against Spurs on the last day of the 05/06 season. Anyway, Benayoun isn't a bad player and he should be able to chip in with his clever runs and the odd goal, but knowing we only have him for a year is a bit underwhelming. Still, we need as many experienced bodies in the squad as we can get, so Wenger did well to get him.

Signing grade: B-

Mikel Arteta

With the departures of Fabregas and Nasri, Wenger had to address the gaping hole that was left in the heart of our midfield. Even with Wilshere and Ramsey ready to step up and take Cesc and Nasri's places, with injuries and suspensions occurring all the time this season we needed another experienced body for cover. With the news that Arteta had signed, we finally filled that hole. The 29 year old Spaniard joined for around £10 million which is a great deal. Everton were reluctant to give him up, a player who had served them faithfully for many years, but the lure of Champions League football was too much for Arteta to pass up.

When I heard that we were in the running for Arteta yesterday lunchtime I got pretty excited. The talented playmaker can pass as well as anybody and won't need to adapt to the Premier League 'cause he's been over here for ages. But when I heard talks had broken down and reports indicated Arsenal weren't going to try again, I was pretty annoyed that I'd gotten my hopes up. Luckily the club persevered and we got our man. I'm pretty excited to see Arteta in an Arsenal shirt; he's no Fabregas but he is exactly what this young inexperienced squad needs. A very astute signing Mr Wenger and I'm very happy about this acquisition.

Signing grade: A-

So, all in all a very busy day for Arsenal and many new faces coming in to help bolster this very weak squad. Hopefully we can improve now and get some confidence in this very shaken team. News that our giant Dane Nicklas Bendtner joined Sunderland on loan is good news. Hopefully he can play every week and get some goals in him. This is his chance to prove he can really perform in the Premier League, there's no excuses now. If he can score 12-15 goals this season, I'd say we give him another shot at making the first team next year. Hopefully he can do well.

Anyway that's enough from me for one day. I'll be back with something after the international break. Until then...

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Not Even Gonna Go There

Not even worth discussing. An utter disgrace. Very interesting to see where we go from here however. Surely this is rock-bottom?

Thursday, 25 August 2011

No Need For Nasri

What an eventful Wednesday for the Arsenal. Nasri finally left for Manchester City and then the team had a tough game against Udinese in the evening. And the young Gunners passed with flying colours.

In an intimidating atmosphere with the pressure on, Arsenal got the job done with a 2-1 win against the Italian side, winning 3-1 on aggregate to progress to the Champions League group stage (for the 14th year running). After falling behind to an Antonio Di Natale header just before half time, Arsenal rallied in the second half with two goals, one each from captain Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott. It was an incredibly open game, perhaps not the tight and tense match many were expecting given that the stakes were so high, but it was always entertaining.

After a really positive start Arsenal dominated most of the first half, especially in terms of possession but Udinese were always dangerous and threatened to open the scoring a few times. The Italians hit the post twice, Di Natale in particular coming very close to sneaking the ball past Szczesny at the near-post but was denied by the woodwork. Udinese continued to grow in confidence and they made it count six minutes from half time. Giampiero Pinzi lofted a cross into the unmarked Di Natale who used every muscle in his body to steer his header over Szczesny and into the goal to take the lead. 1-0 on the night and 1-1 on aggregate and Arsenal were dangerously close to missing out on the Champions League for the first time in 14 years. After Udinese took the lead the Gunners couldn't wait for the half time whistle to blow as they really needed to regroup and sort themselves out.

Whatever Wenger said at the break must have worked because the team came flying out the blocks in the second half and look re-energised and focused on clawing their way back into the game. Frimpong, who I thought played well in the first half, was replaced by Rosicky for the second half and it really worked as he was really hungry for the ball and always harassing Udinese players. And it wasn't long until Arsenal got back into the game; after a shot by Rosicky was deflected out to Gervinho on the left wing, the Ivory Coast international attacked the Udinese fullback, glided past him to the byline before expertly crossing for van Persie to tap home through defenders to make it 1-1 and 2-1 on aggregate. Arsenal had finally gotten that crucial goal and now Udinese had to score twice to win the tie because of the Gunner's away goal. After van Persie's goal I thought the pressure and nerves might go away but there was barely enough time to relax before Udinese were threatening again. Pretty soon the unthinkable happened and the referee pointed for penalty to Udinese. At the time nobody knew how or why the spot-kick was awarded but replays showed the ball bounced up into Vermaelen's arm/shoulder. It was very harsh but there was nothing we could do but pray Di Natale missed. The confident Italian striker looked set to make the game interesting again and his powerful shot looked destined to hit the net. But Szczesny dove to his right, stretched his left arm high and palmed the shot over the crossbar and onto the roof of the net. It was an incredible save and was the turning point for the match. Szczesny was excellent all night and the penalty save was the icing on the cake, an outstanding piece of athleticism.

Udinese were floored after the missed spot-kick, especially Di Natale; it seemed to knock all his energy from him. The momentum quickly swung in Arsenal's favour and they killed off the game with an excellent goal with 20 minutes left in the game. After some neat work between Theo and Sagna down the left wing, Sagna released Walcott whose pace was too much for the Udinese defence and the young Englishman slotted the ball past keeper Handanovic to make it 2-1 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. Game over and now I could finally relax. Even with 20 minutes left, Udinese needed 3 goals to win but all the energy had left them and Arsenal kept the ball well until the final whistle was blown.

It was a fantastic game and really nice to see Arsenal on the right end of the scoreline this season. Credit must go to the whole squad, it was a terrific performance from them all, but particular praise must go to Gervinho, who was menacing all night and mesmerising on the ball, and of course Szczesny for keeping us in it and being solid over both legs. They were both outstanding.

So Gooners across the country can breath a bit easier today, hold their heads up high and proudly claim that yes, we are still a big European club, despite all this nonsense of a "crisis". Later today we'll find out who our opponents will be in our group. With any luck (and we are definitely due some of that) we'll get an easier group this year. Hopefully last night's win against Udinese can inspire some confidence in the squad and give us a fighting chance against Man United at the weekend.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Crunch Time

So after that morale sapping loss to Liverpool on Saturday, Arsenal are in a bit of a pickle. If you didn't know our squad was weak before the weekend, the game against Liverpool highlighted all our shortcomings; The early injury to Koscielny forced Wenger to bring on Spanish youngster Ignasi Miquel, and later on when Arshavin was substituted, it was for English teenager Henri Lansbury. Frimpong and Jenkinson were making their first Premier League starts (both of them under 20) and the bench consisted of Ryo Myaichi and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. All these unproven kids forced to plug holes in our crippled and inexperienced squad. Let's say this in the simplest way possible; this is not a team that will challenge for honours this season. No disrespect to the youngsters and I'm all for giving youth a chance but when you're forced to bring on Miquel and Lansbury in a crucial game against a big rival then you know something is wrong. I realise that the team is struggling with injuries and suspensions at the moment but it is ridiculous that we are now two games into the season and Wenger still hasn't addressed the critical problems that he's had all summer to fix. It saddens me when I hear him proclaim that yes, he has made signings, but unfortunately they are not signings that matter Mr Wenger. Buying Jenkinson and Oxlade-Chamberlain is great but where is the powerful centre-back to partner Vermaelen this team so desperately needs? Where is the support for van Persie up front? Where is the backup for Song in midfield and when will we see a replacement for Fabregas or at least some help in case Ramsey and Wilshere get hurt? Only Arsene knows... or when you look closely, apparently doesn't.

There is some positive news for once on the transfer front. According to the Guardian we have opened talks with French club Rennes for their 21 year old defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila, a French international. Apparently he could cost us around £12 million. I've never seen M'Vila play but at this stage I'll take anyone, especially anybody who can help where we need it the most. In other news, it looks like Nasri's move to Man City has hit a major road-block. With his unexpected appearance against Liverpool on Saturday and rumours that he could feature against Udinese Wednesday night, Man City are suddenly very worried that they won't get their man after all, and City boss Roberto Mancini is bricking it. If Nasri gets cup-tied in the Champions League it clearly indicates he's staying with us this season. To be honest, as much as I'd like to get the £25 million for him now, I'd much prefer to see Nasri stay in the red and white this year, even if is just for one more season. Now Fabregas is gone I'd really like Samir to take that position and make it his own.

So the pressure is on for Wednesday night as Arsenal face Udinese in the second leg of the Champions League qualifier. Taking that 1-0 lead to Italy was crucial but I feel we're gonna have a hard time keeping them out, especially with Wenger banned from the touchline again and with added defensive woes since last week's game. Hopefully Jack Wilshere will have recovered from his ankle injury just in time to play, because we could really do with his grit and determination in midfield.

Anyway, let's hope we can get the job done and qualify - it is absolutely crucial we do.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Saying Goodbye To Another Captain

The captain's armband has been cruel to us Arsenal fans in recent times. In the last 7 years we have lost 3 high profile captains, each one of them crucial to the squad, to overseas clubs. With Cesc Fabregas's departure to Barcelona today, thus ends one of the longest transfer sagas in football history. The will-he-won't-he move to the Catalan giants has been going on for years now and I imagine there are quite a few Arsenal fans who are feeling a lot of relief today that the drama is all over.

However we cannot escape the fact we have just lost one of the greatest playmakers this club has ever had, and arguably one of the best players of his generation. I am relieved to see this seemingly endless transfer come to an end but I'm also very sad to see a player of Cesc's quality leave us. It's even more annoying that we let him go at such an early age; Fabregas is still only 24, and probably still has his greatest days ahead of him (that is hard to believe, but I'm not sure he's reached his peak yet). Wow those 8 years went fast huh?

Making his first start on a rainy night in the Carling Cup against Rotherham at a tender 16 years of age, Cesc never looked back. Within 2 years he'd staked his claim in the heart of our midfield and Wenger felt so confident in the Spaniard's abilities that the boss let an Arsenal legend in Patrick Vieira leave without a second thought. And again Cesc thrived, going from strength to strength. My one regret in letting Fabregas leave now is that I wish we'd have had one more good season out of him. Last year he was injured most of the time and even when he was on the pitch you could tell he wasn't fully fit and not match-sharp. It's a real shame that we'll never see Cesc again in the red and white, at the top of his game, pulling the strings in midfield with those incredible defence-splitting passes that only he seems capable of executing.

Now he'll be happy, back home in Barcelona, reunited with friends and family in the country and city of his birth. You can't really blame him for wanting to go back, I'm sure nearly every one of us would jump at the chance return home if you could. Cesc has provided us with plenty of great memories over the years and always gave 100% on the field; you could tell he loved playing for us and had a real connection with the supporters. But you've still gotta think, what if? What if we'd won 1 or 2 more trophies in the last 6 years? What if the club had been a bit harder, categorically stating that Fabregas was off limits and not for sale? It's a shame we'll never find out what could have been if Cesc had stayed with us into his 30's...

Arsenal must now prepare for a future without our gifted Spaniard, and probably without Samir Nasri too. You would think with Cesc out of the picture Nasri would take advantage of this and take control of that central attacking midfield position that has been Fabregas's for so long. But if Samir is more interested in his bank balance than his future as Arsenal's playmaker and midfield general, well... he'll be gone before you know it.

Thanks for reading, hope we get a win against Udinese tomorrow night.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rejoice, Saint Alex Arrives

Arsenal completed the signing of young English forward Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain today from Southampton for a reported fee of £12 million with a further £3 million in add-ons. The 17 year old winger/striker is Arsene Wenger's third signing this summer, alongside Carl Jenkinson from Charlton and Gervinho from Lille.

This is not exactly the signing many Gooners were hoping for, as Wenger has still yet to address the squad's defensive frailties. However the signing of Oxlade-Chamberlain is positive enough and is an encouraging sign for the future of the club. Alex's signing adds another Englishman to the squad which I could not be more happy about. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a patriotic nutcase nor did I hate it when our team-sheets were dominated with foreigners, but it's just nice to see Englishmen plying their trade at the big clubs in a time when the Premier League is flooded with more foreign players than it has ever had. Realistically I don't expect we'll see much of Oxlade-Chamberlain outside of the Carling Cup this season as he'll have to get up to speed with the demands the Premiership places on players. He is still only 17 (he'll turn 18 this time next week) so there is plenty of time for him to develop and become accustomed to life as an Arsenal player. All in all I'm pretty happy with this signing, a nice piece of business for the club and dynamic, speedy players like Oxlade-Chamberlain always get me excited.

A good signing for Arsenal but Wenger can't put away his cheque book just yet. He must add a strong defensive player to the squad before the end of the month, he simply has to. If he doesn't and things on the pitch don't go our way, the rumblings around the Emirates will begin to build and the boss's neck will really be on the line. The fans are already at breaking point and the relationship between Wenger and the supporters has never been at a lower point. Shore up the defence Arsene, or suffer the wrath of the North London faithful, and if you've been watching the news of late, that is the last thing you want to do. Of course I exaggerate, by no means will the fans riot around the Emirates if our demands (often extreme) aren't met, but the paying supporters expect better and will let you know if the club's performances and actions aren't up to scratch.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Udinese? Who'da They Say?

Today Arsenal found out they will face Italian side Udinese over two legs in the Champions League play-off qualifier round. Like the Gunners, Udinese finished in 4th place last season but unlike Arsenal I have a strong feeling the fans of the Zebrette were not booing their players off the pitch at the end of last season for gaining said position in their league. Anyway I'm pretty pleased with this draw and the first leg is at home as well, so we'll need to make that count and get a good early lead against them at The Emirates on Tuesday August 16th. The return leg in Italy will be played a week later on Tuesday the 23rd, just before we travel to Old Trafford in the Premiership. Things could be worse, we avoided a tricky trip to Russia to play Rubin Kazan, whom Lyon have the pleasure of facing instead - lucky them.

However Udinese will be no pushovers and to make matters more difficult we'll be without Robin van Persie and Samir Nasir for the first leg, both players missing out due to suspension (Robin's ridiculous red card against Barca last season and Nasri for criticising the ref in that game). Still, I expect us to beat the Italian side and take our place in the proper Champions League group stages. It would be a disaster to miss out on European competition at it's highest level - if we are to remain a "big club" then the Champions League is where we must be.

So since my last post on here the Emirates Cup has been and gone, and with mixed emotions. I was at a christening this year and so couldn't attend any of the matches like I did last year but I was glad to see Henry back where he belongs and I was gutted he didn't get the chance to pull on the red and white for a bit. Football takes itself far too seriously sometimes, it was a meaningless pre-season friendly for God's sake. But the real story of the weekend was typically Arsenal; letting leads slip and hapless defending (with another healthy dose of home fans booing the squad - so sad, especially during pre-season). I've watched the games (thank you Arsenal Player) and I've seen those mistakes before - this team has not learnt it's lessons from last season, not at all. It still baffles me that Mr Wenger hasn't addressed the defensive issues yet. A £10 million bid for Phil Jagielka is disgraceful. To be fair I don't rank him being much more than that, not even close to £20 mil but somewhere around £14-15 mil would have been a good start. I understand there is still close to a month left to sign players but a new centre back should have been the first thing on the boss's shopping list this summer, so the new guy could find his feet in North London and gel with the rest of the squad. Now any new players will be forced to learn the ropes when the matches actually account and precious points are at stake. Oh well...

The new season is literally just around the corner now, away at Newcastle next weekend on Saturday the 13th at 5.30pm. However we have our final pre-season game against Benfica tomorrow before the Premier League kicks off, and the friendly is being shown live on Arsenal Player tomorrow evening at 7.45pm, so hopefully I can get home from work in time to watch it. Until then fellow Gooners...

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Back To The Blog

Escape to N5 is back from it's little hiatus and just in time for the start of the new season. I haven't blogged on here since May and that's down to a couple of reasons. Since my last post I have finished university and completed my dissertation, I have moved house and had to reconnect to the world wide web. So there's been a couple of obstacles in my way when it comes to blogging about the Gunners. Plus, Arsenal hardly finished the 2010/11 season in style which caused me to lack motivation to blog about the sorry state of the team - that end of season lap of "honour" was depressing wasn't it?

Anyway I'm back now, just as Arsenal have kicked off their pre-season activities. The Gunners are currently on a tour of Asia and dispatched a Malaysia XI yesterday with a 4-0 win. Wenger started with quite a strong team, handing first team debuts to newboys Carl Jenkinson and Ryo Miyaichi, and the opposition were naturally no match for our boys. Ramsey scored from the penalty spot early on, then Walcott lobbed the keeper to make it 2-0 just before half time. Carlos Vela produced one of his trademark chip shots to make it 3-0 and Rosicky headed home the fourth goal just before the final whistle to put the gloss on a typically sluggish pre-season game. The squad needs to get their fitness up and games like these are perfect preparation ahead of the new season. Arsenal travel to China next on their Asian tour and have the Emirates Cup to look forward to at the end of the month.

In transfer news, not a great deal of activity has occurred during my blogging absence. Clichy has left for the billionaire babies at Manchester City, which makes me slightly sad because I always liked our French leftback. The "Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona" saga is still on-going and I have practically ignored anything to do with Fabregas and the Catalans. The constant rumours of him leaving and twats like Dani Alves and Xavi piping up every minute have led me to become completely disinterested in this story and I pretty much ignore every 'rumour' concerning Cesc these days. The same can go for Samir Nasri and his quest to leave us for Manchester United; I'm not listening to any of the crap the media comes out with until I see Nasri holding up that shirt at Old Trafford - I'll believe it when I see it. Almunia and Bendtner are supposedly in talks with clubs looking to take them off our hands. Almunia should have been sold years ago and its probably the right time for Bendtner to leave. In the right system I think the young Dane will flourish but I don't think he was ever going to fit into the Arsenal system and Wenger's tactics, which is a shame because I'll be pissed off if he goes to another club and bangs in 20 goals plus next season.

The biggest piece of transfer news of late is the club have finally confirmed the signing of Ivory Coast striker Gervinho from French club Lille. This transfer has been wrapped up for a while now but it still took its time to become official. We've all had a good inkling that Gervinho was already a Gooner a couple of weeks ago but its great to finally hear he's one of us now. I'm looking forward to seeing him play and hopefully he'll add some much needed firepower to the team. Wenger now needs to turn his attention to some of the other gaping holes in the squad; the most pressing concern is his failure to address our defensive problems. I'm sure our manager is working on it, we all know he likes to play his cards close to his chest and release no clues on his transfer dealings, but a big-name centre back signing for the club would put all our worries to rest (for a while anyway).

That'll do for today, that's enough rambling I reckon. I'll post a bit more frequently now when I get the time and of course I'll comment on any big news concerning Arsenal in the near future. Until then...

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Stoke Spoil Any Surprises

So Arsenal's 3-1 defeat today at Stoke finally puts the "title challenge" to rest. It's officially over now, there is no chance of a trophy coming to the Emirates this season. There is no chance of a surprise ending to this topsy-turvy season. It will end with the usual feeling of disappointment we've become accustomed too in recent years. And with United beating Chelsea 2-1, the title-race is over, there'll be no fun to be had there. It would be incredibly unlikely to see Man Utd throw away the title with two games left.

Arsenal... well they need a massive sort out. The defensive errors and frailties on display today just highlight the problems on this squad, and the area that needs addressing the most. Completely hopeless sometimes.

I think the picture says it all really.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Ramsey Rocks United

I haven't really got the time for a full match report or review, and I didn't even get to watch the game live as I was at work. But I did just want to pitch in with how happy I am that we finally got one over Fergie and his boys, after what seemed a long time since we last beat them. It was fantastic to see Aaron Ramsey score the winning goal and he took it so well too. I know its an extremely simplistic view but it is nice to wonder if we have seen signs of life 'after Fabregas', if the Spaniard were to leave for sunnier pastures this summer. I'd like to think with Ramsey and Wilshere in midfield, and maybe another strong/tall midfielder in the squad as well, that we could cope without Cesc if he did in fact leave us. Its interesting to think about at least.

Anyway, I hope Gooners all over the world celebrated yesterday's May Day victory; I doubt very much that this puts us back in the title race, as I don't expect Chelsea and Man United to lose two more matches again this season, or at least drop enough points for us to catch up with them. However our 1-0 win certainly makes the Premier League title race more exciting, and the United - Chelsea game next week should be fantastic.

Thanks for reading, lets finish the season in style.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Remembering A Hero

Ok, I know the title makes it sound like he died, but I just wanted to post something on here about a past Arsenal player who is still fondly remembered in N5. Despite his move to Shakhtar Donetsk last summer, many Arsenal fans were sad to see Eduardo leave the North London club. I for one was unhappy he left, I felt he still had time to achieve great things with us. However, Eduardo looks to have found a new home in Ukraine with Shakhtar and I hope he can find his way back to the form that made him such a hero at the Emirates. I just finished watching a very heart-warming video of his best moments at Arsenal and felt I had to share it:

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Same Old Arsenal, Always Infuriating

Say goodbye to any hopes you might have had that Arsenal could still win the title, even after bottling every game over the past month or so. Too many draws, too many mistakes and just not being good enough has put an end to our season, and today Bolton cemented this by beating us 2-1 at The Reebok. A 90th minute header from Tamir Cohen finally laid this Arsenal side to rest for the 2010/11 season. There's always next year I suppose...

This afternoon we had to win at all costs. Anything less would simply confirm that this season was not meant to be, no Premier League trophy for us this time. The first half was relatively even, but Bolton looked dangerous on the counter and from set pieces. Well in the 38th minute, Bolton took the lead. From a corner, Gary Cahill rose above our defence with ease, powering a header into the corner that Samir Nasri did well to chest away. Unfortunately the ball didn't leave Nasri's body with much pace, and Chelsea-loanee Daniel Sturridge was waiting to head the ball back into the net to make it 1-0 Bolton. First blood to the home side and Arsenal needed to respond quickly if they were to maintain any hope of a victory, let alone keeping themselves in the increasingly disappearing title-race.

Well Arsenal did respond, but not in the manner we might have hoped. With only a minute gone into the second half, Sturridge got on the wrong side of Djourou in the penalty area and went down; the referee instantly pointed to the spot and it looked like Arsenal's dreams of a successful afternoon had quickly descended into a nightmare. Kevin Davies stepped up to the spot, but thankfully his penalty attempt was atrocious and Szczesny saved with ease, keeping Arsenal in the game. This swing in momentum appeared to galvanise the men in red and white and only minutes later Arsenal were back in the game. Robin van Persie played a nice one-two with Fabregas, and the Dutchman laced the ball past Jaaskelainen to make it 1-1 and game on. For the next 40 minutes or so, Arsenal set up camp around the Bolton area but just could not get that all important second goal. Nasri had a great chance to take the lead but could only hit his shot at the keeper, before having the rebound blocked. It just looked like one of those days, with Wenger casting a frustrated figure on the touchline as the Gunners spurned chance after chance, failing to shoot when they would pass instead. Just when things couldn't get much worse, substitute Tamir Cohen popped up from a Bolton corner in the 90th minute and made it 2-1 to the home side; game over for Arsenal, and season over as well. Another set piece, another lapse in concentration and another goal - Arsenal just could not handle Bolton from corners this afternoon and they paid the price for it. Cohen had only been on the pitch for five minutes too...

So now Arsenal can forget the title, they can forget the celebrations and the medals. No open-top bus parade this year. The Gunners now have more pressing concerns in the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. Carlo Ancelotti's team have hit a hot patch of late and have soared into second place, and now they have a three point advantage over us and a better goal difference as well. In all likeliness, Arsenal have probably thrown away their chance at second, let alone first, unless they can right this sinking ship and finish the season with some respect. The blue side of Manchester are also a concern; they have two games in hand and if we don't wake up, they could quite easily steal third place from us. That would be a disaster.

Anyway, unless Arsenal can win all their remaining games and a miracle occurs, this will probably be my last post on here this season. I have a lot of uni work coming up and once thats done I might write a piece or two on what I think the club should do in the off-season; who they should buy, who they should sell, stuff like that.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Let's Bloody 'Av Them!

The big one tonight, Arsenal versus Spurs at White Hart Lane. We MUST win at all costs, even if its just to have some retribution and revenge against the rivals. Come on you Gunners!