Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bring Almunia back. Player analysis and ratings Vs West Ham

By 1970’s Gooner

It’s simply not good enough. To have blown away a lead once and then to go and do it again a few days later, in the same manner is beyond belief. Don’t tell me that we need to go three up to feel safe because this is what it looks like it at the moment.

It was really pathetic, going 2-0 up in the first half and not being able to close the game out. The players thought that the game was over after the first 45 minutes. They started playing in second and third gear, not really interested enough to put the game beyond reach.

So the young squad still has a lot to learn, apparently.


I still think that he will be a great goalkeeper for Arsenal but he was clearly at fault for their first goal. He should have pushed the ball out for a corner not bring it back into play again.

This goal started their revival and it is almost impossible to move up a gear when you’ve been in a lethargic state for a big part of the second half.

If Almunia was fit he should have been brought back into the team. 5


Was a lot better this game. Went forward enough and his crosses were much improved resulting in Arsenal’s first goal. 7


Looks invigorated this season and got another goal today. 7


The centre back that Arsenal needed. Intelligent, physical, a good passer of the ball as well as having an eye for goal. 7


Had an average game defensively but was not as good going forward. The quality of his crosses left a lot to be desired. 6


Was having another strong game with his ability to shield the defence and make the simple passes to his forwards or Fabregas. However he tends to foul unnecessarily sometimes and it was fairly stupid of him to do so in the box giving away the penalty. 6


Was playing in second gear from the beginning of the game. Drifted in out of the game and generally was not the usual Cesc we all know. 5


Has cut out the fancy stuff in recent games and this has resulted in much better performances. 6


Looked disinterested and like Fabregas was not in the centre of things as we have come to expect from the little Russian demon. 5

Van Persie

One of the few that played well tonight. Scored the first goal and generally led the line well. Nearly scored the winner with a header that was saved by Green in the latter stages of the game. He was however no helped a lot by the below par performances of Fabregas and Arshavin. 7


He is a much improved player this season but I feel his inability to make the right decisions at important moments will always hamper his effectiveness. Now if Rosicky was fit or even if Eduardo was in the team we would have probably won the game. 6

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lansbury scores two for Watford (video)

By Aries

Henri Lansbury scored two goals to help Watford to their 4 -1 thrashing of Sheffield Wednesday at Vicarage Road tonight.

He scored his first and Watford’s second on the 26th minute and rapped up the game with Warford’s fourth of the night.

You can watch all the goals on the video screen above.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Arshavin prefers early kick offs

By Aries

Andrey Arshavin was very pleased to score the 98th goal of his career. Speaking on his web site he gave credit to Fabregas for distracting the Birmingham defence.

“Our keeper got the ball to Cesc, he ran with the ball, passed it to me and I cut inside. Then Fabregas went on to overlap and distracted the defender to allow me some space to hit the ball” he said.

He admitted that may be the reason he was left out of the line up was the fatigue of having been involved in the World Cup qualifying games for Russia. He did feel tired he said.

“It is hard to come back from the international break? Of course, I felt tired. But that's not an excuse it is a fact”

At least there are comfy seats in the dug out recently installed at the Emirates.

“I felt all right. The club installed new, comfy benches for the substitutes...” he said.

Andrey also prefers the early kick offs in England unlike in Russia and the reason has something to do with his stomach.

“In England it's the opposite, the earlier the better. If the game starts at 4 or 5 pm I get hungry” he said!

Let’s hope his hunger for goals carries on unabated….

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Another route today?

By 1970's Gooner

The result of today’s game at the Emirates against Birmingham really depends on what Arsenal do rather than on how the opponents approach the game. This is generally the case when one of the teams in a game is superior and also playing at home.

Birmingham on the other hand has an added incentive today in that it is the first game under new (richer) ownership. This is bound to “encourage” the players to up their performance with the January transfer window soon approaching.

McLeish is likely to approach the game with the same tactics adopted against Manchester United at Old Trafford earlier in the season loosing in the end by one goal to nil.

They played in a defensive formation but came out more in the last 15 minutes to try and salvage a draw which they nearly did.

I was impressed with their performance on that day and that is why I think that today’s game will be won by Arsenal only if mistakes are kept to a minimum at the back and ruthlessness employed in front of goal.

If Arsenal scores an early goal then I would expect another rout of a low rank team at the Emirates. If however we allow them to get ahead first then I do not see Birmingham being as generous as Blackburn at the back.

The positive aspect about Arsenal this season, however, is the democratic approach to goal scoring. There are goals from everywhere in the team, reminiscent once again of the “total football” approach that Arsene Wenger’s style brings about.

With players like Arshavin, van Persie, Rosicky, Fabregas, Gallas and of course Vermaelen around the goal threat is very real and this bodes well when playing against lower quality opposition.

This allows a certain amount of optimism that this season we will not drop so many points against the likes of Birmingham.

If we get our defensive effectiveness right against the better teams of the League then we have a real chance for the title.

Predicted line up:


Sagna Galas Vermaelen Gibbs

Diaby Song


Arshavin van Persie Rosicky

Prediction: Arsenal 3 Birmingham 0

Monday, October 05, 2009

Arsenal’s squad as good as Barcelona’s?

By Hamzi Mohd

Arsenal’s style of play has often been compared to Barcelona’s. Both teams play open attacking football relying on the high technique and skill of their players, the quick pass and continuous movement.

Another comparison this year is that both teams seem to play a 4 3 3 type of formation and it is interesting therefore to compare the them, player for player.

Below are suggested line ups of the two teams. Others may disagree with me as to the Arsenal line up (Walcott and Rosicky for example may get into the first 11 in other people’s assessment).

I only set out these 11 below in order to facilitate my point. The actual line up is, in some ways, immaterial as I believe that Arsenal has more strength in depth than Barcelona.


Alves Puyol Pique Maxwell
Xavi Toure Iniesta
Messi Ibrahimovic Henry

Subs: Marquez, Keita, Pedro, Pinto, Chygrynskiy, Bojan, Abidal, Busquets, Milito, Suarez


Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
Fabregas Song Nasri
Eduardo v Persie Arshavin

Subs: Fabianski (Mannone), Eboue, Djourou, Senderos, Gibbs, Diaby, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner, Vela, Rosicky

A comparison of the first 11 line ups on a player to player basis shows that Arsenal actually could match Barcelona.

It is true that the Barcelona squad has proven world class players who can make a difference whenever needed.

Messi is one of the best in the world, Henry we all know what he can do and Ibrahimovic is a very good striker.

Iniesta and Xavi are both classy playmakers and both their fullbacks are very good going forward.

But we have Arshavin who in my opinion can match Messi’s brilliance.

Van Persie himself is at least as good as Ibrahimovic. Fabregas and Nasri (or Rosicky) can certainly match Iniesta and Xavi.

Song too is almost as good as Toure and will soon be even better. Clichy and Sagna are better than Alves and Maxwell.

When the squad issue is addressed, I believe that Arsenal has more depth than Barcelona’s.

Barcelona doesn’t have that many options if a few key players are out injured or suspended.

They only have Pedro, Suarez and Bojan in the attacking positions. Iniesta can play wide but he is really best in the middle alongside Xavi.

Arsenal however has the luxury of Walcott, Bendtner, Vela, Eduardo, Rosicky, Nasri and Eboue who can all play wide. Although Barcelona has better cover in defence ours is not that bad either.

So by this logic, no wonder Wenger is so optimistic about this current group of Arsenal players.

I just hope they could deliver this season and we, as Arsenal fans, should believe in them and give the team our full support.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Arshavin praises Fabregas’s performance against Blackburn

By Aries

Andrey Arshavin heaved praise on skipper Cesc Fabregas after his wonderful performance today against Blackburn Rovers. He did after all have a hand in five of the six goals scored.

Speaking on his personal site he hailed Fabregas’s performance:

“Fabregas today performed miracles. Today, it all worked” he said

But it wasn’t all plain sailing as Arshavin admitted:

“I think we started badly today, lacked concentration, missed a goal, but thank God that Thomas Vermalaen went ahead and scored.

Then it swung against again 1-2, but we quickly equalised. And after that it all took shape easily and freely, comfortably” he said.

Andrey is now looking towards Russia’s game against Germany which will go a long way in determining their participation in the World Cup. And his team mates wished him well:

“All the guys after the game wished me luck and good fortune. Now I have good fighting mood before the match with Germany. I'm waiting for this game” Arshavin said.

Player analysis and ratings vs Blackburn

By 1970’s Gooner

This game epitomized Arsenal’s performances over the 13 years of Wenger’s hegemony. Pretty football, loads of goals but open to the sucker punch with defensive failings ever present to threaten Arsenal’s progress to a much needed title.

If we can tighten up a little bit more defensively then we have a genuine chance of challenging for honours this season.


I fault him for Blackburn’s first goal. Vermaelen was beaten to the ball by Nzonzi and he is to be blamed too but Vito was way out of position giving himself little room for maneuver having to lean backwards with the ball eventually dropping into the net.

Still he made some very good saves especially from Dunn’s long distance shot which looked bound for goal. Wenger has a decision to make when Almunia returns to fitness. 6


Back to his best after a shaky start to the season. Was as good defensively as in his attacking duties. 7


Looked a little bit laboured today misplacing passes early on and failing to get his crosses over the first defender. Maybe this is why Wenger has been resting him lately by playing Eboue there. Sagna improved in the second half however. 6


Looks much more fit, committed and sharper this season. His partnership with Vermaelen is gelling well and he looks better playing along side a left footed and experienced centre half. 7


Yes he did miss that header that led to Blackburn’s goal but centre halves sometimes do don’t they? He made up for it by the spectacular goal he scored from outside the area.

He takes his goals with the ease of a goal scoring forward rather than a defender who has gone up front for a corner looking for the odd chance to score. He actually goes up front looking to score. 8


He never fails to impress me. Strong and decisive with the distribution to match it. Hardly put a foot wrong all game and nearly got on the scoring sheet by the end. 7


Must have got a real rollicking after his disappointing performance at Fulham as he improved his game against Olympiakos in the Champions League and carried it on today against Blackburn.

When he plays it simple then he is very effective as he can win and hold the ball by using his strong frame and skill.

But when he tries to be creative and carry on with the ball then he invariably goes up cul de sacs frustrating everyone and letting his team mates and the supporters down.

I think he will be playing his best games against the bigger teams because that is when he will be too afraid to make mistakes. 6


The little maestro is back to his best.

He was involved in five of the six goals for Arsenal today.

He made the assists for four and scored the important fourth which effectively killed the game.

For at 3 -2 up I felt that they had a chance to equalise through a dead ball situation or a defensive lapse. 9


I consider his involvement in the first team again as very crucial because we now have two genuine play makers where they can interchange positions in the middle of the park and take it in turn to dictate the game. Rosicky also adds much needed experience in the team as well as his football nous. 7


Slowly coming back to full match fitness but even at this level he can be dangerous with his clever runs and goal threat. This he showed with the intelligent run to the left of the defenders receiving the perfect ball from Cesc to score across Armstrong on the turn for 3-2. 6

van Persie

He is getting used to his new role of front man this season with every game he plays. His goal today was as good as the one he got against Fulham last week. Again a perfect ball by Fabregas, the one touch control and wham bang thank you mum!

The more support he gets from the wide men in this new 4 3 3 formation the more goals he will get. 7


Looked sharp for the 22 minutes he played today and scored his goal like a veteran. His pace and trickery will be a great addition to the team when he gets fully fit. 7


Scored his goal with a spectacular shot from outside the area showing that Arsene may well be right when he says that Arsenal have strength in depth. 7

Consider that apart from Bendtner and Walcott we still have Eduardo, Nasri, Vela, Almunia, Djourou and Denilson to come back.

Man of the Match: Fabregas

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Arshavin reveals his pact with Eboue

By 1970’s Gooner

Andrey Arshavin’s form is surely returning back to his best after his much improved performance against Olypmiakos of Greece last Wednesday in the Champions League.

He recently risked aggravating a groin injury by opting to play for Russia against Wenger’s wishes. This proved ill conceived as he did his groin in and had to sit out Arsenal’s next few games.

He returned against Fulham where he looked out of touch but he was much improved against Olympiakos which bodes well for the Blackburn game coming up.

I expect that he will inflict the same kind of damage on big fat Sam’s team as he did last season where he scored his first goal for Arsenal.

Andrey acknowledged his return to some kind of fitness on his personal site:

“Today I felt good. Am I fully recovered? I think the next game will answer this question” he said.

I think it will.

Andrey scored Arsenal’s second against Olympiakos with an audacious back flip after receiving a marvelous through ball from the much improved Fabregas (another Arsenal player to improve his game, along with Diaby, after the Fulham performance).

He also revealed that his goal celebration after scoring was discussed with Eboue in the dressing room. That’s why Eboue was there first to offer congratulations lifting him on his back!

“We have already discussed this with Eboue in the locker room. I think tomorrow we will see it in a British newspaper”

Andrey also said that the players believed in getting the victory and continued to fight till the end with luck finally smiling upon them.

“We believed in victory and continued to fight until the end. We were lucky”.

We should all feel very lucky that Arsene finally got the cheque book out and bought a class player.