Sheffield United Preview 30 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Cup Games.
The two biggest Premier League games so far this season are nicely divided by tomorrow night’s Carling Cup fixture. Any other competition and we’d be moaning about fitness problems but I doubt there will be many (if any) players involved tomorrow that get a start on Saturday.
The side will be very similar to the one that played Newcastle, if not, weaker. Senderos is injured so we have selection problems at centre back as we don’t want Toure or Gallas getting injured/tired. Not that they can possibly get tired because they are machines of defence but you know what I mean. I heard a tabloid rumour that Gilberto has refused to play at centre back in the Carling Cup and is on his way out in January. I wouldn’t be surprised about the 2nd bit but I doubt he refused to do anything.
Also, apparently Traore is away with the France U-17′s so we’re looking at probably Kieran Gibbs at left back. Up front Bendtner is a certain start and Adebayor won’t be playing but I’m not sure who Arsene will choose to partner Nicklas. It really depends on whom he’s going to pick on Saturday, Theo or Eduardo. Tomorrow’s team is hard to pick, it would help if Arsenal.com would release the squad for the game, but no. Anyway, here’s my stab in the dark:
J. Hoyte – Gilberto – Song – Gibbs
Eboue – Diarra – Denilson – Diaby
Walcott – Bendtner
I can pretty much guarantee that wont be the team but that’s my guess. Gavin Hoyte might come in at centre back with Gilberto starting his usual position in midfield. Eboue might be saved for United and maybe Denilson could take his place in the side?
Whatever the side is, I hope we do Sheffield United, I like the Carling Cup and we’ll want to go one better than last year. I’ll get a match report up on Thursday, until then.
Cesc’s secret revealed: Aspiring footballers read 30 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Premiership.
There’s no doubt that Cesc Fabregas is an incredible talent, so you must wonder what his secret it. Well, he has told the world in the Sun Newspaper:
“Sometimes on a day off I go to the Krispy Kreme doughnut shop. When we play at home, I go there after the game and it’s like a doughnut party! Everyone is eating doughnuts inside their cars – it’s like a disco!”
Yep, Cesc ‘Homer’ Fabregas’ talent is down to the delicious doughnuts from America. There you have it. I know where I’m going after matches now, fuck the pub, Krispy Kreme’s it is.
In other news Almunia has been playing down Saturday’s game and saying how he’s happy with the point at Anfield. The Spaniard made some great stops on Sunday and we’ll be looking for more of that this weekend. Manuel also said, “we just need to take the three points at home.” If we won on Saturday that’d be brilliant, and it’s good we are concentrating on the win and not worrying about trying to draw. More about that game later in the week.
William Gallas has been talking about The Doughnut One. He says that because he is so keen, he can tire himself out in games. He adds: “He can be the best player.”
Right, there’ll be a Sheffield United preview later today as I haven’t got time to do it tomorrow. I’m off down Krispy Kreme’s, see you there.
Liverpool 1-1 Arsenal – 28/10/07 – (Premier League) 29 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
Well I said it would be good and it was. A great performance from our kids against a team who grabbed an early goal and defended. We should’ve won. Liverpool hand a handful of chances, most of which didn’t really come of anything, when they did though Alumina was there to make the save. Manuel made two or three great saves which kept Jens Lehmann’s bum firmly on the Anfield bench.
I surprised at the formation, it was a 4-5-1 with Adebayor alone upfront with Eboue and Rosicky on the wings. Fabregas, Flamini and Hleb controlled things in the middle. We only had the one striker but it didn’t stop our attacking presence. We were getting forward well and I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say we were all over them.
There was a lot of talk about whether our kids could hold up the strong Liverpool. We needed a good start and get ourselves into the game but we let Liverpool take the lead after just 6 minutes. The home side won possession and drove forward, Almunia made a good save from Gerrard but it wasn’t cleared and they had the ball in a dangerous position, we panicked and gave a way a free-kick in a bad position. Gerrard was obviously getting ready to stick his foot behind it so the wall had to be strong; Also, Fabregas was nominated to change the kick down but his run was being blocked. The ball was laid off and Gerrard smacked it. Fabregas’ charge was unsuccessful and the wall missed it. You can’t blame Almunia for not saving it either. 1-0 to Liverpool but we had a long time to find a goal.
We reacted well to going one down and were creating chances, the best fell to Adebayor when got through but Reina came out well to block. At the other end Gerrard hit a great volley that was dipping under the bar but Manuel made an excellent, match-saving stop. That was about it for the first half. I texted my mate at half time saying ’1-0 to them but we’re all over them’ and I think the majority would agree with me.
I wasn’t too worried at this point; I knew there would be goals in the second half. Not from mega-summer-signing Torres though. I don’t remember him doing anything useful in the first half and he was taken off at half time for Crouch. I believe he picked up an injury but I think if he carried on that way he would’ve got subbed anyway.
The lanky Englishman who scored a hat trick against us last season nearly got another 10 minutes in. A decent shot was matched with an even better shot from our no.24. However just after that we nearly found our equaliser, Eboue got down the right and unleashed a shot, it smacked against the post forcing me to jump out of my seat. On the re-bound it fell straight to Cesc on the edge of the box with an open goal, but his first-time shot was off target. I held my hands and I could not believe it was still 1-0. It was a difficult shot to finish though. The ball was coming at pace after Eboue’s shot and ye wouldn’t have much to time to react to it anyway. Our best opportunity was lost and we were still losing.
Time ticked by and we were still yet to find that goal. Changes had to be made. Walcott came on for Rosicky after 66 minutes, and a bit later Gilberto and Bendtner replaced Clichy and Eboue. Clichy was brilliant again, I remember saying ‘I love Clichy’ several times but he had to make way for a more attacking approach. Eboue on the other hand didn’t really impress me. Don’t get me wrong, he did have some really good moments, but he was misplacing passes, miss-timing runs and making the wrong decisions.
We were really getting forward now but you did worry that we’d be caught on the counter. Riise hit a good shot but it went just over the bar, it beat Manuel but he probably had it covered.
With ten minutes to go we found that ever-so important goal and my voice is still hurting from the celebrations now. Hleb was in possession and pushing forward, surrounded by defenders. Adebayor and Bendtner made each two good runs but Hleb must’ve been the only one in the ground who noticed Fabregas coming through the midfield. Hleb held up the ball and then played a perfectly timed and perfectly weighted pass to Cesc who tucked the ball neatly inside the near post. The celebrations were wild and it was such a relief to have finally got that goal.
The job wasn’t over though. Cesc nearly got an incredible winner in the 86th minute. He took a long-range curving effort that hit the post. I couldn’t believe it! But again, the rebound came to an Arsenal player and this time Bendtner missed. For fuck sake.
Gerrard nearly got his side a winner at the other end but Captain Gallas was on by to stop him. In the end it finished 1-1. We did everything to get that win but when I side as good as Liverpool decides to park the bus it’s a really big obstacle to get around. We came so close; 10cm close to be precise with those two attempts hitting the post. We should’ve won and most Scoucers would agree. They might not be happy with the point after going ahead and nearly hanging on but if they’re realistic they’ll be happy with it.
Almunia was great, I don’t see Jens playing for us ever again to be honest. Gallas and Toure we inspiring at the back. Clicht and Sagna were making great runs. Fabregas had a quiet game but still managed to getthat goal. Hleb was fantastic, strange to think how much he’s changed in a season. Everone was great, the only time I was annoyed was with Eboue but it’s hard to say he had a bad game, we should be proud of that performance.
A point at Anfield is by no means a bad result and we’re happy with that, we can take encouragement from the performance. Wenger and Gallas have warned United over this performance. Win on Saturday and our rivals are in trouble. But first it’s Sheffield United in the Carling Cup, build up to that tomorrow.
Liverpool preview: The 1st of two BIG games 28 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
Sorry I didn’t have time to write a preview yesterday, I’m sure you managed without me. So, today we face the biggest test so far this Premiership campaign and it’s a trip to Anfield. Man United won yesterday and are now top, that to me tell me that we need to win! As I said the other day, we’ve just come off a 7-0 win in the Champions League whereas Liverpool lost 2-1 in a game that Benitez said he wouldn’t dare even draw never mind lose.
There’s no doubt as to which team will go into this one with the higher confidence, I haven’t checked the odds but I’d be surprised if we weren’t favourites. However, this is Anfield we’re talking about, a win here for any team in the world is considered good, this is a tough, tough test and our kids must be focuses. I’m sure Arsene will have emphasises not to get over-confident.
We have just Robin Van Persie and Senderos out so no new injuries to report. Up front I think Adebayor is set to start but it’s just a question of who’ll partner him. Eduardo is good but hasn’t yet proved himself, Bendtner is good in areas but I’d be very, very surprised if he started. After his performance mid-week I think Theo will get the nod; he could cause Liverpool problems, or, they could just muscle him out of the game. However, it only takes a second to swap Walcott for Hleb on the wing and we’ve completely changed the attacking approach.
I’m expecting Hleb to start but I don’t know about the other flank. It could be Eboue who’s played the last couple of games or Rosicky who is pretty much fully fit now and caused Liverpool so many problems last year. Diaby, as much as I hate to admit it, can actually do a decent job out wide. Even though Rosicky hasn’t started a lot of games recently, I’d guess that he’ll be in the line-up come 4 o’clock.
This is my guess at this afternoon’s team:
Sagna – Toure – Gallas (c) – Clichy
Rosicky – Fabregas – Flamini – Hleb
Walcott – Adebayor
It’s going to be quite a strong bench with that team so if it all goes wrong then we’ve got the likes of Eduardo, Diaby, Gilberto etc to call upon.
The nerves are just starting to kick in now, but I just can’t wait for it to start. It should be a really good game and definitely not one to miss. It’s on Sky Sports 1 and kick off is at 4. Oh and remember the clocks went back last night too. I think I’m going to watch it in the Walkabout in Watford, would be nice to see a good Gooner following there. Enjoy the game people.
Pennant Injured and Martin Jol sacked 26 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Uncategorized.
I suppose those are the two top stories at the moment. The breaking news tonight is that Ashley’s boyfriend is out for 10 weeks with an anal stress fracture. Is seems like things are getting worse and worse for our friends on Merseyside. I’m sure Liverpool will be dreading our arrival this Sunday and Benitez has another selection problem.
I can’t wait for Sunday but I’m gutted I’m not going. I went up there for the FA Cup game last year and it was brilliant, quite possibly my best away game. Tonight I decided not to go on Sunday, I could’ve got a lift up there but I have no ticket and even though there’ll probably be spares about I should really be saving my monies. If the game wasn’t on TV then I probably would’ve gone but a trip down the pub this weekend looks like the bet option.
I’ve said recently that we don’t look on great form at the moment but I was shut right up the other night as we murdered Slavia 7-0. It was a good performance but as I said t’other day, it wasn’t perfect and Wenger agrees with me. I think the result was more down to two things, Slavia weren’t great and once you score 4 then it’s easy to get more. Ooh that rhymes. Here’s what he said:
“No it wasn’t perfect. OK it is if you look at the result but I watched it again and you can see we missed some passes and some balls. No game is perfect, but some of our goals were that night.”
“The fourth, fifth, sixth and maybe the seventh.”
I love that last bit. Haha. I’ll talk properly about Sunday’s game tomorrow, but as we knocked in seven in the Champions League, The Scum lost in the UEFA Cup. However more importantly, Martin Jol was sacked before the game. When I first heard I was told that he resigned but it’s been confirmed that he has been given the chop. No not in that way.
He was a very successful Tottenham manager and came so, so close to reaching that important 4th place (at our expense might I add) and now he’s gone. A poor start this season and they’ve got rid of him. Fair enough it has been a hilariously terrible start for them, but still, I always thought they’d come back to be honest as much as I’d like to dream of their relegation.
It appears that Juande Ramos’ mother is a whore as he looks set to take the job. They’re saying on Sky Sports News now that he’s on a private jet to Luton airport now to have talks with Spurs. He’s a good manager and done really well with the team at Seville, hopefully it’s a different story at The Shithole. Oh Spurs, how you make me chuckle.
Business-wise, Stan Kroenke has been talking with Arsenal and insists his investment is a ‘partnership’ and a simple investment, nothing more sinister. Hmm.
There’s no more stories that I’ve really found that interesting. Oh, happy birthday to the Arseblog ‘Arsecast’ podcast. It was the 50th episode today too, if you haven’t been downloading it, well, you should. It’s on iTunes, only takes a click. Good to listen to in the car or wherever, a good laugh and a good insight on the week’s action. So yeah, if you haven’t checked it out already…do.
That’s your lot for tonight. A Liverpool preview tomorrow. Sorry for the lack of updates on the site recently, it’s down to a number of things, I’ve been busy and haven’t really had a chance to sit down to the computer, but mainly I haven’t really been arsed. But yeah, thanks for reading anyways.
Arsenal 7-0 Slavia Prague – 23/10/07 – (Champions League) 24 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League.
Well…doesn’t the title say it all?
7-0, wow. I went to the 7-0 victory over ‘Boro a few seasons ago and there was the Everton one before that. Last night was a Champions League record but it should’ve been more; Walcott had a great chance to complete his hat trick but was denied by a decent save. Theo was excellent, he played the full 90 minutes as a striker and showed that Van Persie will not be missed in his 6 week absence. Theo’s been talking about his performance and after the game Wenger hinted to McLaren that he should consider the youngster to represent his country.
The first goal game after just 5 minutes. Fabregas got back to goal scoring ways with a cracker. Hleb took on a couple of players out on the left and played a great pass to Cesc. He took the ball and curved it into the far corner. A great finish and a great start. 1-0 up after 5 minutes, I knew it was good, but I didn’t think there was 6 more to come.
The next one took another 20 minutes to come. We won a corner out on the right. Fabregas took and it missed everyone and luckily fell to Hleb who’d gone deep. He shot and it took a couple of deflections before going in. At the time I thought it would’ve been Hleb’s goal but officially it’s gone down as a Hubacek own goal.
The visitors were getting chances of their own but it was nothing really that dangerous. I remember a shot from range that was comfortable for Almunia but that’s about all I can remember. The defence was really quite poor but the biggest mistake was yet to come. A few minutes before half time a dangerous back-pass followed by a failed attempt to clear the ball by the ‘keeper meant Walcott found himself one-on-one with the goalie in a terrible position. Theo easily put the ball away and we went in 3-0 up at the break.
We came out in the second half like we were going to prove a point. The world was watching. Liverpool and Manchester United will take note of this thrashing and I’m sure Thierry Henry would’ve been a bit jealous as his side only managed a 0-0 draw with Rangers. In the 50th minute Alex Hleb made it four nil to The Arsenal. It was a great move from right to left on the counter attack. Hleb picked up the ball just outside the area on the left. He brushed past a couple of players before taking a clever shot sending the ‘keeper the wrong way. It was a good goal and at 4-0 you knew there would be more to come…and it only took another 4 minutes to come:
Walcott got his second goal which has been described by Wenger as Henry-esque. Another poor clearance from the ‘keeper was picked up on the halfway line and after some great one-touch football the ball was put through to Theo who was running at goal. He took it right up to the ‘keeper and calmly put it right in the far corner just as we saw Henry do countless times in the past seasons. Five nil and now Walcott was searching for that hat trick.
There was four minutes between the 4th and 5th goal, but only 3 minutes between the 5th and 6th. Yep, Fabregas got his 2nd in the 58th minute and it was the pick of the 7. It all started from a Slavia corner which was cleared and Hleb took the ball and started to attack. He passed one player on the halfway line and squared to Adebayor about 30 yards out. He skilfully tricked the defender before passing to Walcott. Theo put Fabregas through with his first touch and Cesc finished well into he far corner to complete one of the greatest and most typical Arsenal goals I’ve seen in recently years. Arseblogger described it perfectly, “It was a thing of beauty. If you could paint it it would hang in the Louvre for generations and people would never tire of looking at it. There are very few teams in the world that can score goals like that and we’re lucky enough that the team we support is one of them.”
A few minutes later we made a triple substitution; Flamini, Hleb and Adebayor came off, and Gilberto Rosicky and Bendtner came on. We were 6 up with an hour gone and you felt there was more in this game. For the remainder of the game everyone was urging Walcott to get his hat trick, players and fans alike. We tried everything but we just couldn’t get Theo’s 3rd. He came closest in the 81st minute when he was played a great pass to have only the ‘keeper to beat. However Martin Vaniak, who’d let in 6 already wasn’t giving up and made a great stop from a yard out to deny him.
As much as we wanted to score more it looked like 6 was going to be it. Until Bendtner forced the 7th late on. It was another great move with Eboue performing a skilful one-two with Bendtner who shot which was blocked but it only slowed the ball down and it still rolled across the line with Nicklas following it up to make sure.
My words cant do any of these goals justice and thanks to Arsenalist who’s got the goals all uploaded.
It was a fantastic and inspiring performance with Liverpool will not be looking forward to Sunday, especially because as I type they’re losing in the Champions League.
I’ve got to go now but more reaction to this and build up to this big game at the weekend to come. Thanks for reading.
Arsenal 2-0 Bolton – 20/10/07 – (Premier League) 21 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
Again, not the prettiest of wins, but we’re grinding out results. And results are what counts. Bolton still look the same sort of physical side there were under Fat Sam but lacking the any talent they once had or the ability to create good football. They’ve been our bogey side over recent years and I would always dread to trip to the Reebok Stadium but times have changed.
Yesterday they still found enough in them to hold us back and not let us create anything. This was mostly achieved by getting all their players behind the ball and kicking us. We did kick back though; Cesc was lucky not to be sent off to two yellows in quick succession.
Nothing was really going our way in the first half, everything we tried was just going nowhere and it was frustrating to watch. It was pretty much the team I expected but Eboue started ahead of Rosicky and Hleb switched to the left. Eboue didn’t have a great game to be honest, he was making some decent runs but his passing and composure was lacking at times and I think he realised it. The best chance in the first 45 was probably right towards the end when Adebayor had a good chance for a header but he didn’t get enough on it and we went in 0-0 at the break. Hleb was decent out wide but he only really made an impact on the game when he was moved centrally at the start of the second half. This is when things started to work for us.
Wenger said he saw there wasn’t much space in the opposition half and thought that Hleb’s ball control would be better than Eduardo’s goal scoring instinct in the middle. Eddy moved out to the left wing but did cut inside when he got the chance. Right from kick off we nearly got the opener. Eboue found himself with the ball on the right; he cut into the box and lashed a shot way over the bar. The crowd’s reaction can’t have helped his confidence and he was substituted along with Eduardo just after the hour. Before that though Cesc took a long-range shot which the ‘keeper did well to save; however from my seat I could see the shot was going over anyway.
Eduardo and Eboue were replaced by Rosicky and Walcott. These changes turned the game in our favour; Tomas’ flair and control with Theo’s pace and skill was too much for the tiring Bolton defence and we were creating chances. However, we still weren’t at our best and I did worry if we would find that goal. In the end it came from a set piece. With 22 minutes left we won a free kick 25-30 yards out and you could see Toure fancied it. We’ve all seen his powerful efforts before but he has yet to score one. This time his shot was low and accurate sneaking into the bottom-left corner beating Jaaskelainen. Kolo’s celebration was almost as wild as the 60,000 relieved Gooners.
Once that goal went in it was really game over for the visitors. They hadn’t created much at all in the game up to now and it looked like we were going to take the win. They had to push forward though and we were then able to pick them apart with ease. Walcott was getting down the right well and creating chances. Adebayor had a decent chance one-on-one but fell over. And Clichy blasted a shot from the left but it wasn’t on target.
We did make sure of the points in the 81st minute when we got the valuable second goal. The two substitutions combined to score a nice, easy goal. Walcott got the ball on the right, drove forward and played a cheeky little low cross which Rosicky just managed to meet. It was a smart little finish from Tomas and that was it, 2-0, no way back for Bolton now, 3 points in the bag.
As I said, it wasn’t the greatest performance, but we came away with the win. Since West Ham I don’t really think we’ve been our normal selves; that good form we had has gone. However, we’ve still won every single game since then, and that’s the difference from last year. We’ve got Liverpool next weekend which will take a good performance but before that it’s Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday night. Preview to come. See ya.
Bolton Preview: finally 19 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
So after a stressfull international break back to business and there’s a few selection problems for Le Boss who’s just had a Chapman-style bust made in his honour. Senderos and Van Persie picked up knocks over the break and will be unavailable for tomorrow’s game; Van Persie will be out for a month meaning he’ll miss games against Man United and Liverpool, and Phil will be missing for just 2 weeks. I expect Eduardo to come in for Robin however Wenger has hinted that Walcott is now an option up front. Gallas has returned from his lengthy spell out and will come in for Phil, no problem.
Jens Lehmann has also returned from injury and said after Germany’s match against Ireland that he expects to start this weekend. However Arsene has been saying this week that Almunia will start:
“Jens Lehmann played very well for Germany, but Almunia will play against Bolton. He must be patient and fight for his place. Patience is not his best quality and Jens will fight every day to be back in the team but I have three world class keepers here now.
Last time Almunia was chosen over Jens a few seasons ago, the German no.1 came back even stronger and won many of the Arsenal fan’s hearts; that run in Europe in 2006 being the highlight in my opinion. He didn’t start well this year and lost his place and he’s going to have to work to get it back. I believe he can, and will, but it’ll take time.
So, here’s my guess at the team:
Sagna – Toure – Gallas (c) – Clichy
Hleb – Fabregas – Flamini – Rosicky
Adebayor – Eduardo
Quite a familiar looking team with the exception of RVP. I think that’ll be enough to get three points off manager-less Bolton. Anelka might be fit to play and Toure/Gallas must watch his threat. He’s scored quite a few against us since his departure and we’ll be looking for a clean sheet tomorrow.
I’ll get a match report up as soon as possible but it might not be until Tuesday. I’ll see. Enjoy the game. Thanks for reading.
Well there’s good news, and some quite bad news… 18 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
I’ll start with the good news I suppose. The shareholder’s AGM was held today and there has been an agreement to extend the ‘lock-down’ agreement. When Kroenke starting buying up shares in the summer the board took note and decided that if they all agreed to ‘lock-down’ and not sell they Stan wouldn’t have been able to take over the club because of the large percentage of the club the board own. This agreement was only a short-term thing and was due to expire in April. However, at today’s AGM they’ve decided to extend this to October 2012.
This is great news. An extra 5 years to hold off Usmanov and there’s nothing stopping them extending this ‘lock-down’. There’s also some extra clauses added to the agreement which chairman, Peter Hill-Wood explains here:
“Under the new agreement, the Board members have agreed not to dispose of any of their interests in the Club before 18 April 2009, other than to certain permitted persons such as close family. After that date, for the remainder of the term of the agreement, they can only sell their shares to another person if the other parties to the agreement do not wish to buy them. The agreement is for five years (until 18 October 2012), although it can be terminated early by the parties on its third anniversary (18 October 2010).”
So that’s the good news. This is the bad news.
Robin Van Persie is fucking injured. I don’t believe it. The news of Senderos’ injury I brought to you the other day (with all respect to Phil) isn’t really that bad and we can cope without him especially with Gallas’ return. However Robin is our best striker and is on top form at the moment.
The injury happened in Holland’s qualifier for Euro 2008 against Slovenia; Robin fell very awkwardly on his knee after an hour of play which you can see a photo of here. This is possibly the worst injury we could get at this time with a lot of important games coming up. If Fabregas got injured we at least have good back up but we haven’t really got that many strikers. Eduardo and Adebayor are the most likely pairing now, but Bendtner will be drooling at this opportunity.
As with Senderos’ case, there’s still nothing on Arsenal.com. The players are all returning home now and I’m sure once our own medical team has assessed the players there’ll be an announcement on how serious these injuries are. If you want to look at Robin’s injury optimistically, think back to Hleb’s incident against West Ham. It was a similar sort of knock, which looked quite bad, but he was back straight away starting the next game.
Fingers crossed on Robin, I’m sure we’ll here more soon. Until then.
Just as everyone returns from injury… 16 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Transfers.
…Senderos goes and does his back in.
I have hunted and hunted for a link but a cant find you one, sorry [but I did find this which shows he came off after 46mins] However, he’s going to be out for a week or two with this and it’s lucky that Gallas has just returned as we’re a bit thin on centre backs at the moment with Johan Djourou out on loan.
There’s nothing about this new injury on Arsenal.com yet as I’m sure our medical team are waiting for his return to see him themselves. At the moment though it doesn’t look like it’s a bad injury and it’ll only be a couple of weeks out. There’s nothing on the match reports of Switzerland’s game talking about Phil’s knock; they just say he was subbed early in the second half.
So at the weekend we should see our 1st choice pairing of Toure and Gallas again with Gilberto as cover. We can handle this injury but I pray there won’t be more in the midweek games.
We’ve got another piece of bad injury news. Tomas Rosicky is a concern of the Czech team doctor and has advised Arsenal of this. He isn’t injured and will probably feature for his national side, but they’re saying he’s not in a good way. If you click the link it’s got the quotes saying about how Tom must do special exercises on his own or something. We all know how injury prone Rosicky is and I think a few weeks out might do us a favour for his career at Arsenal.
In other news Barcelona are saying some bollocks about how they shouldn’t have to pay the full market value of Fabregas because he’s a youth player or some crap. It’s a quite ridiculous and I think Wenger will just turn a blind eye to it. If one day Cesc does make the move to Spain there’s going to be a very large fee for Barca to pay, whatever the hell they’re talking about this week.
Finally there are a couple of interviews with our youngsters. Traore has said how he’s happy not to go on loan and wants to just keep improving here. And Merida has been talking about joining up with the Arsenal 1st team.
Thanks for reading.
Internationals: Eddy scores & Jens wants Bolton start 14 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Uncategorized.
Blah. Seems most of the real news has run out so I’ll just have to talk about how our players got on in yesterday’s internationals.
Eduardo’s second half goal meant Coatia beat Israel 1-0. It wasn’t a bad goal and you can see a clip of it here. That goal means another win for Croatia and they should qualify for Euro 08. Also in that group, England beat Estonia 3-0. The game saw Sol Campbell return to international football but the main highlight for Arsenal fans will be Ashley Cole. He could’ve claimed a goal after his ball took a wicked deflection and went in past our old goalie Mart Poom. However it was this injury in the second half which would’ve been most pleasing.
Cesc Fabregas’ Spain beat Nicklas Bendtner’s Denmark 3-1. Nick was a 2nd half substitute and came so close to scoring for his country. Iker Casillas blocked a close-range header from Bendtner with his foot and he also hit the bar from 20 yards out. The Spanish ‘keeper was finally beaten after a fine display just before time but Spain were still two goals up at this point; and just to stop any hopes of a Dane comeback they scored again 2 minutes after. Fabregas was taken off with ten minutes to go and put in a decent performance for his country.
Sagna started in France’s 6-0 thrashing of the Faroe Islands. Diarra got 15 minutes when he replaced Makelele but William Gallas could only manage a place on the bench after his recent return from injury. The game saw Thierry Henry break some sort of scoring record for France and he’s been admitting that his departure has helped Arsenal. So all smiles for the French football team as they get back to winning ways but it was a completely different story in the rugby. Haha come on England.
Mad Jens got a clean sheet against Ireland and now he expects to start against Bolton in the Arsenal side. I’m not so sure about that but we’ll see.
That’s about it as far as anything interesting goes in the international world. See you soon.
Cesc tranfer talk, Ade’s hungry and Henry’s talking… 12 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Transfers, Uncategorized.
For international week there’s a fair bit of news going around so I may as well just get straight into it. The Cesc Fabregas to Barca stories have started up again. We all know that one day there is a strong possibility that one day Cesc will return home to his family, friends and club in Barcelona. It’s a day that all Gooners dread, Thierry Henry made the trip to Spain but to be honest, he is at the end of his career now. Fabregas hasn’t even reached his prime yet and he’s arguably already Arsenal’s most important player. His agent refuses to rule out a move to Barca and this week he’s said this:
“If we do hear of an offer from Barcelona, the club that taught him so much, then that would be a real compliment to Cesc.”
Last year he signed a long-term deal at Arsenal, I think it was something like 8 years. If he stayed to the end of that then left, then he would be leaving at a similar age, and time in his career, as Thierry. Which I suppose is acceptable. However I’m sure Barcelona wont want to wait 8 years for Fabregas and will one day make a bid for him. It would have to be something quite substantial to tempt Arsene to let him go.
Another player who is still growing at Arsenal, Emmanuel Adebayor has been talking this week. He’s had a great start to the season and is already two short on what he totalled up last season. He puts this new-found ‘hunger’ down to an injury in pre-season:
“I had an injury when I was [at the pre-season training camp] in Austria and this frustrated me a great deal. When I came back I was really angry and hungry. This is one of the reasons that explains why I have had such a good start to the season.”
When Ade first joined I was far off his biggest fan but he gradually started to warm to me. Now he’s up there with my favourites and I hope he can keep on growing.
This transfer market just gone saw the most high profile departure at the club for a long time. When Thierry Henry left to play for Barcelona it broke many Arsenal fans hearts. Titi felt it was time for him to move on and he wasn’t going to win much at Arsenal if he stayed. One thing missing from his trophy cabinet is a Champions League winners medal and he believed a move to Spain would fill this spot. However since Thierry departure the Arsenal youngsters have flourished and are on maximum points in the European group stages and are top of the Premiership with a game in hand. Along with the media, Thierry has been quick to jump on the bandwagon:
“I have been watching Arsenal and see that they are playing entertaining football and winning every game home and away. I know the young players there very well and they can definitely win the Premier League and Champions League this season. I watched how they beat Sevilla in the Champions League and I think they sent out a big message to the rest of Europe. Sevilla is not an easy team to play, but Arsenal played a great game.”
I hear that he’s having some good games in La Liga and I think he got a hat-trick the other week. However I’ve also been hearing about the man we used to know, the sulking, the temper and sometimes looking disinterested. I bet he sometimes thinks he should’ve stayed at Arsenal but I think he knows as much as anyone that his departure really has improved us.
Just quickly, Lehmann’s been talking about how he’ll be back in goal for Arsenal. This just as Germany Coach Joachim Low has said that Jens must be playing first team football if he wants to represent Germany in Euro 2008. There are rumours of Lehmann making a move to Man City in January just as David Seaman did, and I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he followed in his footsteps.
I leave you with this, a headline you don’t see everyday.
Thanks for reading.
It begins… 9 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News, Transfers.
We’re truly into the international week now. Talk of the weekend’s Premiership action is over and bloggers far and wide struggle to find an Arsenal-related story. Arseblogger reports a fascinating story of his Arsenal mug which is worth a read if you fancy a giggle this dull Tuesday
morning fuck me it’s the afternoon already.
There are a couple of transfer rumours around today though. Micah Richards has told Nuts magazine he has dreamt of playing for Arsenal one day. We’re running low on defenders and indeed English players! He’s only 19 too and I think he would be an excellent buy. Here’s what he said about Arsenal:
“I was a big Ian Wright fan when I was younger so I supported Arsenal. Wright and Patrick Vieira were my idols, so yeah, if the opportunity came to play for them one day I’d take it. But right now I’m concentrating on keeping [Manchester] City in the top half and we’ve got the players to do it.”
I don’t know whether Wenger would splash the cash on this youngster though; we all know how much English players can cost purely down to their nationality. Arsene will probably see that he has Djourou coming back from loan at Birmingham and decide against putting in a bid to Sven.
We’ve also been linked with the Norwegian goalkeeper, Rune Almenning Jarsteina. He’s 23 so it’s not as if he’d come in as another youngster for the future. If this rumour is true then it looks like Jens would be off and Jarsteina and Almunia would battle for a starting spot until Fabianski is ready to take on the role. Here’s what he said about the possibility of joining us:
“They have seen me before and of course I want to go. Without doubt. Anyway, I have to concentrate on Odd Grenland first, then other offers. Arsenal is a great club and they play fantastic football. Of course I would say yes if they offer me a trial when the season here is over.”
That’s two players that would like to join us if the opportunity came. But who wouldn’t at the moment? 10 wins in a row, top of the league and a very exiting future ahead of us. If Lehmann is leaving then we do need another goalie and I still think we could do with a defender even when Djourou comes back. We’ll just have to see what Wenger makes of all this.
Our reserves beat Chelsea 1-0 last night at Griffin park. It was a fairly strong team that included the Hoyte brothers, Traore, Denilson, Merida and Song. Kieran Gibbs was the goalscorer and that results makes it 3 wins out of five for the reserves.
Kolo Toure has been talking about our positive start to the season. He’s been saying how we must not get carried away and continue taking each game at a time.
And finally here’s a list of our players that have gone on international duty. Eduardo has been called up for Croatia even though he’s only just come off the injury list this week, worrying but hopefully he’ll be okay. The same goes for Rosicky, Lehmann and Gallas however those three went back into training last week and is not so much of a problem.
Thanks for reading.
Arsenal 3-2 Sunderland – 08/10/07 – (Premier League) 8 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
What a nightmare that was. The opening of the game looked like it was going to be a walk in the park with nearly three early goals but it turned out to be a completely different story.
The first goal came after just 6 minutes. Fabregas was blatantly just pushed over right outside the box and was an obvious free kick. However, the ball came to Diaby after Cesc fell and Abou shot and scored a screamer. The referee, Rob Styles disallowed the goal because he brought the play back for that push on Fabregas. The crowd were absolutely fuming, but not for long. Robin van Persie scored an absolute bullet of a goal from the free kick. His 77mph rocket curved round the wall, hit the underside of the bar and bounced over the line and into the net. Craig Gordon had absolutely no chance.
We nearly made it 2 a few minutes later when Ade got on the end of a good cross from Sagna but our second took until the 14th minute to arrive. It came from a Fabregas corner, which went deep after some poor defending and went to Ade. He played a low ball back in which came to Senderos who somewhat clumsily finished and the ball trickled into the corner. I scrappy goal but who cares?
In the 19th minute it looked like Diaby had got our third. Hleb sent a ball in from the right wing which was heading straight for Flamini, Gordon managed to get a touch ahead of Matty but that stop went straight to Diaby who finished well. However, the linesman had his flag raised for that initial ball to Flamini from Hleb, watching the replay today it doesn’t look offside and the lino can only of thought it was if he was in the wrong position or something because the play wasn’t really moving that fast.
If that goal had been rightly allowed then we would’ve been 3 up inside 20 minutes and that would’ve been that as far as the game was concerned. There would’ve been no return for Sunderland with that score line and we probably would’ve scored quite a few more with them coming at us. However, at this point, everything changed…
A goal for the visitors would’ve meant they would only have to find one more to snatch a draw and they thought they might be up for it. In the 25th minute they got a goal back through Wallace. A great long ball set up a 1-on-1 that Almunia did well to save, however the ball came to Wallace who scored through Clichy’s legs and Manuel couldn’t do much about it.
Still winning but as I said, Sunderland would only need one more to be level. And that goal for the visitors shocked us and for the rest of our game we never really found that brilliant flowing football that we were showing in the first 20 minutes.
Just after the half-hour Van Persie found himself in space about 30 yards out and hit a powerful long-range shot. The goalie made a good save to tip it over the bar and Senderos nearly got his second from the resulting corner. The Swiss defender found himself a free header at the back post but his effort went wide.
So at half time we were still a goal up but we hadn’t looked at all confident about it since that Sunderland goal went in. We needed Wenger to have a good talk with them in the break and we’d come out with clearer minds in the second half and finish the job with ease. However 4 minutes in we conceded a second. The cross came in from the left wing and Jones finished with the header. It really was poor defending not to stop Sunderland but it was a decent cross and header, Almunia got a touch but he couldn’t stop it from going in.
Just before the hour we made an attacking sub bringing off Diaby who’d scored 2 but had neither given to him. He was replaced by Theo Walcott who hasn’t been playing great recently, but yesterday he was quite good I thought and was causing the visitors problems.
Not long after that Toure picked up the ball just inside the opposition half, he was in a lot of space pushing forward, the crowd noticed the opportunity and urged Kolo to let out a screamer. And that he did. It was an absolute belter and luckily for Gorgon it went crashing against the post, as any attempt to save it would’ve probably broken his wrist. This would be goal of the season if it went in but it didn’t, so, so close though.
There was that effort and a number of goal-mouth scrambles but we were still finding it difficult to find a winner. We were certainly piling the pressure on though and you wondered if Sunderland would hang on. They were doing all they could do to help though with all their time wasting. Gordon was especially guilty with his goal kicks and such. What was really funny though was when we did finally score watching him run to get the ball and take the kick as quick as he could.
We did eventually find that goal in the 81st minute. Eboue passed to Walcott on the edge of the box who squared to RVP. He had a great first touch which set him up for a finish into the corner. A lot of credit went to Theo for the goal but the skill by Robin with that touch and finish was also brilliant.
It wasn’t all easy in the final few minutes though. Almunia had to make a good save to tip Stokes’ shot over the bar. Walcott had a decent chance at the other end too, he hit the post after some good skill on the edge of box but in the end it finished up 3-2. Quite a scary game and at times not the best performance but we got the points and that’s what matters
After watching this and the West Ham game I think our run of form might have come to an end. In both games I don’t think we played that well to be honest, in the first 20 minutes of yesterday’s game, yes, we were excellent, but we couldn’t continue that for the rest of the match. However, both at West Ham and this game, we came away with the points and that’s all that matters. Only one draw all season, the rest wins, and we’re top with a game in hand. Beautiful. We’ve a break now for the internationals so we’ll see how we shape up against Bolton after that.
Thanks for reading.
Sunderland Preview 6 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Premiership.
Tomorrow we face Sunderland at a stupid 12 noon kick off. I’ve missed our last home games against Derby and Newcastle so I’m really looking forward to tomorrow. It seems like ages since I’ve travelled down to the Grove and I’m really missing it. I think it’s fair enough for me to say I can only expect a home win. Sunderland will put up a decent fight but we really should be beating them.
We’ve got a load of players back from injury but they aren’t fully match fit for this one so Arsene wont take the risk with them. They’ll all be back in a fortnight when we play Bolton after the internationals next weekend.
The team is se to be very similar to one that played Bucharest. I don’t expect Wenger to name a weakened side just because it’s Sunderland. The back 5 will be as you’d expect: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Senderos and Clichy.
However competition for places in the centre of midfield has been very strong this season and Arsene’s been talking about his selection problems. He’s chosen the in-form Flamini over Gilberto for every game this season but maybe tomorrow we’ll see the Brazilian get a starting place? It’s hardly weakening the side. There’s also Diarra, Diaby and Denilson to choose from as well! However in that link above Arsene doesn’t name Diaby as one of the options. I pray that he’s not converting him to a winger but I suppose if he’s going to get a place in the team at the moment it’s going to be out wide.
I’m going to guess at the same midfield as the one on Tuesday. Possibly Walcott could come in for Eboue or as I said Gilberto might get a start ahead of Flamini but I really don’t expect a change to be honest. As with the forwards, why change what already works well? I’m also expecting Van Persie and Adebayor to start again.
Man United won today and overtook us at the top. So a win tomorrow is vital! There’ll be a match report as soon as possible. See ya.
Lehmann ‘fit’? & Hleb to finish career at Arsenal? 4 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Arsenal News.
Wenger has revealed that Lehmann, Gallas, Rosicky and Song are all no longer injured, but not yet match fit. This is great news for us as now only Eduardo remains on the injury list. Jens returned to training today apparently and the others will join in tomorrow. They wont be available for our game on Sunday but at least they are back and should be ready for selection when we play Bolton.
I think we all know that Jens isn’t really injured but I am happy he’s back in training and ready to compete for a starting spot. Almunia has come out saying he’s not ready to give his spot up and he wants to play the whole season but I’m sure if Lehmann plays at his best in training he’ll be back starting for The Arsenal. Competition is good and both goalies will thrive.
Hleb has said he’s ready to finish his career at Arsenal. He’s improved a lot this season and has shown us that he can be brilliant in the centre of the park. Hopefully he can get more appearances there but since he went through that spell it does look like he’s improved with the confidence. I used to be worried about Alex but now I am quite exited about his future.
We’ve held a meeting with Stan Kroenke and it’s been described as ‘positive’. Noises coming out of this are saying that Stan has no intention to sell up to Usmanov, which is fantastic news. If Kroenke was to sell to the Russian it would put Red & White in a commanding position but apparently Stan Kroenke has bought up his shares as a long-term investment. Phew. This is good news on the potential takeover front but it’s still quite scary.
Gilberto has been talking about his lack of starting places this season. Mathieu Flamini has been outstanding since deciding to stay, so much so it’s kept Brazil captain Gilberto out of the starting line-up. He says it’s been ‘so hard’ to be sitting on the bench and there’s been a lot of rumours that he’ll be off this January but I pray that he wont. When we face Sunderland he’ll turn 31 and I think a lot of Wenger’s decision to play Flamini will be down to his age. The team is very young at the moment and Arsene will be trying to get the team ready and experienced for the future. I hope Gilberto does get some games though as I fear we will be off if he doesn’t.
Right that’s enough for this evening. Thanks for reading.
Steaua Bucharest 0-1 Arsenal – 02/10/07 – (Champions League) 3 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League.
This win took a lot of effort from the Arsenal boys and wasn’t as easy as some of our other 3-pointers this season. It took us until the 76th minute to net the goal and we didn’t really get many chances to put the ball in Bucharest’s net. Although we controlled the most part of the game and dominated possession the home side we difficult to break down and we weren’t finding it easy to create chances.
Alex Hleb came back from that terrible challenge at Upton Park to start on the left and Eboue was on the other wing with Van Persie and Adebayor up front. It wasn’t the greatest performance ever but it’s a typical result in a tough away game in Eastern Europe. We nearly went behind early with Valentin Badea heading over the bar and in the 6th minute he managed to get his effort on target and it beat Almunia. The linesman made a good decision and ruled the goal offside. Phew.
Bucharest were still celebrating when Fabregas noted the offside decision and urged Alumina to play on quickly. We got the ball up field. Van Persie played a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but no one got to it and it was collected by Hleb the wrong side of the post, he played a short pass to Fabregas in front of goal who somehow blasted it over the bar from three yards out. Fair enough it was on Cesc’s left foot but he really messed that one up.
As the game went on the home side were having their chances and Almunia was forced into action a couple of times but we were slowly starting to take control of this game. It had taken a while to get into the swing of things but we were up and running around the half hour mark and a goal looked imminent.
In the 40th minute Clichy nearly grabbed a lucky goal thanks to a big deflection. His cross went off the defender’s back and was heading straight for goal. However the ‘keeper reacted quick diving back towards his own goal. It looked like he’d taken the ball over the line but even on the replay you couldn’t really tell and no goal was given.
About ten minutes into the second half Adebayor nearly converted Fabregas’ free kick but the ‘keeper made a good stop. However his opposite number nearly conceded when Almunia came off his line to head away a ball but it came straight Negra. He went for a lob over Manuel but luckily Toure had read the situation and was on his was back to goal. He stopped the ball from going in and it remained 0-0.
As the game went on I feared that we weren’t going to be able to find a goal against the Bucharest resistance. We got that extremely valuable goal 14 minutes from time through Robin Van Persie. Adebayor took possession and drove towards goal; he ended up at the by-line and played a cutback ball into the area. The pass appeared to be for Fabregas but it went behind him and Cesc couldn’t reach it. However RVP was standing by to power the ball high into the net. 1-0 Arsenal, fucking get in. It was a really good finish by Robin, especially as he was stretching for the ball in the first place. That’s 2 goals in 2 games for him, I backed him to be banging them in this season, maybe this is where his goal-scoring run begins.
There was really no return for Bucharest and we held on the lead quite easily. That’s 2 wins in our first 2 group games and we’re on the right track to qualification. Wonderful.
Now it’s back to domestic action and it’s Sunderland on Sunday at midday. Come on you Gunners.
Steaua Bucharest Preview 2 October, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League.
We concentrate on Europe again tonight and we travel to Romania to play Steaua Bucharest. We will be expected to win this one but we have a lot of players who are a doubt. Van Persie, Hleb, Adebayor, Flamini and Diaby all picked up knocks against West Ham, some worse than others; Hleb is the least likely to play out of all of them but Wenger says he’s made a great improvement.
Arsene also says that Van Persie only has a slight problem and is more likely to play than Adebayor but at least one of them will start, if not both. I’m not quite sure how he can judge that but I’ll take his word. All those other players will decided on today but there was no details of their problems so I presume they’ll be alright.
If the manager decides not to risk some players then we could be seeing Bendtner in this one, or maybe Diarra will get a game after his impressive display against Newcastle, I would like to see Lassie get a maybe a half or at least a decent portion of a game like this but it’s not up to me thankfully.
So here’s today’s random guess at the team, this is what I would do if it were up to me anyway:
Sagna – Toure (c) – Senderos – Clichy
Walcott – Fabregas – Gilberto – Diaby
Adebayor – Van Persie
Diaby on the wing because I don’t know who else we actually have that can go there. Hoyte? Van Persie? I don’t know. I’d like to see Gilberto start this one, there’s no point in risking Flamini if he’s not fully fit. There are whispers this week of Gilberto leaving in January but I don’t want him to, he’s a very valuable player. Although he is getting old he’s still got it in him.
We’ve got the same ref that sent Lehmann off in the final against Barca (in 2006? That article says it was 2005 but I swear it was 2006. Meh).
Should be a good one tonight. It’s on ITV4 and I think it’s on Setanta too, don’t listen to me though. See ya.