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Fabregas will soon be leading the Gunners again...

Fabregas will soon be leading the Gunners again...

The news of Fabregas going around lately has been the personal phone call he recieved from Ramon Calderon to convince him to sign for the Spanish giants Real Madrid regarding which our captain said:

“It’s true the president of Real Madrid called me personally – we spoke on the phone.

“But I never gave him my word that I was going to sign for Real Madrid. He asked about my progress and that was it.

“I have not given him nor anyone else the expectation that I will join them. The same goes for anyone who represents me.

“I am a person of my word and I can assure you that I have never given any club reason to believe that I would leave Arsenal.

“Nobody can say that they have agreed with me that I become part of their project. That is clear.

“I am a professional so I cannot close the door on anyone. On the one hand, you have your feelings and your passions and on the other you have your professionalism.”

But we don’t really care about it as much as we are waiting to see Fabregas back in action. And the good news is here. He is back and in contention for a starting place against Manchester City on the 4th of April. To add to that Adebayor is also back and has already scored for Togo in his first match since returning so Arsenal’s season is getting better and better. We can all feel this might be THE season for us! Our trophy drought seems to be heading towards an end it seems…

Meanwhile van Persie’s contract negotiations are progressing well according to the Dutchman himself but the only obstactle to getting him sign it is the lack of trophies. Win them and van Persie will remain ours! Read the article here.

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Arsenal may now be without Walcott but Newcastle will also be without one of their main players, Micheal Owen. According to reports the forward has been told by his manager he is not fit enough so he will start the match on the bench. Apart from Walcott Arsenal will not be missing any other players from the win against Hull City. But they do have a trio returning from injury. Almunia, Silvestre and Eduardo. Almunia and Eduardo are welcome returns but I would rather be happy with an injured Silvestre because then he doesn’t get to play! He is crap. Worst signing ever. Lets hope Wenger doesn’t play him as often as he did before the Frenchman picked up the injury.

We could see this line-up tonight:

Almunia
Sagna     Gallas     Toure     Clichy
Song     Denilson
Nasri     Arshavin
van Persie     Bendtner

I wouldn’t be surprised if Diaby starts instead of Denilson as his physical presence could be vital against the tough tackling Newcastle. And Eboue might start in place of Bendtner.

Moving to Newcastle now. They will be without Mark Viduka, Xisco, Danny Guthrie, Joey Barton and
Igancio Gonzalez. Add to that a start on the bench for Owen and Arsenal have quite a chance in this one.

Newcastle’s form isn’t the best coming into this match: WDLLD. Compared to Arsenal’s WWWWW (I have included the penalty shootout win against Roma as a win though it was 1-0 to Roma at the end of normal time).

This is yet another must win match for Arsenal. Aston Villa are faltering so another draw or defeat this weekend could mean Arsenal getting a 2 or 3 point lead over them. A win here and then for the next match against Man City we will have the services of our captain Fabregas, who according to Wenger is just two weeks away and should be fit for the Man City clash. That is awesome news! We sure as hell missed him!

Anyway I hope it will be a relaxing match today! 2-0 to the Gunners! Yeah! I am quite tired out after a match for my college football team which we won 7-0 :p so I hope Arsenal can refresh me with a scintillating performance!

It may have been a frustrating night and an average performance but still a win is a win and that’s what matters in the end.

Gallas celebrates

The game started in disastrous fashion for the hosts. They could not get into their quick passing football at the start and looked uncomfortable when in possession and they paid the price for it. Hull pounced on the first available opportunity. Barmby took a shot that took a huge deflection off Djourou and lofted over the helpless Fabianski. 1-0 to the visitors and it seemed Hull were up for another upset at the Emirates. But Arsenal had other plans. That goal was a wake up call for the Gunners. After that they started to dominate and that continued till the end. But occasional opportunities for Hull remained and they got one very soon after the first goal. A free kick given away by Gallas just outside the box and we have seen Geovanni score from that range before. His free kick was nearly a body blow for Arsenal. Heading for the top corner but Fabianski dived and punched the ball out for a corner. A world class save to deny Hull a dangerous 2-0 lead. After that chances kept falling Arsenal’s way but no clear cut chance. It remained 1-0 at half time and Arsenal needed to improve if they were too keep alive their dream of winning the FA Cup. van Persie was quite surprising in the first half. He looked helpless whenever he recieved the ball and couldn’t do anything noteable. Diaby was as worse. 90% of his passes were to Gallas and Sagna. He looked too hesitant to make forward passes.

Wenger’s half time talk reaped fruit for Arsenal. The second half was sheer domination for Arsenal. They nearly broke the deadlock with a Diaby header from a corner but the ball went wrong side of the post. Then a header cleared off the line came to Song with his back towards goal. The Cameroon international tried an athletic effort but once again off target. The pressure was mounting but Arsenal failed to convert their opportunities to goals. With 20 minutes remaining I feared this is not our day. Visions of Arsenal vs West Ham came to my mind and this match seemed just like it. Chance after chance but they couldn’t score heading for defeat. Even when Nasri and Bendtner came on, the number of chances increased but the goal was still lacking. Eventually substitute Bendtner got away from two defenders inside the box and was at a very acute angle towards the goal. He picked out the unmarked Arshavin at the far post. The Russian instead of attempting a difficult finish from a tight angle found van Persie right ahead of the goal, he too was unmarked, and he did not make any mistake. Lashed it into the top of the net with a first time effort by his right foot. Finally Hull’s resistance had snapped thanks to some poor defending. After that Hull could not do what they had been doing all match – time wasting. So as they tried to attack, Arsenal’s attacks became more dangerous. The winner came with just around 5 mins to go. Once again a substitute was involved. Nasri’s free kick lofted into the box. Three four players and the keeper went for the ball and eventually it landed to Gallas who was expecting the ball to come to him. A simple header to make it 2-1. Hull were furious as they claimed Gallas was offside and replays suggested they were right. But it seemed Myhill could have had the last touch before the ball fell to Gallas. Because of the number of chances they created Arsenal deserved to win!

Fabianski had a very good match. He was not at fault in the goal and apart from it he was brilliant. Sagna worked his socks off. Equally impressive at defending and attacking but it was his poor clearance that set up Hull’s opening goal. Djourou was poor. Gallas was solid. Gibbs was terrific. Unbelievable performance from the youngster. I was particularly pleased with his crossing apart from defending and runs. He is like a young version of Clichy except that his crosses are much much better. He has a great future ahead of him. Arshavin was exceptional yet again. He can pick out brilliant defence piercing through balls out of nowhere. Amazing. Song was good once again, solid. Diaby was very poor in the first half but better in the second. Walcott was great as expected. Vela and van Persie were poor mostly. Vela had a bad day but he is far more capable than how he played today.

Moving to some controversial issues now. Phil Brown accused Fabregas of spitting at Hull’s assistant manager Brian Horton. What a hopeless accusation. I can’t even imagine Fabregas doing such a vulgar act. What a bad loser Brown is. Just because you have been dumped out of the cup by fat better opposition doesn’t mean you put out baseless accusations. Fabregas has immediately denied it saying he hasn’t done it on the pitch even so why would he do it when he is not even playing. Its odd that Brown is the one making the accusation not the victim himself! It kind of shows someone is just lying. Trying to take his anger out on someone! But it’s not proven yet. I sure hope Cesc didn’t do it.

As for Wenger not shaking hands with the lizard-face, it was Brown who rushed down the tunnel first I think. Even if he hadn’t gone down first he looked disgusted and not in the mood of  a handshake so nothing Wenger could have done really. Bad loser Brown.

Set to make their much awaited returns soon

Set to make their much awaited returns soon

Arsenal’s season is starting to take a u-turn. A few weeks back we were expected to end up without a trophy once again and miss out on the Champions League. Now with a string of impressive performances people are expecting Arsenal to not only finish inside the top 4 but win the FA Cup at least if not the Champions League. The turn of fortunes for Arsenal has mainly been due to the returns of Eduardo and Walcott and the arrival of Arshavin along with other factors. Now with the impending returns of Fabregas and Adebayor things will only get better. According to Arsene Wenger the duo should be back in action at the start of next month. The Arsenal manager expects them to be back after the international break which is on the weekend starting 28th of this month. So if they are make their comebacks when Wenger expects them to then they should be available for the quarter finals of the Champions League, which is bound be a very tough tie against one of Europe’s powerhouses. Wenger said:

“After the international break Cesc should be back. He is very close – Adebayor also. We have missed a lot of players in the offensive area. Last year we lost people in different departments but this year it has been Fabregas, Adebayor, Theo Walcott and Eduardo. Their return will bring us strength.”

Walcott and Eduardo are back and could play a part in the FA Cup match against Burnley. Adebayor should be back for the mid-week trip to Roma and Fabregas and Rosicky are expected to be back before the end of this month.

Greats news! With all of them back in the side, Arsenal are one of the best attacking sides in the Premier League and them coming back should help seal the 4th place too, not to mention making good runs in the FA Cup and Champions League and hopefully winning a trophy. I can’t wait to see Fabregas back. We have missed him big time, especially Adebayor whose goal dried out after Fabregas’s injury!

Wenger and Fabregas

Wenger and Fabregas

Arsene Wenger is confident Arsenal’s midfield maestro Cesc Fabregas will stay at the club much longer than expected.
Fabregas had earlier said he will consider moving from the club whenever Wenger leaves but Wenger is overly confident of a long stay at Arsenal for the current captain. The Arsenal manager said:

“I hope his future will last longer than mine because I think he can still be here in ten years. Cesc should be one of the bases of this club. I think the club should be built around personalities like Cesc and that is why I hope he will still be here. He is 22 years old in 2009 and at 32, he will still play.”

And regarding his own future at the club, he insists he is fully committed to Arsenal:

“I have never allowed anyone to question my commitment to this club, in the good and in the bad times, that has not changed in my mind. They (City] have a very good manager in Mark Hughes. He is doing a good job. They have to keep confidence in him. On my side, I am contracted until 2011 and until 2011 I do not envisage to go anywhere else.”

I have always expected Wenger to stay at Arsenal till at least his contract runs out. He will, I am sure, not leave before 2011. After 2011 it will be down to whether he feels he can continue with the same passion he had a few years back or not. But before 2011, I don’t see him moving anywhere.

Walcott

Walcott

Meanwhile Wenger was excited about the impending return of Theo Walcott. The Frechman said:

“He can be very good for us. It’s very important to see how he will respond with his shoulder and I think he looks to be nearly there. To have him back is great. The difference between training and competition is different. He is very fit but after that you have to get used to tackles and go into the challenges. You have to use your arms and shoulders to resist.”

Good to hear he is nearly there. I sure can’t wait to see him back! We all have missed him a lot. Hope he makes an Eduardo-like return (except for the hamstring injury he suffered soon after !)!

Moving from Arsenal’s main players to Manchester United’s main player, Wenger said:

“Sometimes I feel Manchester United get too much protection and sometimes they don’t get enough and Ronaldo is a specific example of that. Sometimes his arrogance is provocative – and his class as well. But when a player is not protected it’s not right. When there is a bad tackle you have to be punished and get sent off the pitch.”

Aston Villa have given all Gooners some great news! Slumping to defeat against a Manchester City without Robinho and Bellamy. Shaun Wright Phillips, our very own legend Ian Wright’s son, proved to be of immense help to Arsenal’s attempt to make it to the Champions League next season as he won the penalty for the first goal and scored the second to thrash Villa 2-0. The gap is now down to just 3 points which can easily be leapfrogged by a team of Arsenal’s quality with 10 games remaining. Looks like Villa have run out of the luck which had helped them to overtake Arsenal and quite a lot of us Gooners expected it to happen. We could see them getting goals from deflected shots, own goals, penalties and winning by small margins and according to a poll conducted on this site 31% of us think we will finish 4th because Aston Villa are only getting lucky wins and soon their luck will run out. Lets hope these recent results for them aren’t exceptions in their run and that the poor run continues!

fabregas_wenger_280x390_474869a

Fabregas and Wenger will leave Arsenal together!

Moving from good news to bad news now! Fabregas has warned he might well follow Arsene Wenger out of the club whenever the Arsenal manager leaves Arsenal. The young Spaniard said:

“I have heard the rumours about Wenger leaving for the past three years. If Wenger left the club then of course I would consider my own future and whether I would leave the club. I am happy at Arsenal because it’s the ideal club and believe that we and Barcelona play the best football in Europe. But Wenger is a main part of that.”

Actually this doesn’t come as a surprise to me. We all know he is at the club because of Wenger. Wenger has been able to convince him time and again to stay and we all know how much Fabregas loves him and considers him a father figure. I, honestly speaking, expected Fabregas to move on if Wenger leaves whenever that happens and I hope it doesn’t happen anytime in the next few years! Just one of them leaving would be enough of a big blow for Arsenal let alone both of them leaving. I can’t even imagine it! But the thing is at the moment both of them love Arsenal and Wenger isn’t going to leave anytime soon unless he is sacked, though I don’t expect it to happen.

All of them had a great match

All of them had a great match

Almunia – 7 – Didn’t do anything wrong all match and made a decent save too. Apart from that save and a couple of punches from corners he hardly had anything to do.

Sagna – 6.5 – Yet another decent game for Mr. Consistent. But he needs to work on his crosses more.

Djourou – 5 – He was Arsenal’s worst player in the match. Didn’t do well enough in the air and failed to win some tackles. Didn’t look too confident while defending.

Toure – 7 – Superb defending from the captain. Got a vital goal and sent a delightful long ball to assist Bendtner for his second which Fabregas would be proud of!

Clichy – 6 – Not the best of games by his standard. But at least this time he crossed the ball fewer times than against Fulham. He is a hopeless crosser and yet he crosses the ball in again and again. Can someone go and tell him how bad his crosses are because he clearly can’t see it.

Eboue – 6.5 – Surprisingly good performance by the Ivorian. Made good surging runs but as usual he lacked the final ball or the finish. And in the opening minutes the ‘Pass Master’ gave the ball away a few times too! Wenger would have been surprised to see that!

Denilson – 7.5 – Brilliant performance by the youngster. He is improving a lot, especially on his defensive side. He needs to put up such performances week in week out.

Song – 5.5 – Not the best of performances from Song particularly when he was in the centre of the midfield. He was better when playing as the centre half this time.

Nasri – 7 – As usual a superb match from the young Frenchman. He was involved in most of the attacks. The only thing missing was an assist or a goal.

Arshavin – 7.5 – Arshavin was a different class. Amazing. Whenever he is on the ball one feels he will do something special. He forced some superb saves from Carson and had a great assist with that delightful delivery into the box for Toure to head in.

Bendtner – 8 – He had the best match of his Arsenal career! He showed how capable a finisher he is and why Wenger has so much faith in him. Both the goals were world class especially the second one. Unlucky not to get his hattrick. It should have been 8.5 for him had it not been for a couple of bad misses.

Substitutes:

Diaby – 6.5 – Played the 2nd half and played really well. He can take on defenders, he can send forward passes and not just sideways (unlike Song and Denilson!).

Ramsey – 6 – Made one mistake but otherwise he looked sheer quality. You can see the talent in him with his every pass. He can make passes that Denilson and Song, and even Diaby cannot. That pass behind the defender for Arshavin was superb.

Merida – 5.5 – 5.5 only because of the limited time he got. He looked impressive. He has got strength and quality.

Rosicky - Could be back much earlier than expected!

Rosicky - Could be back much earlier than expected!

We all thought Fabregas was going to surprise us with an earlier than expected recovery. But Rosicky! Not a single person on this earth would have expected that!

The Czech international has been out for over a year with a hamstring injury and could be back in just about 3 weeks! Can you believe it! And we had thought we would only be able to see him next season!

As you may have read on Arsenal.com an ecstatic Wenger said:

“Tomas needs three weeks to play in training fully fit. He is still doing special training but in three weeks he will join in with the first team. It will be three weeks to play in the Reserves, touch wood. Rosicky looks very good in training, he looks unbelievably strong. Fabregas looks good, Diaby will come back. Rosicky is three weeks, Cesc four weeks, Theo two weeks.”

This means all of them should be back for the last 6 matches of the Premier League which includes matches against Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United. This season is suddenly taking a u-turn. We all looked down and out with once again nearly no hope of a trophy but suddenly we are on a 12 match unbeaten run, Arshavin is here, Eduardo is back from his long term injury and now Walcott, Fabregas and Rosicky are weeks away from return. I am quite hopeful of finishing inside the top 4 and winning the FA Cup now.

Arsenal vs AS Roma

Arsenal vs AS Roma

AS Roma’s midfielder Julio Baptista claims Arsenal are at a disadvantage coming into their Champions League tie due to their young and inexperienced squad. Baptista, who himself had a loan spell with Arsenal during his time with Real Madrid, claims that Arsenal are the weaker side as their squad is too young. ‘The Beast’ said:

“Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a defect, but when you’re playing at this level, the last 16 of the Champions League, a lack of international experience can give your opponents an advantage.

“Fabregas and Adebayor are two quality players and this is obviously good for Roma.For Arsenal they will be two big losses, even if Eduardo has returned. He has come back in great form and we will need to watch out for him.”

No comments! He will be proven wrong in a few weeks time! Arsenal would rather do their talking on the pitch than like Roma players who have been concentrating more on making comments about Arsenal! De Rossi had earlier quite straightforwardly said that Roma are clearly the better side among the two.

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