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Arsenal started the season as well as any fan would have hoped for. But it hasn’t lasted. It’s turning into another season of disappointment. They have only managed to win 3 from their last 8 games; clearly not the sort of form that can win you trophies. Now Arsenal lag way behind the top 2 who seem to be battling for the League title and out of the Carling. A lot of the frustration Arsenal fans are enduring can be attributed to the Gunners’ below par away record so far this season. The record so far is as follows:

Wins – 6

Defeats – 5

Draws – 3

That’s not good enough. Period. Arsenal have refused to turn up in a lot of these games. The last three defeats have been pathetic performances. The draw at Burnley was the nth time Arsenal were complacent. They took the lead at United, then gave it away. They took the lead at West Ham, then gave it away. Same at Alkmaar, at Burnley. Yet after each one of those occasions they say they’ve learned the lesson now. But no, they haven’t. Time and again they have given points away needlessly. One week they make you feel yes, the Arsenal that can win the League is here. And then next week you see depressing performances like the one on Wednesday night.

Ok, Arsenal are still in the title race but how many of you honestly think they can win it? And I mean honestly. Deep down most of you know it’s not possible, not with the players we have available at the moment. Buy more quality in January and maybe, just maybe, we will have a chance. Lets face it, with Almunia in goal we are not going to many keep clean sheets! So what we need to do is outscore our opponents. To do that we need quality finishers. Right now only Fabregas and Arshavin seem like getting the goals. Walcott is hopeless. He’s got pace, that’s  it. Can’t pass, can’t shoot, can’t cross, can’t dribble! Bendtner and van Persie are out. Vela and Eduardo only seem to score for their countries and not Arsenal. Vela looks like he can only score from chips. Eduardo’s finishing has gone to sleep. We need quality and we need it quick! Arsene Wenger admits it and he’s got to open his chequebook. I think even a cup tied player will do because it’s clear we stand more chance of winning the Premier League than the Champions League. Especially since Wenger has so much faith in his current squad just let them continue their run in Europe and buy someone world class to re-start our Premier League title challenge. I don’t usually do negative articles and I haven’t been writing for quite some time but I felt I have to get my feelings out. For now let hope for the best. We’re not out of the title race mathematically so we can win it. Just need better, more aggressive and fighting performances from the players not the uninterested performances that we have seen too many of already.

*This article was supposed to be on Arsenal’s away form but I guess I took out far more frustration than just that!

Walcott_Theo1Young Englishman Theo Walcott thinks it’s about time Arsenal start playing dirty to win some trophies.

Arsenal, renowned for their beautiful football, have not been able to win a single trophy since the FA Cup in 2005 and many critics have pointed to their style of football as one of the reasons for it. Now Walcott also shares the same opinion as them and feels they will have to play dirty now and grind out wins from difficult situations to help win some trophies:

“It’s a big season for me and the rest of the team.

“The fans have been very patient for the last few years when there have not been many trophies.

“We’re not quite there yet. We need to be more cutting in the last third and a bit more dirty.

“Instead of just playing brilliant football, sometimes we need to grind out a result. We will do that. 

“We need to reflect and learn from our mistakes from last year.”

wilshere goalWalcott is the player who surprisingly made it to England’s World Cup squad in 2006 at a very young age and he had not even played a single game for Arsenal at that time. Now fellow Englishman, Arsenal’s 17 year old Jack Wilshere could soon be following in his footsteps and make it to the squad for the 2010 World Cup. However it all depends on whether he gets to play enough matches for Arsenal and impresses in them according to England manager Fabio Capello:

“In nine months’ time we will decide whether Wilshere will go to South Africa.

“A lot depends on whether Arsene Wenger plays him at Arsenal. He surprised me at the Emirates Cup. I saw him twice last season and he has improved a lot.

“He has a big personality, he scores goals, he plays without fear and he has big confidence.

“His team-mates always pass the ball to him. That is not normal for a player so young.”

It is England, and now that Wilshere has impressed so much already, the fans have extremely high hopes from him. Lets hope he lives up to those expectations. So far he has shown that he is not a player who can succumb to pressure so that is a vital quality of his which can help him survive in the world of football despite the huge expectations.

Some Arsenal players tried a new game at the Arsenal’s Member’s Day. 3 on 3 football tennis! Fabregas, Merida and Song teamed up against Walcott, Denilson and Wilshere.

IN5574558WREXHAM-UNI_44461tTheo Walcott was selected by Stuard Pearce for England U-21s for their European Championships despite insistence from Arsene Wenger to give him a rest. The U-21s manager now explains his decision and predicts a bright future for the young Englishman despite an average tournament.

“There was some contention over Theo’s inclusion but I think the experience will help him in South Africa without a doubt. Hopefully he can now walk out in South Africa in a year’s time with this experience.

“He’ll know what it’s like to take a penalty in a penalty shoot-out, he knows what it’s like to play in sudden-death matches and in a major final.

“Theo knows what its like to be involved in tournament football now. He has been to the World Cup with the seniors but he never actually played.

“It’s important that he didn’t get caught in noman’s land in international football where he didn’t get any experience.

“I would be very excited about Theo. The future is very rosy for him.”

England U-21s play their Swedish counterparts tonight. Arsenal winger Theo Walcott will surely be a man to watch out for but Swede defender Martin Olsson feels otherwise. According to Olsson there is nothing about Walcott apart from his pace:

He is extremely fast but not as good as everyone says. “Against Finland, he had almost no chances and wasn’t that much of a factor. There’s no Adebayor who can help him. The other players are young too and they also make mistakes.”

I guess he has only seen Walcott in this one match against Finland that’s it. And I don’t get what does he mean there’s no Adebayor to help him :s

Arsenal paid the price for poor finishing and will now have to face a tough European team to qualify for the Champions League. Not only that but Arsenal’s only remaining goal for the season ended today as well i.e finishing third.

Arsenal_vs_Chelsea

The starting line-up was a big surprise as Fabianski started ahead of Almunia. Adebayor could only make it to the bench after his two non-appearances against Manchester United. Arshavin did not feature at all due to flu.

The game started in high tempo for Arsenal. Quick passing slick movement left Chelsea helpless. Walcott was sizzling and had nearly put Arsenal in the lead inside the first five minutes only for him to shoot high and wide of Petr Cech’s goal.

The Walcott had another attempt on goal but the angle was too tight to beat Cech and then another chance wasted as the youngster shot high. Walcott then turned the provider but his decent cut back was wasted by Abou Diaby. It was coming to Fabregas on his right foot but Diaby took it away from him.

Then a typical Arsenal move nearly sent Fabregas one on one with the keeper but the alert Cech came rushing to end the attack.

Then Diaby made an impressive run down the left flank and picked out the unmarked Walcott just outside the box. But it just wasn’t the Englishman’s day, or Arsenal’s day even. His first time shot went wide of the post.

Then finally Chelsea got their first chance but Malouda’s shot was blocked by Gibbs.

Next chance fell to Song but he too failed to hit the target. It seemed it just wasn’t Arsenal’s day and it was proven in the next minute.

Drogba dived and won a free kick. His delivery into the box was headed into the top corner with Fabianski unmoved.

After that goal Chelsea started dominating and they did not make the mistake that Arsenal did. Missing chances. So with their next chance Anelka fired them into a 2-0 lead with a stunner. Credit to the former Gunner for not celebrating.

Minutes into the second half Fabianski came off his line. Toure didn’t spot him and tried to block the cross and did not make proper contact which sent the ball into the back of the net. For the 2nd time in less than a week we were 3-0 down at the Emirates.

20 minutes later Bendtner headed in Arsenal’s first but had Toure not scored, maybe Arsenal would have had a chance at this stage.

Arsenal did try to get something from the game. The goal brought renewed confidence but the slight chances that remained were dashed by Florent Malouda who scored in the 86th minute, though he seemed offside. That wrapped up an unlucky day for the Gunners ending a 21 match unbeaten League run.

Arsene Wenger said judge me at the end of the season and here it, nearly the end of the season. What is your opinion of Arsene this season?

Is Bendtner worth this confidence that Wenger has in him?

Is Bendtner worth this confidence that Wenger has in him?

Arsene Wenger continues his stubborn attitude citing Abou Diaby and Nicklas Bendtner as reasons why he shouldn’t spend this summer.

“The priority is to stay with the squad we have. What am I supposed to do, kick out a quality young player like Walcott, Fabregas, Diaby or Bendtner who is already in his national team?”

Arsene, are you in your senses?! Diaby and Bendtner aren’t going to win you any trophies. They are only good enough to play in a mid table club. This is Arsenal we are talking about. Kick them out. We would all love it. He is right about Fabregas and Walcott, but Diaby and Bendnter! He has got to be kidding!

But the Arsenal manager also managed to make some comments that did make sense:

“I’m not chasing any player, I believe my priority is to stay with the squad we have. It is not all down to spending, it is down to sticking to a policy. Chelsea have spent magic money but still have not won the European Cup.

“We were in the last four in Europe and have not lost a game since November in the League. When you lose everybody gets hammered but to get where we were you need some quality. We have lost against a team who’s better than us. Nothing to be ashamed of, they are the best team in the world.

“We can go further. You cannot imagine that we work as we did with young players and give them a chance, then let them go.”

He has got that right. It is a big achievement to be among the best four teams of Europe with a squad as young as this. Whose midfield this season mostly didn’t have anyone older than 22 (Excluding Eboue, he is not worth mentioning!).

But the thing is we don’t want semi finals. We want silverware. The players want silverware. And we are not going to get that with this squad. Arsene, you’ve got to wake up.

Walcott brings smiles to Arsenal fans after a dissapointing season

Walcott brings smiles to Arsenal fans after a disappointing season

Yes it’s official now. Theo Walcott has signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal.

The young Englishman’s new contract had been under discussion for quite some time but the finalizing of the deal took longer than expected because Arsenal were concentrating solely on their trophy ambitions.

A delighted Arsene Wenger spoke after successfully commiting Walcott’s long-term future to Arsenal:

“We are absolutely delighted that Theo has committed his long term future to Arsenal Football Club. Theo is an intelligent player with amazing ability and speed, and has developed extremely well this season. At still only 20 years of age, Theo has huge potential for the forthcoming years and we are all looking forward to see him grow even more in an Arsenal shirt.”

The youngster was a happy man too:

“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed a new long term contract. I’m so happy here and just want to say thanks to everyone who has helped me get to this point in my career. Together with the belief of my team mates, the boss and everyone on the staff, everyone has got behind me here at Arsenal which is brilliant.

“It’s fantastic to work with the best manager in the world and play at Emirates Stadium, which is an unbelievable place to play in. I just want to continue playing my football at this Club and look forward to many successful seasons ahead.”

Great news there. It’s good to see he wants to fulfill his title ambitions at Arsenal, the club which has the “best manager in the world”! Best of luck to Theo for the coming seasons.

Lets hope van Persie follows.

Arsenal avoided a thrashing thanks to the heroic Almunia but their dreams of winning a trophy this season seem to be over.

Needs to think hard before the next leg. Why not go for two up front? Dudu is good enough

Needs to think hard before the next leg. Why not go for two up front? Dudu is good enough

A 1-0 defeat doesn’t seem to be a bad result, especially considering it could easily have been a 3 or 4 nil defeat. But the problem is it’s hard to expect such a strong attacking side like Manchester United not to score against a defence with Silvestre in the centre.

And if United get just one goal, then against the likes of Vidic, Ferdinand and van der Sar, it’s also hard to expect Arsenal to score 3 goals.

Ok we haven’t conceded yet at the Emirates for 8 consecutive league games but did Torres play in one of those games? No. Drogba? No. Rooney, Ronaldo? No. So it’s not too special a run. What would be special is to extend it for one more match and score 2 with it!

I have had to listen to a lot of taunts of United and Chelsea fans lately that Arsenal are just good enough for matches against small teams. I have to remind them of our wins at San Siro, Stamford Bridge and against Manchester United only to be replied what about big matches against big teams? Lost to Liverpool in the quarter final last year, Chelsea in a final this year and now to Manchester United in a semi final. So do the nerves get to this too young a side. Possibly.

The way we started the match, especially the first half hour it seemed like Manchester United was playing against West Brom. Attack after attack. The goal was very very poor defending. Who was doing the marking. Who was supposed to be at the far post. It was a disgrace really.

As the game went on Arsenal did get into the game but how many shots on target did they have all match?! I think just one.

What did Fabregas do all match. One good through ball and a weak shot on target and that’s it. But at least he did that. Others didn’t even manage to do that little something. Walcott is so good at taking defenders on but those defenders are of Middlesbough etc. Why was he so silent against Evra. Play like that in the next leg and say goodbye to the trophy chances for yet another season.

The only positives from the game were Sagna, Gibbs and Almunia. Sagna’s defending is awesome but the problem is his crossing. Gibbs is top top quality. I don’t think Ronaldo and Rooney managed to get past him even once! And his crossing, making runs forward are all good. Future England left back! Almunia showed he will be England’s next number 1! His reflexes, strong hands, decision making; all perfect.

Because of them, especially Almunia, we are still somehow in this tie; however bleak the chances may be. It is an uphill task now. But Wenger is confident his team can do it, the players must be confident as well. So lets just hope for the best.

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Almunia – 7 – He showed today how much we missed him. Despite being out for some time, he did not let it show. A very solid performance and that save to deny Aliadiere was just world class. It’s great to have him back for the semi final against Manchester United.

Eboue – 7 – Good enough. It was a good decision of Arsene to play Eboue at right back ahead of Sagna as the latter was very poor in the mid-week. His passing was good and he had a wonderful assist as well (No wonder why Wenger called him ‘Pass Master’!). But he was looking too eager to go forward which can leave a gap at the back.

Toure and Silvestre – 7 – Hardly had anything to do but when they did they did not put a foot wrong.

Gibbs – 7.5 – Yet another superb performance. The youngster is impressing everyone with surprisingly good performances. He knows when to go forward, making aggressive runs; links up quite well with Arshavin and hardly lets anyone past him when defending.

Nasri – 6.5 – He can put in decent tackles like he showed today but I prefer an attacking role for him. He did give away the ball a few times today. But still not a bad performance.

Denilson – 6.5 – Short passes all match but it’s good because he doesn’t have enough quality for through balls and long passes that the likes of Fabregas, Arshavin and Nasri do. But he was the holding midfielder and did his job well enough today. Still I feel Song is better.

Arshavin – 8 – Pure class. To come to the Premier League, then put up such world class performances in every single match is just amazing. Hats off to the lad.

Fabregas – 8.5 – He is just too good. His range of passing, vision and he even showed some cool finishing today. Amazing.

Walcott – 6.5 – He is always a constant threat to the opposition but sometimes his decision making lets him down. Passing the ball when he should be taking the defender on or the other way around . Also his first touch is quite poor at times and he needs to improve his crossing. No one is going to head crosses that come at 100 miles an hour. But he has immense talent no doubt about that so he will learn. His ability to take on defenders is a big big asset.

Bendtner – 7 – He worked really hard today. But he is a forward so he should play where the forward is supposed to be and not shift to the wing too often. Still it was one of the better performances from the young Dane.

Substitutes:

Djourou – 7 – He was good enough. Maybe because he hardly had anything to do! I would prefer him over Silvestre anytime, especially on Wednesday against Manchester United.

Diaby – 6.5 – Got a little time but he was quite intent on going forward an troubling the Boro defence. I know most wont agree but I rate him higher than Denilson.

Adebayor – 5 – Looked very rusty after returning from some time out due to injury. Couldn’t threaten the defence or keeper and wasted a good opportunity because of a poor touch.