Friday, October 21, 2011

Ramsey rams it late

Sorry for the delay on how the game went. My friends and I had tickets to the last NY Red Bulls game of the season against Philadelphia last night. To keep it short, the game was amazing and they clinched the last spot in the playoffs. New Jersey however, is a hell of a maze to get through after a night of shouting and drinking.

Now to The Arsenal!...

Quite an ugly victory to say the least. From a historical point of view, a 90+ minute goal to win 1-0 was never in Arsenal's resume. It was kind of frightening to watch at times, but if are an avid arsenal fan as myself, you wouldve seen some positives such as:

Mertesacker/Koscielny partnership

"Offense sells tickets, Defense wins championships," is the quote to go along with this paragraph. Defending for any team requires a number of techniques. Understanding your partner is a huge part of those techniques. Per and Laurent just might be the strong center halves we've been missing. They both seem to have a genuine love for tackling and challenging for aerial balls. I'm not just defending these guys because they simply play for Arsenal; you can tell these two have a commanding presence when played next to each other. 


The major part of the defense block is the goalkeeper. Not only is SZCZ strong between the posts, he's also showing signs of a future leader. After Ramsey's goal with only 5 minutes remaining, he still ran the length of the field to tell everyone to keep their head, and to focus until the end. He, out of all the players, knows how we sometimes hit the self-destruct button in a matter of seconds. He knows this because he's always on the end of it. Either way, it is starting to look like the triangle of Mertesacker, Koscielny, and SZCZ are on trustworthy terms with each other. 


The boy who notched the winner. He has 2 goals and 3 assists so far this season. It's safe to say you saw the impact of the change Wenger made. Ramsey took off Arshavin, which meant Rosicky would be pushed to the wing. He's a fine player, but he doesn't have the jolt behind him like he used to to make bolting runs in the final third of the field. Wenger knew this and made a great sub. With Ramsey getting forward, Van Persie wouldn't be so isolated like he was for most of the game. 
This is such a plus for Arsenal because we're starting to see Ramsey in a more forward roll in the midfield, with Arteta and Song dropping and playing behind him. It seems that Wenger has plans to fill that hole that was missing when Fabregas left...More on that next post!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Arsenal v Marseille PREGAME

Not much to say. It's a battle of french wits. Wenger vs. Deschamps. The captains battle, Van Persie vs. Mandanda. The stadium looks electrified. It's time for the beautiful game to kick off!

Tune in to FOX SOCCER CHANNEL (142 for cable) (406 for satellite)

Monday, October 17, 2011

MASSIVE 3 points

I just watched the highlights of Arsenal v Sunderland about 16 times. Never have I had that much ambition to sit on my ass and watch youtube videos before. This was a huge 2-1 victory for us. We jumped to the top half of the premier league, which I have to say didn't look right without Arsenal FC's name up there. It was almost a bad joke that we were 15th place before the game.
For the first 30 minutes, we looked like a team of championship quality. Within the first 30 SECONDS, Tomas Rosicky played a beautiful weighted aerial pass to Gervinho, who controlled it and paced forward until he squared it off at the 18-yard box for club captain Van Persie....aaaand then the fat lady sang. It was a beautiful shot to the low right post and the Sunderland keeper had no chance. That brings VP's tally to 6 goals so far this season. In other statistics, it was the fastest goal scored this season so far, and it sure will be a tough one to beat.

However, as every footy fan knows, a 1-0 scoreline always comes with some jitters. Sunderland's Sebastian Larsson equalized with a dead ball free kick and left SZCZ with no chance. It was quite impressive for anyones standards.

One of my favorite things about this game was seeing Arshavin wiggle his way through 3 defenders in close proximity and almost score a hell of a would've been truly a sublime strike. That quick footwork is something I value as a player, and it is part of my own personal playing style. The crazy part is it looked like it came out of nowhere. All of a sudden Arshy turns on his jets and literally dances through 6 lanky legs.

Anway, we reached the 83rd minute at 1-1, until a free kick opportunity called Van Persie into action once again, and HOLY SHIT DID HE DELIVER. Upper 90 shot at the right post, there's no doubt in his captaincy after that performance.

Watch the highlights, with great critique and commentary here

Friday, October 14, 2011


Another post about the U.S. National team. Sorry you readers from foreign countries, but you're gonna have to put up with it from time to time. We lost by a score of 1-0 to ecuador. Early on, I had some panic attacks when Steve Cherundolo was having a hard time keeping up with the speed of the attacking line of the south americans. The goal came from a very good delivery from a cross to about the 6-yard box. Tim Ream fell asleep for a split second and let Jaime Ayovi slip in front of him, and he headed the ball with ease to the low right post.
Heres the rest of the highlights..

Not too upset about the result though, and for those who watched the game, you might have a slight idea why. Onyewu is back and looking sharp as hell.

This was his first full 90 minute game in over a year. You would think he would be pretty staggered from an injury that has severely haunted him for the past two years, yet he was completely unhampered. I think he won about 90% of his aerial battles, and cleared ball after ball with precision. Tim Ream, as much as I love the guy, might have a challenge for center back since Gooch looks to become a staple in the back line once again.
In my opinion, his form has a lot to do with his club. He already has 4 appearance for Sporting Clube de Portugal since he joined in June. He's playing regularly and is very consistent in his performances...think he might even have a goal tallied up. Either way he wasn't seeing this type of playing time at standard liege, his former club. If players get no practice and no opportunities to show their skill and maturity, they won't grow as players. Lucky for the U.S., Onyewu is happy where he is in his career.

"I'm just happy right now." I'm in a good place. I feel confident, and a lot of my past injuries are behind me, so I think I can focus more on progressing and going forward from here."
- the Gooch

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

USA taking on Ecuador

A few hours until the U.S. take on Ecuador at RedBull Arena in New Jersey. I'm hopefully making my way down within the hour, since it is the only stadium within my area that hosts these types of games. For some reason I am really anticipating this friendly matchup. I'm very anxious to see how Klinsmann's system he's trying implement is going to show through tonight. It should provide U.S. followers with a sense of what our future holds. Ecuador is no easy team to walk over. They are on the rise in south america as a major team, and have outscored their opponents in their last two friendlies 9-2. Should be a great game.
Our defense will be tested tremendously tonight. Ecuador have many options to choose from and can combine many players, and it's always deadly. Tim Howard, the US goalkeeper, says, "They like to keep it wide open, play with four attackers, obviously their two target men but also their wingers stay high." This calls for a big game from Ream, Cherundolo, and Bocanegra. I'm hoping to see Onyewu over Spector as the fourth. We need another brute force to shut down the speedy ecuador attack.
For the overall lineup, I'm hoping it looks like this:


      Cherundolo                      Onyewu                             Ream                     Bocanegra


                               Edu                             Beckerman                      Shea

                                             Altidore                                 Dempsey

Bradley is a great distributor and holder of the ball. The attack starting from the back is the best strategy for tonight in my opinion, and Mikey is the best suitor to take on that role. I have faith in the back four, especially Tim Ream. He'll be playing in front of his home fans from the RedBulls, so he'll definitely step up.
Also hoping to see Danny Williams, a German-born defensive middy to get some playing time.
Anyways, I'm hoping to see the cohesion between this group of guys, see how they build up and work off the ball. The only way we're going to find out how good certain players are is by their work ethic on and off the ball....
We'll see what happens.



Monday, October 10, 2011

Small Talk, Big News

It was a busy weekend for the national teams. I would say it was pretty standard stuff, no surprise losses, no underdog stories. Italy of course drew 1-1. I don't think they are capable of any other score at this
point. Quick tip for making money:
Bet $100 that italy will never score over 2 goals.

Check out all other scores and lots of more info here:

Not alot going on with Arsenal, besides the news that FC Anzhi Makhachkala is having ambitious dreams of signing our club captain Van Persie. They are looking to embark on a pretty big recruitment drive by looking at Neymar, Anelka, and Gerrard and Lampard as well. Clearly the Manchester City of Russia right there. Money can't buy a team. Money doesn't make players blend together like a family and play well together. For an Arsenal fan point of view, I don't think we should worry. VP hasn't agreed to a new contract just yet, so all we have to do is sit and wait until 2 years is up and see how things go.

Just a heads up for everyone: on long stretches like this past week where there's nothing going on, I'm probably going to put posts up of other soccer news, most likely relating to the US Mens or NY Redbulls, so keep checking in!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Looong Wait

Well, we have awhile until the prem gets going again, with the international break and all. Let us cross our fingers that none of the players from any club pick up injuries. I have a true hatred toward sir alex turgason and man united, and same with barca. But when i see ANY player see what he loves to do the most taken away from him, it brings about a very negative feeling.
Anyways, since I can't talk about matches, I thought it would be appropriate to take up a post and show some appreciation  to the club; from the home kit to the fans.
The classic kit and new crest marks the 125th anniversary of their creation.

It almost seems timeless when you look at it, and of course the red shirt and white sleeves is very classic.
It brings with it a sense of class. Any person will bitch and moan about their team and pick out flaws whenever a loss happens, but I've yet to see a true gooner act this way. We keep our heads held high during dark days. You get the feeling it wouldn't be weird for two strangers to become great friends with The Arsenal being the only thing they have in common.

if anyone has clever nicknames or chants for each player, please share! I love a good laugh. Some from my own brain have been:
Lets talk about Cesc baby
Throbbin (heart) Van Persie
Mikel Smarteta
Thomas Vermaelen the Verminator get the idea

Also, whether you're new to watching soccer, or are just looking for some info on a piece of soccer history that has yet to be matched in the english game, check out ,and proceed to try and calm your boner after watching (you can't!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

For anyone interested in the greatest football club in england, even though most of you probably know the deal already, check it out for all the insights and injuries.
I also strongly suggest getting a membership. the videos alone are worth it! 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Arsenal v Olympiacos - The Champions League

Injuries for today :

4 center backs....Awesome. Looking at this list just solidifies Wengers decision to go for Per. I'm guessing Alex Song is going to be the one to step back next to the german and hold the fort down, which means we'll probably see Frimpong or Rosicky. Personally, I'm hoping for the latter. More mature, better strength, good awareness..even though I still have a beef with him when he scored that thriller against the U.S. in 2006.

Injuries aside, it shouldn't cause much of a problem. It's a home game, against a team whom we have had a decent record. If for some reason the result doesn't favor us tonight, we can't use the excuse that we didn't have the players necessary.
Look at Man United. Their list of hurt players is longer than ours at the moment. yet, it doesn't look like they are slowing down with their form. It's a test of quality and heart to see if the players you have can cope with the hard work ahead of them.

Anyways, a win tonight would go a long way into strengthening the consistency that we have seen a little spark of after Bolton.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Arsenal v Dortmund Pre-Game

Arsenal now has a big distraction to overcome starting this week. Our champions league campaign starts tomorrow night with Borussia Dortmund, with our new boy Mertesacker already saying we shouldn't underestimate the quality of the german side.

“It will be difficult for us but I know we have very good players and I’m confident we can get a result.” 

Per said it very clearly. It might prove to be our hardest champions league opening match in awhile, with the team still trying to get into its stride. Per has had around 8 years of experience with German football, with just coming from Werder Bremen and Hannover before that. Wenger has already taken that into consideration, saying, 

"He knows the Dortmund stadium well and knows German football. He talks and communicates with the team and when a German communicates, you listen."  

One thing we certainly have to worry about it the suspension of Wenger for tomorrow night. I don't know much about Pat Rice, but I'm not too worried. He seems to share Arsene's enthusiasm for the club. We beat Dortmund back in the 2002-03 campaign in the group stages, but by a very small margin. Also, we had Henry in his prime back then. If we want to pull through, Rice is going to have to make the right decisions without the helpful ear of Wenger to avoid any further bans for the main man. Thankfully Arsene will be able to lend them words of wisdom at the half in case things are looking sour. 

I feel the need to talk about our man between the posts. He needs to shine once again and keep his house clean of German balls. Even with our defense being shaky at times, the SZCZ has had 3 shutouts in twice as many games. With the last couple seasons we've had, I started to think that a confident goalkeeper was taboo for Arsenal. Anyone who has seen this young guy come into his own will agree that he'll hopefully fill his position completely with the class he seems to have within him, just like the likes of Seaman and Lehmann before him.

Good luck Gooners!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Arsenal v Swansea - First Post!

A fresh start to a blog for me, which in reality is what Arsenal needed, and exactly what they got today. It was still a freaky blend of some inexperience and pure class on some parts. The main thing I'm taking away from this is that we can't use Swansea as a benchmark, I'm not going to carry around a sense of confidence just yet. We somehow still looked shaky as hell, with Danny Graham coming close to making me punch this computer screen in the 92nd. The reason we came away with 3 points today was because of a simple error on the other end of the pitch. The Swansea keeper had a forrest gump moment when he looked to try and kill a bug on the back of his defenders heel by tossing the ball at it. Arshavin pounced quickly and the cheers started. Sinclair caused us some problems, but thankfully Gibbs is a speedy little devil himself. It was a good move on Wenger's part to start him over over Santos. He's probably not match fit, especially coming from Turkey, where their diet consists of goat eyes and kebabs that will put your stomach in a coma.

For the first time in awhile, it seemed we had a keeper that was better than our opposition. With that brilliant outstretched save he gathered up, and the little Cruyff move he pulled on a striker, you have to say Szczesny is showing signs of confidence for a 21 year old that you probably won't find in anybody else. 

Our new signings played brilliantly in my opinion, especially since they had very little time to get used to the team because of the friendlies going on. Mertesacker was an animal, and I'm sure alot of arse fans out there will agree that he may be the missing link in the back four. Arteta and Ramsey blended well in the midfield, and definitely provided a sense of composure with that clown Frimpong playing alongside him. The spaniard kept things under control, got back when he needed to, and showed his understanding of the english game.

We are playing in the best league in the world, and 3 points is 3 points. Still, there is worry to be felt until next week, and even against Dortmund who are a world class german team. I watched the other games on livestreams, and you feel a bit discouraged when you see these other teams playing with alot more zest and fluidity than we showed today. We have to be more deadly and Wenger needs to light a bigger fire under their shorts, which bring me to my small final point. V.P....can't stress this guy enough. He manipulates space so well when you give it to him. He's still the best player we have, and the best example of the kind of input we need in terms of talent and class. Safe to say that every time he touches the ball in the final third I get wood.

Congrats to Arsenal on the win. We were the laughing stock for a bit after the United game, but that title has rightfully gone back to Liverpool after today.