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.