Sunday, 30 January 2011
Bit of a flat performance in the cup but we made it through and were in that hat for the fifth round and got a decent draw.
Today, we were a bit below par but in a cup knock out game, you just need to get through and we did it. We got a defender back but have now lost him for three games so we are back to what we had in the last few games.
We saw Diaby return and even if he did not have his best game ever, I do think he will have his part to play this season and I really hope he stays fit because later in the season, players like Wilshere may need a rest and Diaby will have to come in.
Sammy Nasri started the game and the boss said the plan was to start Rosicky however, he was not fit enough so he went for Nasri. I also thought, with a knock out game, he did not want a repeat of Ipswich first leg or Leeds at home to happen again so he went for Nasri. It was a gamble, but it did not pay off. Will he make Barcelona? Probably not but we can pray and hope!
Who would anyone reading this play for Nasri in the league games and the tie with Barcelona.
Arshavin returning to his left side of midfield position?
Rosicky playing out wide?
Diaby playing on the left as he has in the past?
Put Theo on the left and play Bendtner on the right?
Or anything Ive missed out?
It is a massive blow to lose Sammy Nasri at such an important time. With tough looking games at Newcastle or at home to Everton and Barcelona, he will be missed.
A mention for Cesc Fabregas, how good is he? He may not be the vocal Tony Adams leader however, he certainly leads by example. He came on and ran the game and was superb. He can control the tempo of the game and can fashion chances for himself and his team mates. He really is a special talent and i hope he stays here for as long as possible because truly, he can win this club many trophies.
Everton come to the Emirates on Tuesday night and that is another big night for us. Robin had a rest today along with Theo and Jack so bar Nasri, we should return to the 'league' team.
Everton have been quite inconsistent this season but we know what they are all about and we got a good victory at Goodison Park and need to follow that up with the double.
Roll on Tuesday night! Come on You Arsenal!
Friday, 28 January 2011
Great week or so, a win at Leeds, a hat trick By Robin Van Persie then winning a Semi final to confirm our place at Wembley in the Carling Cup final.
Even if at half time we were not so sure! The tension around the concourse was something unique and the way the Bendtner’s goal was celebrated sounded more like relief then celebration! What a goal it was though, great ball from Jack, Superb first touch, classy turn and fantastic finish. After that, we felt calmer and knew the goals would come.
Arshavin is another strange one. He has admitted his confidence has been low recently and he finds it hard to make the right decision when on the ball. Despite all that, he got two assists and even won the corner for the second goal. That may not be enough for some people and even Andrey himself, but his two assists need to be taken into account. I am no expert, I do not know what will happen to Arshavin (if he will stay or go at the end of the season) but when he plays, all we can do is support him. His situation certainly is a strange one but in a season where we are fighting on four fronts, we need all our players playing well.
So the first trophy of the season is nearly at a conclusion and we are in the final. Win this and that’s one down and a possible three to go!
The gut reaction after Birmingham’s victory over West Ham was we can win the final for Eduardo. Eduardo will be a player that is always close to my heart and I am sure most Arsenal supporters feel the same. Winning the game is important for many reasons. We need to win the game for ourselves firstly but the Eduardo stuff does come into it. We do want to win this game and dedicate some part of it to Eduardo. He will always be the player that could have been in my eyes.
I also learned that Theo Walcott is not good at games like Football Manager. I recently finished a season where Theo scored a double in the Champions League final and I was lucky enough to tell him that after the Ipswich game. I also reminded him that he already has a goal for Arsenal at Wembley and has a chance of getting another and he just smiled, he is just too modest!
Finally and thankfully Bacary Sagna is okay after the clash of heads, he went to hospital and has returned home which is fantastic news and for me, he is a huge part of our team and we need him playing for the rest of the season.
Time for the cup now and I expect many changes but think it is important to win and keep going. The momentum is with us and we must keep it going. Perhaps even our defensive record and recent clean sheets have gone un-noticed but that may be because people rather talk about Grey and Keys! (There was such great football this week yet all I saw on the news channels were about Grey and Keys!)
Roll on Sunday and lets get into the hat for the 5th round! Come on you Arsenal!
Monday, 24 January 2011
So here we are, one game away from a final which can see the end of all this 'five years without a trophy rubbish'!
When i visited Old Trafford earlier this season for the Arsenal game, I spoke to a gentlemen (a Man Utd fan) who told me not to let anyone tell me the Carling Cup is 'only' the Carling Cup. He reminded me that Manchester United won it last year and this year are going for the title and off course Jose's Chelsea first trophy was the Carling Cup.
So, if any of you Arsenal fans get people telling you its 'only' the Carling Cup then there is no need to get to angry or annoyed. This could only enhance the fight for the Premiership title too . I do think the Carling Cup and Premiership could be linked this season. If we win the Carling Cup, the players can only believe in themselves further and this could end up with the Premiership title at the Emirates at the end of the season.
I am not sure if it is just me but i can see a slight difference in the team and the belief seems to be stronger. Beating Chelsea and seeing Man City come and park the bus has certainly increased the belief and the victories against Birmingham, West ham and Wigan have increased it further.
Losing against Ipswich is NOT an option. We must win and we must go to Wembley in Mid Feb.
Come on you Arsenal! lets do this!!
Sunday, 16 January 2011
With all the madness going on at Upton Park, many of us thought that they may just have one of those days and play out of their skins. Sadly for them, it did not happen but for us, we got the three points, we scored three goals and got a clean sheet! What more can we ask for?
We also saw Robin Van Persie look as sharp as he has looked in a while! Cesc looks better every game he plays and Theo also had a very good game. Jack Wilshere was superb and him along with Cesc and Alex Song were practically untouchable in the midfield. Sammy Nasri got involved in most things and kept his good form up too.
My Theory about being more up for the League games proved there could be some truth in that too!
It was a good day in the office but its just one game. Attention turns to Leeds in the FA CUP now. This should have been a week off but us being the Arsenal, made things slightly more complicated then it had to be! Regardless, as long as we win the game, we are in a good position.
For me, its vital we have a good run in the FA CUP. With Barcelona coming in the Champions League, having the FA CUP in our lives just helps as it may even take some pressure away from the Barcelona tie. The more chances of silverware we have, the better. Winning at Leeds for me is a must, I will be a very disappointed man if we go out the cup.
The FA CUP is special and needs to be respected and i think the FA CUP could be an important part of our season. Winning the FA CUP would mean a good season and I hope we are up for it as we are in league games.
Cant wait for Wednesday! Come on you Arsenal!
Friday, 14 January 2011
Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts, had a lot on the last week or so. Been covering some of the Masters Snooker for another site too live from Wembley, which has been good, but not quite the Arsenal though!
I am going to avoid talking too much about the cup games but i do have a theory. The desire in the cup games has not matched the desire in the league games. The team that played against Leeds and Ipswich were more then good enough to win but just did not turn up with the sort of performance we expect.
The players that played in the two games are mostly first team squad members but not first choice players; so you would expect these players to want to take their chance to push to get into the first choice 11. That just didn't happen.
Sometimes, I feel that the players have a mind set that they know they have another game to make up for the result before. So for example, when we went to Shakhtar, we knew we had the Braga game after even though then we managed to mess up both and the next thing you know, we are playing Barcelona! The same happened in the Leeds game, we knew we had the back up of a replay and therefore did not win the original tie. With Ipswich it was the same, we knew we had the second home leg to make up for the first leg.
I am not sure if this is a mental issue or what. I really cannot explain why we looked so flat in the past two games.
The theory is most probably total rubbish but I do think we will see the real Arsenal in most league games. We have had some wake up calls earlier in the season and we know we are not in a position to drop points with Man Utd clear at the top of the league.
West ham have been struggling this season but their last five or six games have not been too bad, take away their 5-0 loss at Newcastle and their form is not as bad as people make out. So we cannot be taking this game lightly.
We must win and keep the pressure on. Its vital we win as Man Utd go to Spurs on Sunday and the only way to put pressure on is to win.
Come on you Arsenal !
Sunday, 2 January 2011
I Must say, on a personal level i am thrilled to come away from St Andrews with three points and three goals. The memories of sitting in the stands last season was going through my mind at half time when we were 1-0 up and i was praying for a second goal.
At St Andrews, there are corporate boxes right behind us and most of them have home fans in, so therefore, last season, we could see them celebrate at the final whistle and that memory stayed with me, so it was so nice to get some sort of payback.
Off Course, the Eduardo day is still in our memories and hearts too so to get the victory was vital.
The chant of the day for me was 'We got Cesc Fabregas......Uve got Lee Bowyer'! and that was sung quite a few times during the game and after it!
But now that game is over and we move to the next game and that is another huge game. Every game seems huge at the moment and i hope a similar day to Chelsea is what we get. With the team playing with freedom and pressing the ball as well as they did last Monday and off course the fans playing there part because everyone was signing their heart out last Monday.
A win against City would mean an amazing Christmas period and another win in a big game would do even more for our confidence.
Come on you Arsenal !