Arsenal FC
An Arsenal blog written by arsenal fan

 

Saturday, December 30, 2006
Sheff Utd Vs Arsenal
Sheffield United face an injury crisis as they prepare to take on the Gunners on Saturday. A mystery virus (With Arsenal involved again! Is there a pattern here!?) has swept through the team leaving four first team players in doubt for the game. The Blades go in to the game hoping to avoid a third successive defeat, while Arsenal will be hoping to make up more ground on Chelsea.

Vital Quotes:
Warnock: 'The difficulty is that we have to play on Monday afternoon as well but the situation is that whoever is fit will have to play against Arsenal.'

Wenger: 'We have viruses and everything at the moment. We don't have long-term injuries in fairness they are short-term, a few days. But at the moment a few days is missing two games.'

Sheffield United Team News:
The Blades look likely to be missing Webber, Tonge, Gillespie and Davis, who have all picked up a virus. Derek Geary and Stephen Quinn are definitely missing through injury but Leigertwood may be available again.

Player to watch: Jagielka
The highly rated midfielder will need to be at his best if the Blades are to keep Arsenal quiet.

Arsenal Team News:
Arsenal face a mini injury crisis of their own with Henry, Adebayor, Hleb, Walcott, Eboue and Djourou all likely to miss out. Baptista looks likely to start up front.

Player to watch: Fabregas
The talented young midfielder is perhaps Arsenal's biggest talent and is sure to cause United problems with his vision.

Match Facts & Stats
Last-Time: Arsenal 3-0 Sheffield United (23/09/06).

Head-To-Head: Sheffield United 38, Arsenal 46, Draws 25.

Ref Watch:
Alan Wiley (Burntwood, Staffordshire)

Next Fixtures:
Middlesbrough Vs Sheffield United: Mon 01/01/07, 3.00pm.
Arsenal Vs Charlton: Tues 02/01/07, 7.45pm.

Writer: Simon Tingle
Date: Friday December 29 2006
Time: 4:40PM

 

posted by Labanon @ 1:06 AM   0 comments

 

Sunday, December 24, 2006
Wycombe to play Chelsea in League Cup semi-final
The other tie pits Tottenham Hotspur against seven-times winners Liverpool or north London rivals Arsenal, who still have their quarter-final game to play.

Wycombe, who reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 2001, have already knocked Premier League sides Fulham and Charlton out of the tournament this season.

They are scheduled to play the first leg against Jose Mourinho's multi-national side at their home ground north west of London in the week beginning January 8 and the lucrative return leg at Stamford Bridge two weeks later.

Liverpool, who have won the trophy more times than any other side, meet Arsenal on January 9 after their quarter-final was postponed because of fog.

The winners will travel to Spurs the following week and play the home semi-final leg in the week of January 22.

The final will be held at Cardiff's Millennium stadium on

February 25.

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posted by Labanon @ 12:42 AM   1 comments

 

Thursday, December 21, 2006
£4million Cashley replacement in?
16:47 December, 20, 2006
According to reports, Arsenal will sign Wigan's Leighton Baines for £4m in January.

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Baines could be Ashley Cole's successor at Arsenal and may also compete with him in the England squad.

The England Under 21 left back has impressed many this season, and Wigan may have a fight on their hands to keep him at the JJB Stadium.


Comments? Mail fansfceditor@googlemail.com

 

posted by Labanon @ 1:27 AM   2 comments

 

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Lauren Nears End To Injruy Nightmare

Arsenal defender Lauren feels he can finally see an end to his injury nightmare.

The veteran Cameroon full-back has been sidelined since undergoing knee surgery at the start of 2006, but is set to return to the squad for the first time in Wednesday night's Carling Cup quarter-final at Liverpool.

The 29-year-old admits is was a day he thought may never come.

Lauren said: "After so many months out, I am the happiest man at Arsenal.

"It has been so long and sometimes has been very painful.

"I can now see the light and getting back in the squad is a big step for me."

Lauren told Arsenal TV Online: "I feel strong and capable to compete again."

Source: Here

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posted by Labanon @ 1:25 AM   0 comments

 

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Wenger In Trouble Again
Wenger In Trouble Again
Arsene Wenger has been charged with improper conduct following Saturday's 2-2 draw with Portsmouth only days after being fined ten thousand nicker and warned about future conduct.

The FA released this statement.

Wenger In Trouble Again

'Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has been charged with improper conduct in relation to his words and behaviour towards the match officials at half-time of match against Portsmouth.'

'Wenger was subsequently sent from the technical area for the second half. He has until 5 January to respond to the charge.'

Wenger's charge and fine was a pretty clear cut case, it was there for all to see on tv and he even admitted the allegations, however this time things are not so clear, I have seen no footage of the altercation and Mr Wenger himself vows to fight this one all the way.

Should Wenger be found guilty, it will be likely he will be on the end of a pretty hefty fine and a touchline ban.

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posted by Labanon @ 3:02 AM   1 comments

 

Monday, December 18, 2006
Arsenal Ace Out Until The New Year
Arsenal Ace Out Until The New Year
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that Freddie Ljungberg's dreaded hamstring injury has struck again.

The Swede was replaced by Theo Walcott after just five minutes of the game against Portsmouth on Saturday.

Wenger confirmed: 'He had a hamstring [injury]. He will miss the Christmas period.'

Ljungberg's injury couldn't have come at a worse time for Arsenal as he joins Theirry Henry, William Gallas, Tomas Rosicky and Abu Diaby on the injury list.


Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer: Nick Simmonett
Date: Sunday December 17 2006
Time: 7:40PM

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posted by Labanon @ 3:56 AM   0 comments

 

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Bendtner aims to make mark at Arsenal
The Danish youngster is impressing during a loan spell at Birmingham City, who have made it clear they would love to take him on a permanent basis when the season ends.

However, Arsene Wenger this week stated he was not interested in selling the forward, and the player has responded by revealing his desire to make a real go of life at the Emirates Stadium.

"I am happy that Wenger says that he wants to keep me," Bendtner told BT.

"That is a boost and shows that he is well aware of how well it is going for me during my loan spell at Birmingham. When I left Denmark at the age of 16, it was my big goal to get the breakthrough at Arsenal and that is still my goal."

Source: Here

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posted by Labanon @ 12:36 AM   1 comments

 

Friday, December 15, 2006
Wenger fined £10,000 by FA
Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, has been fined £10,000, severely censured and warned about his future conduct by the Football Association over his touchline clash with Alan Pardew, the former West Ham United manager.

Wenger had earlier admitted a charge of improper conduct for his "aggressive and confrontational behaviour" in an incident involving Pardew towards the end of the Premiership match at Upton Park on Sunday, November 5.

Wenger appeared to take offence at Pardew's wild celebrations as Marlon Harewood scored the goal which gave the home side a 1-0 victory, and had to be restrained by the fourth official. He also refused to shake hands with his rival at the end of the game.

Pardew, who was sacked by West Ham on Monday, had denied a similar charge over the incident and had requested a personal hearing.

He also subsequently tried to make peace with Wenger over the clash: "I apologise if I offended Arsene. If I was over-zealous in my celebrations, which I'm sure I was, I apologise fully to Arsene and Arsenal," he said

"We've had a tough old season here and maybe it came out.

"Arsene was annoyed with that, maybe quite rightly so, but I hope that I can iron that out and we will be big enough to look each other in the eye. I want to sort things out with Arsene. It's not right for the image of the game.

"It was nothing personal, I was celebrating the goal. I've got great respect for him and that won't change.

"Nothing was said. Maybe he was angry at a couple of decisions and it was a physical game. We wanted to upset Arsenal, we wanted to win."

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posted by Labanon @ 12:38 AM   0 comments

 

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Patience is a virtue, says Wenger
Wigan Athletic v Arsenal
7.45pm, Sky Sports 1

Arsène Wenger has run the risk of reopening his rift with Chelsea by comparing Andriy Shevchenko to a broken Ferrari. In outlining his opposition to the notion of foreign owners demanding overnight success, the Arsenal manager jokingly likened Shevchenko to a “super machine that breaks in two”, somewhat ironic given he was essentially arguing that the forward should be given more time to adjust to the demands of the Barclays Premiership.

Although spoken in jest, Wenger’s comments will not go down well at Stamford Bridge, where there is much sensitivity to criticism of Shevchenko’s poor form and suggestions he is given special treatment as a result of his friendship with Roman Abramovich.

Some Chelsea fans will no doubt agree with Wenger’s description, however, as their £30 million signing has scored only three Premiership goals in 14 matches for the club.

“Sometimes you need to be patient and sometimes you don’t need to be,” Wenger said. “It’s not like a machine you buy. You can buy a super player and he can look disastrous for three, four, five months. If you buy a super machine, if you buy a Ferrari, from the first day it goes well — unless it’s a Russian who buys it and it breaks in two. But with a player it’s not the same. Sometimes you need to be patient.”

Wenger also hit back at José Mourinho’s criticism of Arsenal’s supposed negative tactics during Sunday’s 1-1 draw, insisting his complaints lacked substance.

“I am very surprised by that,” Wenger said. “Frankly those comments are not of any real interest to me. Chelsea usually put the result first. That is why this comment is of no real interest or of any substance because it is not linked with their ambition to play at all.”

Having seen his side hold the champions, Wenger called on his young players to show their maturity by getting a positive result away to Wigan Athletic tonight. Arsenal have struggled against the so-called lesser teams this season, losing away to Manchester City, West Ham United and Fulham, but Wenger insists that they are no longer a soft touch away from home.

“I feel we have got belief now from Chelsea that we can do very well,” he said. “We have shown we have the physical stamina to stand up in away games as we have matured.

We’re stronger physically and you saw that at Chelsea. You could see that with [Emmanuel] Adebayor, as he showed he could fight in areas where last year we were dominated. It’s maturity coming in to show that we can get results at places like Wigan.”

Arsenal’s cause will be helped by the availability of Kolo Touré after suspension, though the Ivory Coast defender’s return is tempered by the news that Thierry Henry will not be seen until the new year. The France striker has recovered from his neck problem but picked up a hamstring injury in training and has been given an extended period of rest.

Chris Kirkland, however, has made such an incredible recovery from the collision with his Wigan team-mate, David Wright, in the match away to Middlesbrough four days ago that he has been deemed fit to play. The goalkeeper suffered a fit and collapsed in the dressing-room during half-time and was detained in hospital overnight for brain scans.

It was feared that Kirkland would be out for several weeks, but after passing neurological tests and training yesterday he will start tonight. “Chris is OK,” Paul Jewell, the Wigan manager, said. “He has had all the brain scans and he has been given the all clear. He has trained and we would not ask him to play if he was not right. It was a delayed reaction and it was quite a scary sight, but he wants to put it all behind him .”

Wigan Athletic (probable; 4-4-2): C Kirkland — D Wright, E Boyce, F Hall, L Baines — D Cotterill, P Scharner, J Skoko, K Kilbane — H Camara, L McCulloch.

Arsenal (4-5-1): J Lehmann — E Eboué, K Touré, J Djourou, G Clichy — A Hleb, Gilberto Silva, F Fàbregas, M Flamini, R van Persie — E Adebayor.

Referee: R Styles.

 

posted by Labanon @ 1:27 AM   0 comments

 

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Henry out for Christmas

Arsene Wenger says Thierry Henry is on the road to recovery, but has ruled out the possibility of the striker turning out for Arsenal before Christmas.

The France international has missed Arsenal's last three games due to a nerve problem in his

neck.

Wenger feels the club have got to the root cause of Henry's neck problem, but says he is also being troubled by a hamstring injury which is set to keep him on the sidelines until after

Christmas.

"Thierry Henry has started his rehabilitation, but he is still not completely free with his hamstring," Wenger said on Sky Sports News.

"He starts to work again and we hope to slowly build him up and get him competitive again.

"The neck problem is sorted out. He had a sciatic nerve problem and a hamstring problem and that is the most troubling at the moment."

The Gunners have taken four points from games with Tottenham and Chelsea in Henry's absence and Wenger will not rush his captain back into action.

"I would not set a precise timescale because it is difficult to predict how long it will take," added Wenger.

"We will take the needed time. Christmas certainly he will miss."

Henry's international team-mate William Gallas has been sidelined since the middle of November with a thigh complaint, but Wenger hopes to have him available for the busy festive period.

"William will be one week, maximum two," added Wenger.

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posted by Labanon @ 12:58 AM   0 comments

 

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Lehmann attacks Lampard over 'terrible' insults

His theatrical duel with Didier Drogba may have caught the imagination at Stamford Bridge on Sunday but Jens Lehmann's real antipathy, he has revealed, is towards Frank Lampard. The Arsenal goalkeeper said that he suffered a number of "terrible" insults throughout the match from the England midfielder.

While Lehmann would not elaborate on what Lampard had said to him, he did say that he had no ill-feeling towards Drogba even after the two embarked on an extraordinary shoving match in the second half. Both were guilty of dreadful exaggeration in an effort to get the other sent off - the result was a yellow card each.

"Nothing happened with him [Drogba] - I like him," Lehmann said. "I think the handshake between us says it all. You can have passion in the game, but as long as you get on with people nicely it's OK. He didn't insult me in comparison to his team-mates - I never insult anybody - and I can't complain about him. Some of his team-mates insulted me terribly, but Drogba never does that so I have no problem with him.

"Lampard is a specialist in insulting people very badly, but Drogba doesn't say a word. He is a nice guy - he doesn't insult people. I play offensively and no one played that style when I first came here. Now I see goalkeepers trying to play the same way as I do. That's part of the game."

Given the ludicrous nature of his clash with Lehmann, it was apposite that Drogba more or less admitted, in response to fans' questions in the matchday programme, that he went down too easily under challenges. "I am more fresh than other seasons, I had a one month rest," he said. "In my first season I only had seven days. Last year I think it was 15 days, maybe 20. But I want to say this: I always give 100 per cent for my team and nobody can say, whether they think I stand up or not, that he's not giving 100 per cent. Not since I have been here can anyone say that."

Read Details

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posted by Labanon @ 3:16 PM   0 comments

 

Monday, December 11, 2006
Arsenal (1) (1) Chelsea

 

posted by Labanon @ 4:23 AM   0 comments

 

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Our view on the ill-conceived article by Peter Tatchell
At Arsenal World we have read with interest and ultimately dismay the ill conceived article published by Peter Tatchell.

You can read it here.

In the article Mr. Tatchell claims that this item on Arsenal World has encouraged fans to take inflatable mobile phones to Chelsea in order to taunt Cole about his sexuality.

A review of the article will reveal that Arsenal World does not encourage homophobic abuse therein or indeed within any other article.

There appears to be an implication that the mobile phone waving will represent an instance of homophobia in itself. This simply isn't true. We would point out that the kind of activity this alludes to, isn't solely the preserve of the homosexual man. As the esteemed journalist Henry Winter argues in this article, this is a mild taunt in the scheme of things.



Mr. Tatchell mentions the beautiful game, but if he is indeed a fan, he should be aware of offensive homophobic chanting that has been aimed at Arsene Wenger over the last 10 years. This chanting has been widespread from fans of Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, but has been curiously ignored. Why is this the case and can we expect to see some comment from Mr. Tatchell on this subject?

He also notes that Arsenal fans have described Cole as a rent boy as a homophobic comment. This merely demonstrates his lack of understanding of the football vernacular. The term rent boy is directed at all Chelsea players. It is not used to insinuate any role in sexual prostitution, but as a mark of abuse for their acceptance of Roman Abramovich's money. Prostitution of a kind perhaps, but not of the sort that Mr. Tatchell refers to.

The article goes on to describe a £20 note with Ashley Cole in 'drag'. Again, this is untrue. Cole's face has merely been used to replace the Queen on the spoof note. There was every opportunity to make a reference to the previously alleged homosexuality in the text on the note. There is no such reference. These notes are not homophobic and yet Mr. Tatchell would have football fans banned for what is a rather peaceful and humorous piece of banter.

We read this particularly line with interest. "To his credit, Cole denied the gay rumours but took the trouble to say that while he is not gay, he doesn't think being gay is wrong or shameful. This is a very commendable stance".

At Arsenal World we would consider that to be the absolute bare minimum with regards to tolerance and hardly worthy of commendation.

It is disappointing that Mr. Tatchell has chosen to attack Arsenal fans and Arsenal World when it appears to he is not in full possession of the facts.

We look forward to his response.

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posted by Labanon @ 1:17 AM   1 comments

 

Saturday, December 9, 2006
Chelsea Vs Arsenal
::: Arsenal v Chelsea :::And so our first meeting with the team formally known as Chelsea and the current champions takes place this Sunday. Unfortunately with Arsenal out of the title race the game usually would have lost some of it’s glam but with both Ashley and (possibly) Gallas playing in their new colours there is sure to be some added bite to the clash. As if there wasn’t before….

For many years Arsenal had the Indian sign over Chelsea with the latter annually underachieving despite spending vast amounts of money under Ken Bates, before he very nearly ran the club into the ground. In fact, before, the arrival of the oil money Chelsea had just the solitary league title under their belt way back from 1955. But with their new found wealth and under the guidance of the self-lauded special one (TSO) they have won back to back titles and will be looking for the hat-trick this season.

And, of course, Chelsea were at the centre of one of the most sordid transfers of all time which, unfortunately, involved Arsenal and a certain Mr. Cole. I’m not going to go into details about the Ashley Cole affair as there has been a wealth of material written about it but, one thing is for certain, Ashley is going to get a barrage of abuse from the crowd like he has never known before, and I for one will have absolutely no sympathy for him. Whatsoever. By the way, has anyone even bothered to read his book? No? Thought not - me neither. The whole thing still makes my blood boil… ggrr…

Gallas may also be susceptible to some sort of abuse from the Chelsea fans as, he too, left his former employers under a cloud of storm. Although, unlike Ashley who was willing to sell ‘his side of the story’ to the highest bidder, we have yet to hear Gallas’s point of view. But from what I gather from my Chelsea supporting friends (poor lads) Gallas is still held in high regard amongst the fans as he was a player who always gave 100% and had a genuine grievance about being played out of position. Nevertheless one suspects there will be a few jeers heading his way.

Which brings us nicely to the game itself. Like I have said it is a shame that Arsenal are out of the title race as this would have been an absolute cracker of a game and the media (Sky especially) would have hyped it up no end. But, Premiership positions aside, the game still has the potential to be one of the season’s best. Make no mistake, Arsenal have a point to prove and Arsène will want to get a result at Stamford Bridge on Sunday. He feels there is not a 10 point difference between the 2 teams and will see this weekend as the perfect opportunity to demonstrate this.

Unfortunately for Arsène he has, yet again, another defensive crisis as injuries and suspensions have taken their toll. Toure is suspended, Gallas is a huge doubt and Djourou has picked up a knock in Portugal. I’m hoping Djourou will be OK and a part of me thinks that Arsène might be playing mind games when saying Gallas is only 20% fit (I’m hoping so anyway!). If not then the defence could be severely weakened with perhaps a midfielder slotting in at centre back. Attacking wise we are without Henry and Rosicky who along with Fabregas are our most creative players. So is it time perhaps to finally unleash Julio Baptista? We have only seen him in fits and starts so far but this could be the perfect stage to finally let him loose and and to prove what he is truly capable of.

As far as I know Chelsea have no major injury worries (except their keeper problems) ahead of the game so they will be at full strength. And Chelsea at full strength at Stamford Bridge makes for a formidable outfit. In fact Chelsea have never lost in the Premiership at home whilst TSO has been at the helm. Whatever you say about Chelsea; that is one incredible record. The key will be in midfield where Chelsea have an enormous wealth of talent and are able to close down the opposition extremely quickly - Fabregas needs to find room so he can put Chelsea under pressure with his clever passing. The back 4 will need to work as a solid unit and not make any silly mistakes that have been so costly in previous games. Defending sensibly from set pieces is an absolute must with both Terry and Ballack more than capable of scoring with their heads.

All in all, the players needs to be at the top of their game to get any sort of result. And I for one think that Arsenal are more than capable of getting a result; we have beaten Spurs, Liverpool and Manchester United, and I know Chelsea away is extremely tough, but I honestly think that Arsène will have the players so motivated for this game that I have a sneaky suspicion that the Arsenal might just get all 3 points…

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posted by Labanon @ 12:51 AM   1 comments

 

Friday, December 8, 2006
Arsenal Advances in the Champions League

After a scintillating and in no way foreseeable 0-0 draw in Portugal, both Arsenal and their opponents Porto have advanced to the next round of the Champions League.

CSKA Moscow, which was hoping for the Gunners or Porto to win outright, lost it chance to whinge after losing to dreadful, heretofore winless Hamburg, 2-3. Interestingly, all of the British teams have advanced to the next round.


I haven’t seen the match yet, but am about to sit down and watch it. More later of course. What were your impressions?

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posted by Labanon @ 12:19 AM   1 comments

 

Thursday, December 7, 2006
Champions League: Fc Porto v Arsenal
Unhappy? It’s All Hogwash! It’s been all denials and ‘we're best Well here we are. A win or a draw will see the Gunners through to the next round. In fact, a draw will see both of these teams through. Meaning, CSKA Moscow is hoping no safe-play collusion is afoot in Portugal on Wednesday.

Arsenal will be without talismanic striker Thierry Henry, as well as Tomas Rosicky. Interestingly, it looks as if Theo Walcott may replace Henry. Walcott, who is 11 and fast, could then get a chance to shine on a stress-packed stage.

The ‘Henry needs to leave Arsenal because Arsenal sux’ crowd has been out in force lately, by the way. And it’s true that Henry’s career has been littered with failure. Two Prem titles including an Undefeated Season (!), plus two World Cup Finals, one World Cup Title, the European Championship and last year’s Champions League Final as captain of Arsenal. How he can show his face around North London is a mystery.

i guess Arsenal win againts Porto 1-0

Only meetings
Competition Result
UCL, 26-09-06 Arsenal 2-0 FC Porto

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posted by Labanon @ 12:23 AM   3 comments

 

Wednesday, December 6, 2006
Henry the cheerleader makes Wenger the doomsayer

Even though he was absent from selection, be the cause a mysterious neck injury, a sciatic nerve, tiredness, a training-ground tantrum or a trace of polonium 210 at the Emirates Stadium, Thierry Henry managed to play a dramatic part on derby day.

Rumours abounded before kick-off of a disagreement with Arsene Wenger reported in a tabloid splash in the morning. Henry duly spent all day on a PR offensive that Max Clifford would have admired. He gave interviews to explain how upset he was to miss such a game, spent the match down on the touchline as a very visible cheerleader in chief and ambled on to the pitch at the end to embrace and share jokes with Arsenal's jubilant players. He certainly looked a lot happier than he has while playing of late.

So all is well, then? Hardly. Half an hour after the final whistle, Wenger struggled to emulate his compatriot's high spirits when conversation turned from a comfortable 3-0 win to Henry. Habitually loath to criticise his own players when there is another excuse to lean on, Wenger's unease was conspicuous and did little to suggest the 'Thierry bust-up' headlines were the pure fiction Henry would have us believe.

'I want to sit down with him and tell him what I expect of him when he has recovered,' said Wenger, with conspicuous iciness. How did he feel about Henry giving statements about how he felt? 'I am not happy and not unhappy,' said Wenger. 'He is tired and needs to take time to prepare to play. He cannot rest for five days and then come straight back without preparing properly and play at the level the players did against Tottenham. I don't want to talk more about it. I want to give a lot of credit to the team and the rest is internal matters.'

Henry had endeavoured to 'clear up' the story earlier. 'No one actually knows what we said to each other and still they are speculating,' he said. 'I received a call saying that they were going to run a story saying I was in France sulking. I don't know if you ever watched Star Trek but I don't have the power to teleport myself.

'Nothing that has been said in the paper is true and it's a bit of a shame that all the time you have to come out and justify stuff in this country. I did leave the training ground disappointed on Friday because I wanted to play against Spurs. Nobody forced me to not play. It was a discussi

on that we had and I was upset because I don't like to not play. I want to be on the pitch. But sometimes you have to be honest with yourself and listen to your body.'

In the meantime, Henry and Wenger clearly have some making up to do to remove what appears to be an uncharacteristic wedge between them. There are plenty of top teams seeking top strikers so they would do well to do it soon.

As an indicator of how Arsenal will fare without Henry for the foreseeable future - he is suspended from the Porto match and ruled himself out of the grudge fixture next weekend at Chelsea and possibly a good while beyond - Emmanuel Adebayor rose to the challenge.

Questions had been raised about the £7 million Arsenal spent to bring him to the Premiership. There is

no better way to make himself popular in the red corner of north London than to score crucial goals to see off Manchester United and Tottenham.

His workrate in unsettling the Spurs back four was outstanding and he merited the crucial first goal that unfroze Arsenal's dented self-belief. Last week, in cowering to successive defeats at Bolton and Fulham, Arsenal were suffering the Premiership's most extreme confidence crisis. There is no team in the league whose performances veer so wildly between inspiring and incompetent.

But then again, they were playing Tottenham, who are on a bad day as flaky as their neighbours. These affairs are usually stormy and spiteful, but that rather depends on both teams showing up. Spurs were just about there in body but not in soul.

Wenger had been looking for new leadership and the heart shown by two 19-year-olds in dominant defender Johan Djourou and midfield orchestrator Cesc Fabregas, with 21-year-old Adebayor leading the line, epitomised why he is sticking with this team even though their inexperience hurts from time to time.


Tellingly, despite their youth, Arsenal had only one player new to the club this season in their line-up compared with five newcomers representing Spurs. Some of their players are evidently still learning about the nuances of Premiership football and derbies in particular.

Judging by the dark expression worn by Martin Jol afterwards, they will want to learn fast. Despite the emphatic scoreline, both managers left the Emirates with food for thought.

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posted by Labanon @ 12:37 AM   0 comments

 

Tuesday, December 5, 2006
Nuclear Poisoning: Could That Explain Recent Form?
This weekend’s victory over Tottenham nothwithstanding, Arsenal have had a lackluster recent run at the new Emirates Stadium. Observers had figured that leaving the friendly confines of Highbury had made the club sluggish as it adapts to the new ground.
nuclear.gif

Now comes word that UK authorities are checking the Emirates Stadium for traces of polonium-210 in the wake of the Alexander Litvinenko poisoning in London. Seems that some persons believed to be connected to the Cold War-style assassination apparently attended Arsenal’s recent Champions League match against CSKA Moscow. CSKA, of course, is the Russian army’s football club.

This is potentially serious business, but I think that the ‘Well, we were poisoned by polonium-210′ excuse has been glaringly neglected in football. It’s got to be better than the schedule, the refs, the weather, MI6, and/or the Nabisco Corporation excuses usually bandied about. Can’t be any worse than Spurs’ tummy troubles from last season, right?

 

posted by Labanon @ 12:31 AM   5 comments

 

Monday, December 4, 2006
Wenger talking out of his Arsenal

So basically, rewind two years back to winter 2004, Manchester United are struggling in the Premiership (Arsenal won the title the season before, unbeaten, and along with Chelsea are ahead of United at the moment), the team’s playing like shit and everything Ferguson says is being ripped to shreds and criticised by Arsenal fans.

Fast forward two years - Arsenal are playing like shit, Wenger is putting on a brave face by blaming things left and right (and not accepting that his team have lost it in terms of morale and motivation and spirit (something Ferguson admitted to 2 seasons ago, and got blasted by Arsenal fans for it).



My point?

Get some perspective guys - Instead of twisting facts and letting emotions cloud your judgement, realise that Arsenal are in transition, will take a couple of years to re-establish themselves and will be back at the top very soon.

Hilariously enough, Arseblog gets applauded for criticising Arsenal for playing like shit, I get busted for saying that Arsenal can’t hack it for the last 4 months. Different perspectives? Oh well, at least we know one thing:

Managers (be it Ferguson or Wenger) will always talk out of their arses - and for that they’re not much different than the rest of us.

 

posted by Labanon @ 10:02 AM   0 comments

 

Jens Lehmann Profile
SQUAD NUMBER: 1 COUNTRY: GERMANY flag POSITION: GOALKEEPER

Goalkeeper

It's taken a while, but it's finally happened. "Mad" Jens, Arsenal's crazy German goalkeeper, has finally won over the Arsenal fans and is now firmly entrenched as Arsenal's number one goalkeeper. An outstanding series of performances last season saw Lehmann break the record for most minutes in Champions League football without conceding.

Along the way, he helped Arsenal go a record ten Champions League matches without conceding a goal - a feat which looked highly unlikely midway through the season - and helped the Gunners make it to the Champions League final for the first time. However, during the final, Lehmann was infamously sent off in for bringing down Samuel Eto'o - and Arsenal eventually went down 2-1.

Despite this psychological burden, Lehmann had an outstanding 2006 World Cup. Playing in his home country, Lehmann finally displaced Oliver Kahn as German number one and helped his country into the semi-finals by defeating Argentina on penalties. Germany eventually went out, but Lehmann impressed with his displays and will continue as first choice keeper.

The big German's playing style often gets him into trouble, as he often likes to come off his line to claim loose balls. This however opens him up to sometimes making the odd error or two - which still adds a degree of unpredictability to his usual solidarity in front of goal. Most fans are happy for him to continue in goal for Arsenal, but some may be looking to younger alternatives as Lehmann inevitably heads towards the end of his career.


Jens Lehmann

Full name Jens LEHMANN
Position Goalkeeper
Born 10 November 1969, Essen, Germany
Country GERMANY
Height 190
Weight 87

Career
Joined Friday, 25 July 2003
Debut Charity Shield v Manchester United (n) 10 August 2003 (Drew 1-1) (Man Utd won 5-4 on penalties)
Previous clubs BV Borussia Dortmund
AC Milan
FC Shalke 04
Honours 1996/97 UEFA Cup (Schalke 04)
2001/02 German Bundesliga (Dortmund)
2003/04 English Premier League
2004/05 English FA Cup

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posted by Labanon @ 12:49 AM   0 comments

 

Sunday, December 3, 2006
Thierry Henry Profile
SQUAD NUMBER: 14 COUNTRY: FRANCE flag POSITION: STRIKER

Striker

The list of superlatives that describe this modern-day champion is gigantic. As well as being arguably the best player in the world, Henry is now Arsenal captain and marked his first season as skipper by leading his charges into the Champions League final for the first time, picking up the PFA Player of the season award, and becoming Arsenal's all time record goalscorer.

Possesses utterly frightening speed, and is almost undefendable when on form. He seems to glide past players as if they were standing still before passing the ball into the far corner of the goal. His close skill, speed, awareness and vision make him one of the world's great players. Yet his game is not all about scoring - he seems to take as much pleasure in finding his teammates as he does in scoring himself.

After a slow beginning to the World Cup, Henry responded to criticism of the French team by scoring the winning goal against Brazil and helping the unheralded French into the final. Unfortunately Zidane's infamous exit from the game overshadowed the game somewhat, but Henry again lost another final and will be hoping to go one better with Arsenal this season.


Thierry Henry

Full name Thierry Daniel HENRY
Position Striker
Born 17 August 1977, Paris
Country FRANCE
Height 187.9
Weight 83

Career
Joined Tuesday, 3 August 1999
Debut Premier League v Leicester City (h) 7th Aug 1999 (Won 2-1)
Previous clubs AS Monaco
Juventus
Honours 2005/06 Premiership Player of the Season
2004/05 English FA Cup
2003/04 Barclaycard English Premier League
2002/03 English FA Cup
2001/02 Barclaycard English Premier League
2001/02 English FA Cup
2000 UEFA European Championship
1998 FIFA World Cup

 

posted by Labanon @ 9:14 PM   0 comments

 

Yes, same old Arsenal, different players
Gooners

Hello Gooners and especially to you Anti. It has been awhile. Lets just say my professional life
  • This blog is endorsed by Theo Walcott
has taken me to pastures new and I am enjoying the ride. I don’t get to see as many Arsenal matches live as I would like to but I am not regretting it either.

It is amazing how much criticisms have come Arsenal and Arsene Wenger’s way since the end of the Invincible run – not replacing Patrick Vieira, Dennis Bergkamp and Robert Pires; midfielders too lightweight; squad too young and inexperienced; and jumping on the Alan Hansen bandwagon, one dimensional ie, no plan B.

While I agree with the notion that we should replace experience with experience, thing is, no one has come up with a player who can successfully slot into the Arsenal system from Day 1. it was rather unfortunate that we either had players out injured or just came back from injury against Bolton. Even so, the replacements did give them a scare.

Because of the system, it takes time for players to learn the playing style. Julio Baptista looks like he is being groomed for the central midfield role. You want muscle, you get muscle with some flair.

As for young and inexperienced, it is a delicate juggling act. Talented young and inexperienced players need games. Again, unfortunately, it would take more than just one season to properly groom a world beater. Wenger knows this. That is why his acquisition is calculated. Example, Baptista can replace Gilberto while allowing Cesc Fabregas to play or put in a rotation system so that no one player is too exhausted.

But the thing that gets me the most is Arsenal fans agreeing with Alan Hansen that Arsenal is one dimensional. Are we seriously? Or are we just very bad at finishing? I believe it is the latter. While we scream at them to shoot, is it because we think they can or is it because we are so terribly frustrated that we just hope when they do it will do a Frank Lampard and go in? Are we so desperate that results justify the means?

Don’t be a Hansen. He is as hypocritical as they come. One minute he praises teams for defending in numbers while playing for that one chance to score against Arsenal, the next he praises teams who have a go at one another. His comments and analysis are as childlish as it gets.

No one dimensional team can create the number of chances we do. No other English team can claim to play football the way we do. Many English managers take the mickey out of Arsenal when they get a result against us. Wenger has taken up so high that getting a result against us is an achievement. What many forget is that, because we stick by to our values, we are constantly challenging for the Premiership. That is why Bolton and Everton are always playing for UEFA qualification.

We can’t compete with Manure or Chelski, not yet anyway. The again, we have shown that we are above the others, if and only if, we learn to put those chances away. Our current predicament is our own undoing. If we had converted half of the numerous chances that we created, we wouldn’t be called one dimensional anymore. It seems many have forgotten we have not changed the system, just the players. And these players need time.

Let’s give them time.

Source: http://antithesis98.blogspot.com/

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posted by Labanon @ 8:18 PM   1 comments

 

Same old Arsenal?
arsenal-past-future-fabregas-jpegMyles may have said it first but it's been on my mind for more than a year, this isn't the same Arsenal!
When scribes and fans speak about Arsenal playing brilliant football they are simply dieting on memories. This team is not playing exciting football. It's just not the same Arsenal.

I expected some fall-out, because the fulcra of Vieira, Pires and Cole are not easily retooled. But I never expected such a radical change in the Club's style. And it's not just the system.

The old Wenger philosophy was predicated on taking the ball swiftly from defence to attack, and the team was so effective that Arsenal earned the reputation as a counter-attacking team. Today fans say the team can't counter-attack because the opposition plays ten men behind the ball. What rubbish!

After all those years of being dominated and embarrassed you want me to believe that teams only discovered a negative methodology after Vieira left? That's just nonsense.
Is it not more sensible to believe that the old Arsenal were able to overcome that strategy with a quicker transition? Am I the only cunt seeing this?
Blimey and sheesh!

This Arsenal team is a much more conservative team than we'd like to admit.
I cannot recall the last time I've seen an Arsenal centre-midfielder take the ball from deep and drive forward. The spontaneity in attack isn't there anymore.

And there are deeper concerns. How many of you saw Henry being clattered time after time by the Liverpool centre-backs?
If Arsenal continues to play Thierry as a bullseye with his back to goal, how long will it be before the centre-backs strike the target and he suffers a serious injury?
It just doesn't make sense to me that we would disarm (to an extent), the most lethal weapon in world football.
And it'll never make sense.

This year should be Henry's peak year and after signing a long-term deal (because the future seemed so bright) I thought we'd showcase him rather than sacrifice him.
So I ask again, am I the only cunt seeing this?

To be fair, the new Arsenal has been moderately successful. Fabregas continues to improve in his free role and his defending, in particular, has improved tremendously. But that only adds to the mystery.
If this whole new Arsenal was contrived to assist Fabregas' development then we need to test his progress by playing the way only Arsenal can. And quickly, before we forget how to...

source: http://antithesis98.blogspot.com/

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posted by Labanon @ 6:54 PM   0 comments

 

 
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