Thursday, 28 April 2011

Ooh to be a (beautiful) Gooner

As if I could fancy Rebecca Ryan anymore- I have just found out she's an Arsenal fan! The girl that plays 'Vicki McDonald' on Waterloo Road is a Gooner. She's a good enough reason for watching Waterloo Road alone to be fair, being as aesthetically pleasing as the football Arsenal play week by week.

I don't usually let myself be soppy like this, i just thought I'd give it a try.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Remember: It could be worse

I do still maintain the belief that Arsenal have done very well this season. To be without our chief centre back Thomas Vermaelen for all but 3 games of the season has been a massive blow and I think he would have made a massive difference this season, especially today, the Tottenham games, the Newcastle games and the cup final.

I think we've done a lot better than Chelsea would have done had they been without Terry. Lets face it, they fell apart when he was out for a game or two back in November. And the same goes for Man Utd and Vidic.

I think it's certain that we would have more points had Vermaelen not been injured for so long. It's probably the hardest position to cope with the loss of your best player in that position too. Johan Djourou has been very impressive this season and, despite making a few mistakes, Koscielny has been quite impressive too, to say it's his first season in the Premier League and he's had some outstanding games such as the Barcelona home game. But he has not been quite good enough to make the loss of Vermaelen minimal. He's a good player but not as good as Vermaelen and the truth is we've missed him massively this season. There's no shame in that, I doubt anyone on Match of the Day or Sky Sports News or in the papers or press will endeavour to point this out though, they'll be too busy laying into Arsenal to do that.

I sat in the upper tier at the Reebok Stadium today in the Arsenal section and saw my team looking comfortable at the back. Djourou and Koscielny played well, Sagna was as solid as ever, Szczesny gave another performance worthy of a MOTM award and Clichy was solid. The midfield did their bit in that department too. Yet this all seemed to evaporate when Bolton got a corner, as it often has in the past with Arsenal. It's like there is a magic spell cast over the ball when it comes into contact with that little quadrant of grass in the corner of the pitch and it becomes a magnet to the goal. I said to my Dad as we walked out of the ground that I can't understand how this happens. Djourou and Koscielny got the better of Davies time and time again, looked comfortable and dealt with everything thrown at them in the air well. Yet when they got corners, two times out of three or four I think, our aerial prowess seemed to disappear and our weakness on set pieces cost us again.  They should work on this a lot more than they must be doing at the moment. I'd like to think they will work on it time and time again on the training ground and that they will get it sorted for next season. Fingers crossed anyway!

So, in conclusion another trophy- less season is in little doubt now. But lets put things into perspective, things could be a lot worse. We're not in danger of relegation, it's not even like we're scrapping for fourth. Not yet anyway! It looks like Chelsea are going to beat us to second which is a crime as we've been above them for most of the season and we're a better team than them and it's looked for a while like we would restore out 'Chiefs of London' status after years of finishing below Chelsea. But like I said, it could be a lot worse.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Why are Arsenal targeted so much?

I switched on Sky Sports News this morning when I got up and saw them showing the games in which Arsenal have dropped points from in winning positions- Tottenham twice, Newcastle, Sunderland.

But for some reason they never seem to show Man Utd's weaknesses. Man Utd have actually dropped points from winning poisitions more than us this season and yet it's Arsenal who are criticised for it because a lot of people in football- media, pundits, ex- players etc are just thick. They hide behind the stereotypes and the easy things to say rather than actually analysing things with Arsenal. Yet with Man Utd, they can't wait for 'Giggsy' or Rooney to have a great game, even when Rooney was doing crap they obsessed over him and never criticised Man Utd when they fudged up.

Man Utd were 3-1 at Everton in stoppage time and drew 3-3, that was a capitulation if ever I did see one. They screwed up at Fulham late on- Fulham equalising twice and Man Utd missing a penalty at 2-1. They drew at Birmingham 1-1 in the last minute, the were 1 up at Chelsea late on and lost 2-1. They were 1 up at Wolves and lost 2-1. They were 2-0 up at home to West Brom and drew 2-2, with van der Sar messing up big time. But we can't criticise van der Sar can we? And we definately can't criticise Man Utd can we?

So why do these thicko's focus on Arsenal? I don't know exactly why, we seem easy targets to a lot of people. Probably because we haven't won anything since 2005 and people can't wait to get on our backs for that. If 'Fergie' had gone through through this spell with Man Utd that Arsenal have I don't think Man Utd would be criticised as much, they'd say'Oh Fergie's dealt with the stadium move well and kept Man Utd in the top four every season and come close a few times, what a man'.

But people in this country generally hate Arsene Wenger, perhaps because he says things they don't like to hear, complaining about decisions (but every manager does that), has rows with other managers and not handshaking a couple of times, he answers their questions with complex answers that they probably can't understand because their too thick and already thinking about what to criticise Arsenal of.

I think a big reason is due to the respect for Ferguson and the lack of for Wenger. People in football are too scared of Ferguson, and Wenger isn't a scary guy so they have nothing to fear when criticising them- plus he's not British.

It's just a disgrace how Arsenal are targeted in this country. People are brainwashed to believe all these dodgy stereotypes that journalists and pundits have created themselves because they say simple things because they are too thick to actually analyse more accurately.

They also had the gall to not even show or mention van Persie's disallowed goal at 3-2 that shouldn't have been. Nobody has, apart from the match report on Why?! I bet you £100 that if that had been up the other end and it was Tottenham that had it disallowed they would mention it and talk about it rather than focusing on the negatives as everyone does with Arsenal, even when we win.

I'll love it when we win a trophy, particularly if it's one of the big two, to rub it in people's faces- these people who criticise Arsenal all the time and say stereotypical rubbish about them all the time- people like Lee Dixon, Mark Lawrenson, Andy Townsend etc.

I just can't believe that that disallowed goal has never been mentioned. Any other club and it would have been mentioned and looked at but because of Arsenal's form over the last couple of months- knocked out of all the cups and some poor results in the league- they ignore it because they can't wait to stick the knife in again.

Can you tell it winds me right up?

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Same old things hold Arsenal back (Bad times again)

You couldn't make this shit up could you? Arsenal seem to be the weirdest team in the world. Spectacular at times, silly and immature at others. The same unanswered, unresolved problems keep coming back and biting our team in the backside. Don't give me all this rubbish about having 11 captains on the pitch Arsene, we have no captain. No-one who can sort us out and organise us and make sure the players stay switched on in a situation like the 100th minute incident today. People say it all the time that we have no leadership and I defend Arsenal because I don't really buy into the captain needing to be a nutter with anger management issues that shouts out instructions all the time to players, but I'm starting to doubt my own views on that as we are seeing too many examples of not having a Jamie Carragher, Tony Adams, John Terry like leader at the back who will sort the team out and organise things.

It is an absolute disgrace that play played on after Suarez's freekick today. It's bad enough the whistle didn't go before that even. 8 minutes of stoppage time and Arsenal score in the 8th minute of it and yet play goes on afterwards. That isn't right. Maybe you could say time from the celebrations should be played but that's between 30 seconds and a minute. After Suarez had missed the freekick that should have definitely been time up. It was last chance saloon for them, either this goes in or game over. Why keep playing on?

To make matters worse Liverpool had been time-wasting their arses off for most of the game and yet they feel the benefits of this later in the game as when we get a last minute goal, the referee plays on presumably because of the time- wasting in the game. But Arsenal had scored, Liverpool shouldn't have had time added on for their benefit after they were the ones time-wasting.

In fact, that time goes into consideration for the decision on how much stoppage time should be added on at the end of the 90 minutes, so the referee can't even use that as a reason for playing until 2014 today. Why the hell time was still playing in the 111th minute I do not know. And yet again, Arsenal are robbed by a stupid referee. How many times this season? Countless.

The trouble is that there are too many referees in this country that respond to pressure from the crowd and players. Liverpool players played hell with Marriner when he gave a freekick in the last minute instead of the penalty and when Lucas goes down a minute later in front of the Liverpool fans and they scream for a penalty, combined with the pressure from players and the imminent abuse from Dalglish as he comes off the pitch, the pressure from those Liverpool fans results in a penalty. Just like Dowd at Newcastle.

It is stupid but Arsenal should never have let Liverpool get in that position. Once the referee has made his mistake and not blown for full- time when he should have, Arsenal should be putting everything into making sure Liverpool don't get to put any pressure on them. Clear the ball anywhere, hoof it, foul players in the middle of the pitch if you need to. Don't let them get anywhere near your box. It's not even like they had a few minutes to get an equaliser, they had a minute at best. When Szczesny has the ball after Kuyt's shot from the kick off he should be wasting time, putting the ball down and picking it up again and hoofing it as far away as he can out wide preferably in the direction of Bendtner. Just make sure Liverpool don't get to mount any last gasp pressure on you, but no, schoolboy errors come back again, inexperience costing us year after year, silly mistakes week after sodding week. It's time this shit stops happening. Stupid things all the fucking time. The Carling Cup final embarrassment, the Newcastle and Tottenham horror shows, the horror show at Wigan last season. Man Utd don't make fools of themselves like this and we do. It frustrates the hell out of me.

And now our title chances hang by a thread and we are in danger of being caught by Chelsea and not even finishing second after being there for most of the season. Our next 4 games sound bloody hard- Tottenham away, Bolton away, Man Utd at home and Stoke away. Yet Chelsea's next 3 are at home- the next two being Birmingham and West Ham. I am worried.

However if we win at Tottenham on Wednesday we'll have a chance of the title, stay above Chelsea and confidence among fans and players will be boosted and it will be some much needed joy for us fans that keep suffering painful blows with Arsenal at the moment. If this happens it will be great, revenge on Tottenham and a big confidence boost and more comfort in second place. It will also be the ideal way to go into the remainder of our tough run- in as we will have more confidence and more a chance mathematically.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Happy times again!

I've recently had a break from the world of blog writing, as quite frankly I haven't been in the mood after a match to write one. Plus there hasn't been much to talk about.

But today's different! Arsenal have won and I'm happy as this winning feeling hasn't been a familiar one in the last six weeks. I felt sick for the first fifteen or so minutes of the game as I am going through a strange phase of being really nervy when it comes to watching Arsenal. I've always been quite nervous when it comes to Arsenal games but recently my nervousness levels have increased. However after Abou Diaby finished off a lovely Arsenal move on 18 minutes to put the Gunners ahead, my stomach felt better. It felt even better when Emmannuel Eboue popped up with another delightfully well worked goal three minutes later to double the lead as I jumped out of my chair in relief for a second time in quick succession.

I again jumped out of chair as i believed Nasri's effort to be going into the corner of the Blackpool goal. Little tip: never celebrate a goal until it's in the back of the net!

Arsenal could and perhaps should have put the game out of Blackpool's reach before half time as, despite a sloppy start, Arsenal created a lot of chances with some great football in the first half only for the likes of Diaby, Nasri and Arshavin to miss their chances. To be fair, the Nasri volley was brilliant technique and not as easy as he made it look so that wasn't a case of 'oh what a miss'.

A few nervy minutes followed the half time break after Taylor Fletcher pulled one back for Blackpool and a bit of luck for a change in refereeing decisions as Lee Mason didn't give the penalty he should have when Koscielny fouled Taylor Fletcher (I think it was him).

But in truth, after that and the Southern chance, Arsenal were always in control of the game and did a professional job in holding on and getting another goal (probably the best of the game) to settle the three much desired and needed points for Arsenal. They didn't gamble too many players forward and made sure Blackpool couldn't create chances. Not that prats like Lawrenson and Lee Dixon will compliment them for that.

Jens Lehmann looked solid in goal, saving a couple of shots well and being alert to deal with crosses. Abou Diaby was very impressive in the absence of Song, as he was well disciplined and got stuck in, as well as looking threatening going forward and grabbing himself a goal. Just what he deserved today. He also did magnificently in the build up to the third goal so credit to him, he looked very mature and professional today and looked like a player who's team needed to win no matter what so had to go and do the business to ensure that happened.

To add to that Fabregas and van Persie very excellent, particularly in their combinations with each other as Fabregas' passing and VP's movement and link up play were excellent. And van Persie topped it off with a goal.

We are still in the title race and stay a comfortable distance above Chelsea, Man City and tottenham, so all is good this weekend!

I think the team can treat themselves to some of Blackpool's finest doughnuts on the way home.

Match ratings:

Lehmann 7
Eboue 8
Squillaci 7
Koscielny 7
Clichy 7
Diaby 8
Wilshere 7
Fabregas 8
Nasri 7
van Persie 9
Arshavin 6

Walcott 7
Gibbs 6
Ramsey 6