It's the first post in almost 2 years. I don't know whether I still have the guys to tel it all as it is.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
it has been a while since i wrote about Arsenal in this blog. it does not mean i have forgotten about the club or too busy to care. life turns out to be much more exciting in the twitter world. i get a little bit more when i peek in my timeline and find out what is left in the Arsenal world.
unless you have been living inside a cave buried deep down, you must have noticed summer is here. it means no real football for another one and a half month. for non-fans, it must be their triumph, for girls can ask to go to wherever they want to go with their boyfriends undisturbed by football fixture. it mush thrilling too for mothers who must have faced difficulties on flicking channels during football matches. and as for me, i am more or less like frozen yoghurt without yoghurt. it’s a joke in case you had not noticed.
summer holiday in footballing world means transfer window in which players are likely to be involved in a deal to determine whether or not to extend their contracts. talking about extending contracts, there are two players who have yet sign an agreement with the club to stay beyond next season. they are Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri. the latter has been the subject of speculation to leave Arsenal rather than staying. a lot has been said by the media which half of them certain he will leave for man*td or Inter Milan. press even managed to get deeper info from the “source” inside and claimed Nasri wants a rise doubling from his current earning. this of course, does not sit well with some fans. they think asking for 160k/week is against the club’s policy; Cesc earns smaller figure than the requested amount. however, i must stress this to you that those words are merely extracted from media, which at times are not always accurate.
Clichy on the other hand, has not been mentioned in Wenger’s latest interview with a French media. the manager reiterated there will be no sale of Cesc Fabregas and he will look after Nasri’s contract talk himself without delay. however, no Clichy whatsoever in the interview. they said Clichy had turned down any contract talk last season and would have walked out of the club if things had come through as the players himself had planned. i cannot remember any of this which most probably have been caused by Cesc-love-in saga with Barcelona. this summer is no different, however.
if you read my blog, you must have noticed i have put several names who might be sold off to other clubs this summer; Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner, Eboue, Almunia, Diaby are those names. out of six players mentioned, only two players have come out cleanly to voice out their desire to leave the Emirates. Bendtner thinks he deserves his place while Denilson, figures his time as Arsenal player is out and wants to move on. you want to know what i think?. i think they feel rather dwarfed by young guns resurgence and choose the safest way out of the team. since his groin injury 2 seasons ago, Bendtner has failed to cement his first place out of Chamakh, who later got kicked out of the team by ever-so reliable Robin van Persie. we don’t talk about Denilson anymore. for me, he has gone to other side long time before his desire to leave.
as we all agreed in unanimous decision, Arsenal will not bother to buy unless they can sell off deadwood first; however, i may incline to say, we might do things different way this summer. yes, it is true Wenger refusal to change his philosophy overnight frustrates most of us, but it does not stop his own dire desire to get rid of deadwood and eager to win some trophies next season. Ivan Gazidis enjoyed some Q&A session with AST (Arsenal Supporters Trust) two days ago and you might find excerpt here from ashburton grove. three important keys from this session. Gazidis assured fans that there are new players coming in this summer in order to strengthen the team. he also convinced fans, Kroenke will not be heavily involved in regards of players deal talk. there is one caution though. Wenger knows this team is not competitive enough to win trophies next season, therefore he decides to reinforce it. however, the club will not go beyond its financial ability to attain a player’s service; meaning, we will not see crazy shopping spree this summer or for ever more. happy?. i don’t see it to be a problem. why?.
there are numerous reasons we can’t be choosy over a player’s price tag, but other times we also do not have to bend our policy for the sake of unknown talent. premier league is the most challenging league there is and buying crazily for a kind of player like Jose Reyes, is not encouraged especially when we need our team win major championships. we are being linked to several names starting from Samba, Cahill, Gervinho, Scott Dann, and so on. i do not know whether they will become a part of Arsenal team soon, or is it merely media empty talks. we won’t know until it is announced officially will we?. i was hoping we have signed two players by now, but we know how management handle deals. if Gervinho deal is nearly done like they say, then we must move on to sealing deals for CB, CM and Nasri. we must not get ourselves be outpaced once again.
PS: i may be moving away from this blog and write my Arsenal thoughts in somewhere else more compatible and flexible.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Is this true?. Or are we merely looking for different excuses to sweep the real issue under the rug?. i think some of you would agree that Cesc future has been somewhat put our season in disarray. Well, it doesn’t contribute to our horrendous performances, i agree. Other issues including Nasri and Clichy unresolved contract talks and some other players who simply do not perform this season, have intrigued more newspapers to make suggestions on who Arsenal should be signing this summer to replace those underperformed players.
i can only direct you to some of the transfer news and i must tell you that they are not all reliable. This morning, Guardian ran the story of Arshavin leaving Arsenal after spending 2 and half seasons in premier league. I do not know how to make of this news. @thegoonblog has tweeted something interesting yesterday. If you want to know what was all about, just head to twitter and find your way there. It appears Chelsea are interested on signing Arshavin. i simply don’t think it will happen anyway. He has 2 years left in his contract, and i think he will honor it. He may have fallen short in recent months, but his experience and skill can help Arsenal during dying minutes.
We all now know that Scott Parker had won football of the year in Football Writer’s Association event last week. According to several newspapers, including The Independent Scott Parker is now wanted by Le Boss to fix his midfield issues. Some fans agued, including myself, Song is not yet ready to play 90 minutes of football for the whole season without clear competition for someone who is capable to replace him permanently. in short, Song is not reliable. When he plays his heart out, the team seems run in balance and capable of beating even the world’s best. But if he is not, well you figure it our yourself.
Another story that comes around often these past days is the possibility of Eden Hazard comes to Arsenal. He confessed, rather oddly, to media at the end of season, he wouldn’t mind to switch to other club. he has been scouting by number of big clubs in Europe and Arsenal are one of them and so they said. He is rather young for our ‘requirement’ isn’t he?. i know Wenger is keen to inject some youth to our squad, but after such abysmal season, i don’t think he will gamble on him. as much as talented Hazard is, another youngster is the last thing what we need. besides we have Vela and Nasri who will be easily slotting in to his position.
Gunnersphere has a rather interesting story on Real Madrid-reject Karim Benzema. The players is not considering to leave, but according to reports Mou is not happy and might ask him to find other club this summer. The asking price is 25m Poundsterling. Should we snap him up?. I somehow do not believe he will play for any premier league club any time soon. And if he does leave, i only have destination in mind: Chelsea. Manc might tempt to sign him but Roman will not get beaten this time. He’s a fan of Benzema and will try to sign him if he is free to talk to clubs.
I think that’s all i have now. I will not write transfer rumors/gossips/reports in this blog. I’m sure @thegoonblog will have it covered nicely for the rest of summer window. I will try to write it here though, only if those stories are worth to write.
So we are now 4th. Are you happy now Mr. Wenger?. What about you, dear players?. Are you now finally, feel the our suffering this past season?. when we slipped against Blackburn, then convincing win to Blackpool, we once again managed to make everything worst for our own sake. When these players were called upon, they fell flat. Arsenal had the chance to close the gap to manutd and it had not come once. we faltered and humbled against even lower teams, such as Stoke. Who are we?.
With only one game left, manc are expected to carve their names amongst the best in Europe. Being 3rd, manc are eligible to qualify for UEFA champions league next season without having to go for play-offs. Arsenal on the other hand, have to cut their holiday short 2 weeks earlier. it is not yet confirmed for us to be 4th. If we can win the game against Fulham (i’m down on my knees praying), we still have the chance to be at 3rd. but it also depends on manc last game. I hope Bolton will do everything they can to get 3 points out of the match. But i don’t count on it.
Monday, May 16, 2011
The following week, it happened again. Inconsistency and defence scramble put us solidly on the wall of shame. It seems to me, we are unable to find a way to get back up again and win the match once we're behind. Last season, our defence took a tumble in dying minutes in which turned our promising season into a puddle of mud. This season however, we changed a bit in terms of nature of the conceded goals. We press and dominate as though we are about to win the game thoroughly, only later on we are defeated by our own selves. Who are we?.
Yesterday, my father teased me and even dared to bet Arsenal would not win this match. I ignored him and look at me now. I simply do not understand this team anymore. And I am dead serious. It seems our mentality evaporates as soon as opponents score against us. There's no sense of urgency or the willingness to fight until the final whistle. We only see them to care when the clock hits 70 minutes. And what does that bring us? Nothing, sadly.
Szczesny promised better results next season. I say "don't give your words if you can't keep them". Did other players promised the same thing after such horrendous results?. And why are we here again?. Do I sound bitter to you?. Do I moan about the season we're having?. Am I being too harsh?. Well, ask around the stadium. If you can't, go ahead and check twitter if you must. Read and listen to fans' pleading. How many of them do not wish to renew their membership?. How many of them travel from such distances, only to be let down with such disgrace attitude. Times are hard and Arsenal make everything even more difficult for them. The last home game should have been a reward, or token for loyal fans, not this kind of humble, or should I say embarrassing match. We need to keep in mind, manc are trailing by only 2 points behind and regardless our last result, they will definitely snatch 3rd place if they won both of their last matches. How come are we here?. I have no idea. Was it our rigid and easy to predict system? Or players to blame?. A bit of this and that will sum up our season just beautifully.
Villa were everything we were not yesterday. They worked hard, marking every man diligently, and even sent lone ranger, Darren Bent, a decisive pass which doomed Arsenal to their fate. I said earlier before the game about the 4-3-3 system and how Wenger seems to adore it regardless teams we are up against. We have become too well predicted. The system also seems fail to create space and become too narrow at times. I also said, Wenger would have made last minute changes by adopting 4-4-2 if things had not gone the way it supposed to. The strange thing was, Bendtner played as a winger. My mood was in such a mess, I had no longer paid attention to any of it anymore.
Enough about the game. I want to share a bit more about ticket price. As you all know, starting from next season, season-ticket holders will be paying more if they want to attend matches. Anyone else in other part of the world will probably do not care about such hike and choose to play who's in who's out game. But it can only start something that Arsenal may have yet seen before. @worldofarsenal have asked few ticket holders and most of them confirmed, they would not renew. Fan chants on "6% you're having a laugh" rang on the stadium after seeing Arsenal 'humbled' yet again. A round of boos from the fans marked the lap of appreciation soon after the game had ended. Fans are not happy. And with the recent released ticket prices, a lot of them would think twice before going to the stadium. I feel sorry for them, to be honest. And if I, who live a few thousand miles away from the stadium, can hardly contain my desire to be in the Emirates, what about those who are not far from it. Standing in the stadium is magical moment for each and every one of us.
I can sense changes are about to land upon the soil of North London. And I'm not talking about the other North London club. It is known to many that boardroom members have failed to bring what had been promised 6 years ago. What could have been the most successful season, had once again flushed down to the drain. There will be no limit in the revolution Arsenal should make this summer. Players who do not intend to stay or commit to Arsenal, should make themselves known and be sold upon confession. It is time to get tough. We are way too lenient and it has got to change. I'm not asking for a change in management, but for the manager to change. Underperformed players must be let loose.
One thing before I end this post. I want to say to those people who think I'm a glory hunter and only care for the club to win trophies. I am an Arsenal fan through and through. I don't need to prove myself to the world I am one, by wearing Arsenal shirt or put the crest as my avatar. I am what I am. If I were one of those glory hunters, I would have gone to the other side of town and cheer them with all my heart. Sadly for you, I'm not that cheap. I fight for this club to any given level, whether it's up or at the bottom. Do you seriously think, no one including a fan, should not be allowed to criticize this shrunken team?. How deluded you are. If I can remember correctly, a lot of fans have been asking for Wenger's head and be replaced by some well-known manager, whereas I was, and still is, firmly behind Wenger. There were also requests for the club to buy mega star players and buy them in bulk. Do these symptoms sound familiar to you?. Or has anyone forgotten our rants the other day about how weak our players are and wouldn't mind to see them off this summer?. If you are counter attacking me by saying, you are pleased with our performances for the sake of fear being called glory hunter, then you are lying to yourself. I may not have been an Arsenal fan as long as some of you have. But I have the same passion and love for the club. And I seriously think, fans deserve more than what you have seen this season. And I'm sure you can't lie on that one.
Why do you think Arsenal are going far east and play some nutter football with Asian teams?. It's because of the amount of the deal. Football is not just about some sports game we enjoy at the back of our yard. It's now a business. Whether you like it or not, we can't no longer resist the lure of winning trophies. Ask those who in the know about this, then you will understand my point. From monetary point of view, winning champions league will give you extra revenue and it's benefiting to both club and fans. For a club that uses its own resources as payments for purchasing players, Arsenal must be able to self-generate its own revenues and turn them into profit, which in turn will help the growth of the club itself. In my opinion, the best is yet to come. And like some others, I am required to be patient. I will but not until I see changes which are overly due.
Thursday, May 05, 2011
Anyway, lets get back to business. I have not been able to write consistently for the past weeks and i feel terrible about it. There were high and low moments in which i could take a lot of it as blessing in disguised. Bitter draw against Liverpool and lastly, our glorious win to stop manutd from winning its 19 (if i'm not mistaken) PL trophy. What can i say? Arsenal is bound to make your heart goes up and down. Every match gives us quite the same notion since the beginning of the season. We start brightly and dominate the game but only to allow opponents to take advantage of our naivete and win the match. That hurts isn't it?.
Then came along the big match which also supposed to be our title decider, and changed the flow of PL remaining games. If Arsenal had been defeated, manutd could have as well lifted the trophy at the Emirates and brought home their egos with them. I will not go back to why we are now on 3rd instead of going head to head with mancs and why did we allow chavs intercept our chances to win it. It will only waste my precious time.
Some pundits had already given a win to manure even before the game started. Of course, it was their jobs anyway to predict results. Apparently, it was entirely different than most of them had predicted. Ramsey, who had such horrific injury needed 14 months to play again at his best level. He replaced Cesc who was out injured. And boy, how he responded. He scored the only goal in the game which also sealed Arsenal win against mancs in extravagant manner. The way we played sent manure packing.
We still have another 3 games to play and we have nothing to lose. Our main goal is now to restore our pride by retaining 2nd place from chavs. No more big teams in our fixture but this is when things get complicated. We fare quite poorly against mid an low table teams this season. They make it hard to beat at times and we complicate even more by not going into the game with the right attitude. Complacency gives Arsenal hard time indeed. But we still can perform brilliantly if we are no longer in title hunt, therefore 3 wins are not so impossible are they?. Anyone can be PL champions now if both league leaders and 2nd place team collapsed at their last games. Far fetch theory, but i don't mind hold on to it though.
Good news everyone, Verminator is back. He completed his 90mins game with reserve team and earned him a medical certificate for having passed rigourous examinations by the club medical team and he is now ready to kick some Stoke-eyish. Just kidding. his addition is massive boost for Arsene. He has lost Djourou through knee injury on Sunday and he will likely to miss visit to Britannia Stadium. I think Vermaelen comeback is very much welcomed. Having Squillaci as first option is like handing Almunia the no. 1 shirt. Will AW risk Vermaelen by the way? I don't know. But i think he will start him against Stoke. We only have 3 games left, so i can't imagine Wenger being too cautious on him. I want to see him play to be honest. He might be a bit short but he can only recover his loss by playing matches. If Wenger opt for Squilaci, then he might be coming back against Fulham. Either way, it's nice to see him again.
By the way, @thegoonblog suggests Neil Banfield as new assistant manager next season. There are also names such as Grimandi and Bould. But Banfield is a popular figure in the team so he might be the favorite. Read it at the www.thegoonblog.com if you like more details.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
These players don't cut it as champions. We can't rely on them playing 30something premier league games with their best efforts. I don't usually lash on Wenger and his decisions, but this time it will be a different one. He must forget his philosophy of making young Arsenal team win all titles in a season and should start making real winners out of passion, desire to win trophies.
We need balance in the team and Wenger hasn't provided it this season. Players who don't perform up to the desired level must not be given another chance and forced to look somewhere else. I may sound harsh to you but if you look at the way we handle ourselves in the past 6 years, then you will completely understand my points. I'm sorry to say but Rosicky, Denilson, Eboue, Almunia and Diaby are not showing signs of recovering their best form and now stay in the team based on Wenger's mercy. Another salt in the wound but I'm sure a lot of fans will agree with me that in order for Arsenal to be champions, we need to start building up tough, effective team that will break down opponent's defence and not some weak players toying around penalty box clueless what to do.
I rarely write something as harsh as it is but I have had enough of being the club with the most draw among top 3 of the season. Wenger may label us as 'unbeatable' but anyone who has been watching our games since early March, will most probably laugh at his point of view. We want titles and I think it's fair for us, fans, to crave more than just champions league qualification.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
This morning I stumbled upon articles that @Arsenalblog quotes from a Spanish magazine, Don Balon. I can't give you full excerpt here, and to be honest I would much prefer for you to head to @Arsenalblog twitter page or www.thegunninghawk.com and read it there. It's a bit complicated to write with your two thumbs instead of 10 fingers.
Anyway, the no. 1 person in the team had spoken about our lackluster performance and suggested his idea of why Arsenal had been failing to win trophies for six consecutive years. I agree with the notion that we, as a whole, are lacking of winning mentality and it could have been caused by six years trophies drought. His assumption, that without real taste of true glory, it was hard for players to actually produce the kind of performance winners or champions do.
He wanted to simply state of what was truly happening with his own words. I still think it is best to keep it behind closed doors. To criticize your own team, without being sensitive on your performance, would never sit well to both the fans and his boss. We know he has been struggling to keep his form after recovering from recurring hamstring injury, and may still feel a bit of set back, but saying that the whole team is lacking and he is not, it's simply ignorant.
Arsenal FC have always been keen to develop young players through their youth academy. And few of them have even been included in the senior team before. The names of Henry Lansbury, Craig Eastmond, JET are not unfamiliar to fans. They are regarded as potential XI in next few years. Back to Cesc. On the interview, he said the club should make a choice whether they want to win trophies or win titles.
As a player who had spent his time in the academy, he should have known better. He may have meant as "if we want to win titles, we need to start injecting some characters to the squad that it's not yet available in our young players". In other words, he wanted Wenger to buy experienced players.
You think I disagree with him?. People who have been following me quite some time, would surely dismiss the idea. I have always said over and over, we must add some muscles in the defence and most importantly in midfield. He gave the interview at the wrong time though. I would have liked it better, if he had given it during summer break. It would be fantastic to see our captain urging Wenger to buy quality players to accommodate Arsenal needs.
That's it for now. We are going to face spuds in about five hours. I don't have anything to say, yet. But might start have crazy ideas or thoughts a couple of hours before the game. As a quick note, both Sagna and Song are fit to play. And if they are, I'm sure Diaby and Eboue will get bench role this time. It's pity to see Diaby snubbed as he's starting to play like his old self before that horrible tackle from He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. So, it will be Song and Wilshere in the middle of the park again with Cesc claims his role ahead of those two. I would prefer to see Arshavin to start to be honest. He can give us different flavor while pressing. But I think Wenger will go for Walcott and Nasri as wingers. No question should be asked who will firing bullets up ahead.
Okay Gooners, see ya later..