Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Champs League

On Thursday morning Arsenal will face toughest European title contenders, Barcelona and they will be without their captain, Cesc Fabregas. His knee injury has been a concern for us ever since he received a knock on Saturday's game against Birmingham.

We are at the advantage by playing at home. A win is a must, by at least 2-0 score line, or we will never make it at Nou Camp. It will be an uphill battle for Arsenal to keep a clean sheet especially going against a team such as Barcelona who are playing the most attractive football in Europe.

We couldn't have asked a better opponent and moment to answer those challenges thrown at us. Will we ever succeed? Or will we concede?. Very simple questions but yet too complicated for me to answer them. Honestly, it will be difficult for Arsenal to win it without ever-inspiring captain Cesc, not mentioning our mental state after conceding premier league title last week would be a large stumble block. But we need to support the team no matter what has happened.

Will I be watching? Not too sure. It's a late live broadcast so I probably going to skip it. The recent result still leave marks on me. It's really painful to see your beloved team crumbled yet again. The whole nation including media, especially those who support cash cow MU, will never let this moment go by without a single hateful comment. They will probably going to blame the coach for not having adequate qualities to become champions and having failed to add some fresh legs during winter transfer, the team withered over time.

What do I think? It's partly true that we were in the need to buy new forward especially in the absence of our main strike force, RVP and Bendtner. But we also need to take into consideration a world class forward doesn't come cheap nowadays and paying up an amount that goes up every now and then, it's too absurd for us to handle. Look at the balance book and you will be grateful for having a very careful manager like Wenger. We have to use whatever source we have, coach hasn't had a better option you know.

Arsenal players should bear responsibilities as any professional football players should do, no more no less. On Thursday morning we will see how far can Arsenal go in the future. If we can win both legs and keep a clean sheet, European title is possible. It is theirs to lose and we can't afford to see our trophy room gets the mockery once again. Good luck Gunners
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Cruel summer

World Cup won't begin until June but I have already felt its pressure. I have always been a loyal fan of England, but it is due to Beckham factor. Honestly, I don't believe England will go far in South Africa but I can never say never. Apart from being one of favorites to win the trophy, England have yet to convince me to go beyond quarter finals. Having world class players such as Rooney, Gerrard and Lampard doesn't make them the toughest nut among qualifiers. But like I said, I should never say never; in football peculiar things happen.

I looked forward to the world competition which will bring hundreds of millions people sit tightly in front of their TVs to watch every game in much of interest. But how would I do that with Becks out injured and yet another Arsenal gloomy season. This season has not offered me a thing. First, it was Beckham's horror injury and then Arsenal horrendous result a couple of days ago; I might as well pack my bags to a deserted island and stay there until the competition ends. Whoever wins it, doesn't really matter to me as long as I don't have to watch England lift the cup without Becks; how the sad story will continue to barge on me for months to come.

I have slight concern though, that this might be England cherish year by winning World champions trophy in more than 40 years. Most of the times, the unexpected claims victory; sad but true.
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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another title has gone

I am not in the mood in writing this, but I had to because someday I will remember this day as the biggest disappointment in Arsenal history. We had come so far to be in this place and somehow Arsenal players squandered the chance to be crowned as premier league champions for the first time in, I lost count to it. The last trophy we've obtained was in 2005, which also ended our magnificent season. Seasons followed had been about departures of key players and disappointment after disappointment.

Let's talk about last night match shall we?. At the beginning of the match Birmingham had threatened our defence but fortunately, newly elected CB Song formed a good partnership with his senior Sol Campbell provided good coverage for midfielders to roam forward.

Unproductive 1st half didn't end there. 2nd half gave nothing but another annoying performances from each player. Only after the introduction of Arshavin and Nasri did the team get much better in shape.

The goal came in the nick of time for Arsenal to pull through. But our joy didn't last long apparently. An own goal by Almunia gave the home side moment to cheer about. It was foolish decision by the goalkeeper to palm the ball away into his own net when he could have easily punched it elsewhere. And draw it was.

We had the chance but we blew it. The players have nothing to blame but themselves. Plenty of chances coming their way but they missed all of them, including Arshavin weak shot just before equalizer from Birmingham shattered our premier league title dream.

Chels showed characters and beat Villa with scorching result; 7-1 at home, nevertheless it showed that they are still chasing the title regardless their painful exit from European championship. What about us? Well, apart from being national mockery we are plain young guns who once again failed to sustain consistency which cost us everything from pride to title. We are no longer the side other low clubs feared of; we are just school kids who are trying to prove ourselves among professionals. Do I sound harsh to you? No offense but I say what I think it is.

We keep passing the ball when all we have to do is sneak a pass to our forwards and blast a shot. How many times we'd failed to capitalize possession and wasted them mercilessly? Too many times. We lost focus and screwed our chance to gain 3 points.

Chels and MU will face each other next week in which both of teams have possibility to drop points; Arsenal have all but assurance to stay on top if they can get full points. However, we lost our grip yesterday and let it slip once again.

Am I disappointed? No, to be honest I had this kind of premonition few hours before the match. Call me absurd or superstitious any way you want, but I have always trusted my guts. No matter how hard I tried to believe we could win, deep inside I had dark clouds over my thoughts. Nevermind, I can't change the past nor do I can make it better. We have to look forward in order to get past this which is another trophi-less season. Hopefully, the result of 09/10 would knock some senses on Wenger and start adding some qualities into our squad. Fingers crossed everybody.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

injury and our title chances

the injury list has lost one of its member, Robin Van Persie. it was reported yesterday that RVP has begun his light training and most likely will return to competitive match as early as May, the right time to play his last game of the season. apart from him, we have no one back for Birmingham match this weekend and that means we will probably stick with Silvestre and Song as our CB. Gallas is out for another 2 to 3 weeks, so there’s no chance he can make it back on time for champs league against Barcelona, while Sol will be rested to make sure he is ready for tough match in champs league.

Birmingham are no jokes. they could handle pressure playing at Stamford Bridge and earning well deserved 1-1 result. but it could have been Chelsea ugliest home game since they were ousted from champs league by Inter Milan and JT sensational scandal made it a lot worse; or is it the other way around? either way, it could have been both. anyway, Birmingham have been in moderate form and could spare us surprises if we don’t careful enough. despite making positive results in recent matches, i have huge amount of doubt over partnership between Song and Silvestre. no, i don’t doubt their talents but i am more concern with how well they will cope with Birmingham pressure; away games have never been easy, regardless team we are playing.

Bowyer’s presence can shake our defence if we don’t start to do things right.with Song move further back, i presume Diaby will take his turn patrolling in the centre alongside Denilson. unfortunately, Ramsey is out injured so we don’t have any extra man in the centre and that makes me even worried. Diaby is prone to any kind of injury and usually will take time for him to completely heal, something that i don’t fancy during important matches like this one. hopefully, he will stay injury free at least until Vermaelen and Gallas are back.

since we have already played all matches we need to play, and no other cup is tied into our schedule we are free from playing midweek matches except for champs league of course. Birmingham on the other hand, still have Blackburn to think about this Wednesday. currently, they are on 9th spot while Blackburn sit 3 places apart with 9 points of gap. for both teams, a win is a must so we get to see them knock on each other real hard. i hope Blackburn will get the 3 points at home and be able to shake Birmingham’s players out of their comfortable zone for our sake.

we are in a place where one tiny mistake can lead us down to that pitch black hole again; yet another trophy-less season. yes, Chelsea are 2 points adrift from us but they still have one game in hand and with Drogba available for selection, Chelsea could still eclipse MU and us. let’s not be worried about others’ results ,shall we? the most important thing for Arsenal is to keep winning matches both home and away. there’s no point of talking “want to win trophies” but if we don’t show the right attitude, we will never get there. the difference between winners and losers are not just plain luck, but mentality as well. play like champions, the rest is taken care of.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A win

It may not have been our best game, but the boys really put up a fight that truly win the battle. The war for title isn't over, MU have obtained 3 points to be on top and pushed aside Chelsea who collected only 1 point at home. Birmingham City aren't easy opponents to be against with, that's why I'm really worried about our defence. We will face them next week with the absence of Djorou, Vermaelen and Gallas; figure that out yourself.

There were times we were caught on sleeping at the back and allowing West Ham to try get back on the game. Fortunately, we managed to keep the lead. With Sol having his back to back matches, I'm thinking Wenger will rest his veteran CB next week and move Song further back.

Silvestre is available for selection, therefore he'll most likely partnering Song in the centre. Denilson and Diaby will stay in the CM and Fabregas just behind the striker. Nasri had a bit of uneasy movement after had been tackled by a West Ham player but no injury news so far from the coach, so I guess he's doing just fine. Walcott might start but we don't know that just yet as Rosicky is fit too, so we have to wait until Friday to see updates on injuries we're having.

We lost Vermaelen after straight red card he'd received in the first half. As suspected WH came strongly in the absence of 1 player and continuously terrorizing our defence. Sol and Song did well to cover our gaping hole at the back. After I thought would be a very anxious last minutes, we had been granted penalty. Culprit: Matthew Upson dangling hand. Calmly, the captain took it and notched it home.

It wasn't our best display, but like most people say warriors rule them all. The belief made huge difference in the team. Alright, let's do it for Ramsey boys.

My mind is elsewhere, therefore everything that's been written here sound a bit absurd and delusional; too short and incomplete.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

DB32 injured

I couldn't believe my eyes when I came across an article saying that David Beckham may have to skip WC dream after sustaining ligament injury yesterday. My heart was crushed to pieces knowing that he needs to undergo surgery in order to safe his career.

Why did it happen to him not any England player? He had a worrying injury back in 2002 just before WC and today he sustained another one with only 3 months away from WC.

Right before the moment he injured his ligament, many people had had strong believe that Becks had successfully booked a ticket to South Africa despite his golden age. Though Capello has never mentioned anything publicly, pundits are convinced Beckham's inclusion in final 23 squad member is not in doubt. However, with this new long term injury he's suffering, his chances are slim.

Last year, Beckham once again joined AC Milan for 6 month loan in order to let Capello knows he's up for the challenge. However, he fails to secure first team slot due to one reason which is Leonardo. If last season Ancelotti, Milan former coach, was more than happy to use Beckham as many games he could possibly play, Leonardo puts him more as substitute rather than starting XI. But it doesn't stop him from playing his heart out whenever he's given a chance.

It's so sad seeing a dedicated player has to experience such tragedy. If he had been injury-free, I would never had a doubt Capello would certainly put him inside the plane to South Africa this summer. This would be his last bow in the world stage as the most famous football player in the world and boy, how would it be perfect for him to say goodbye with stinging performances before the eyes of hundreds of thousand people. But sadly, it's not meant to be. I have one question in my head, why now and why him?. Life works in strange way and no one can ever undo the past.

May David Beckham ankle surgery goes smoothly and blessed with speedy recovery, amin. Gray day
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Mainly intended for testing only
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