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Archive for October, 2009

Derby day: It’s time to avenge the 5-1 & 4-4 defeats Comments Off

Posted on October 31, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

So the big game is here at last and oh how lovely it would be to give these spuds a damn good mashing, we haven’t done so for a while and it would make it rather sweet.

You may think I’m wrong in calling the 4-4 game a defeat, but after getting so close to beating them only to see them haul it back, it felt like a defeat.

4-4 admit it, it hurt

On paper we should win, Spurs are without Defoe who is suspended and Aaron Lennon who has a knackered ankle, however they have Keane and Jenas in the side so that automatically means they will score at least one, Jenas always scores against us. Their defence should also be an issue, Woodgate got smashed in the face last week and didn’t look too healthy afterwards and was subbed, King only has half a leg as per usual so it will take quite some defensive performance from them to keep us out.

One thing Spurs will not do is sit back, they will have a go at us and that really does play into our hands. If the game opens up and Fabregas, Arshavin and van Persie get space they will wreak absolute havoc upon that Spurs defence, I would like to see Bendtner starting on the right but I can see us putting Eboue out there, Wenger knows in defence we are shocking and Eboue is a potential reinforcement.

I can see us lining up with Fabregas, Song and Diaby in the middle and I have no problem with that, Nasri certainly won’t start and there is a chance we might not see him off the bench tomorrow if he isn’t needed, we have Aaron Ramsey to come off the bench as an option too and again, if he comes into the game when there is space available he could cause damage – he is closing in on a start is Aaron.

Two of the front three pick themselves, Arshavin and van Persie who has scored 5 in his last 6 Premier League appearances so I would have a sneaky little punt on him opening the scoring tomorrow, either that or see what kind of odds there are on Vermaelen notching his sixth of the season, isn’t he due a goal? Eboue will probably start on the right ahead of Bendtner or Eduardo as I said earlier, I’m not sure on the fitness of Vela and with Rosicky still out there isn’t really anyone else to fit there.

Speaking of Bendtner, he is certainly one confident chap, he predicts he will become one of the worlds top strikers:

“Within five years I want to be the top scorer in the Premier League and I want to be known as a world-class striker. And it will happen. Trust me, it will happen. I look around at other players, I see my own ability and I can’t see anything that tells me it won’t happen. I’m sure people will think ‘What is he talking about?’ But as I have done before, and as I will do again, I will sit at the other end and laugh at those people when it is all done.”

He has the talent too, there are not many around like him and I said two seasons ago he could be better than Adebayor. I do like his confidence and his renewed work ethic; what is interesting is that when he talks about the incident with Adebayor at WHL he doesn’t make a meal out of it like you know the sliding arsehole would if he was on the receiving end. He is still young but he is improving – I wish people would get off his back. Add in his goals at international level this season and he has a very good tally and who would bet against him coming off the bench and scoring the winner – again?

This is our chance to really knock spurs down a peg or two; you have to hand it to them they have recovered well from their start last season and ol Twitch has done a good job but after unveiling their Ashburton Grove Mach 2 stadium plans they really do need teaching a lesson.

Manager, fans and players alike are all really, really up for this game. As fans we are owed for the disaster that was that 5-1 game, and the 4-4 debacle. I don’t think we have had a win against them since that game so a brilliant performance and a resounding win would send the Grove into another stratosphere tomorrow. It looks like we might have a slightly more interested Andrey Arshavin for this game too:

“Arshavin can change any game, anywhere at any moment so I believe he will have a great game tomorrow, he is a player I love, not only because he is talented but because he is efficient. I am confident he will have a big impact on the game tomorrow.”

Can he shut them up?

You may remember he was on the bench but unused for the game at WHL shortly after his arrival in January but he will understand how much this game means to us I’m sure. It will be his first North London derby and we could do with a Pires type who gets a compulsory goal against Spurs now that we have got rid of Adebayor who had a brilliant record against them. No pressure, Andrey.

Perhaps Wenger has the right attitude, he is almost taking the derby situation out of the game and just focusing on the three points up for grabs:

“We are in a strong position in the League and, above the derby, what is more important for me is to win the game because we want to win the title. I do not consider too much that we play Tottenham. I consider we can take three points to be in a stronger position in the League. That’s much more important.”

I can see where he is coming from, we need a victory after dropping points against West Ham, it meant that we couldn’t afford to draw this game and Spurs losing at home to Stoke last week means they can’t afford to draw or lose this game to keep up with us. It does all look towards a cracker of a game and I’m hoping I have nails left afterwards, I have a real feeling it could be one of those late mornings/early afternoons.

I can’t bloody wait for this.


till tomorrow.


We knock Liverpool out – Citeh next round anyone? – Merida’s contract 1

Posted on October 30, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

Alright all,

I’m still half dying from Swine Flu here, its horrible I tell you, absolutely bloody horrible. Anyway, it didnt stop me from watching the lads the other night and what a great game it was, I really enjoyed it. It was entertaining and you got that feeling that anything could happen at any time.

In defence I was impressed with Senderos and surprisingly Silvestre, and fair play to both of them for knuckling down and working hard because there are many other players in their position who would be moaning about not having enough chances in the starting eleven, Senderos in particular who has been treated like something on the bottom of Arsene Wenger’s shoe.

I was very impressed with Aaron Ramsey who bordered on world class in my opinion, Fran Merida scored a belter of a goal, Bendtner was clearly rusty but his goal was the type of goal I love to watch with an emphatic finish at the end.

Most blogs have already covered the game so I won’t go much further into it but I think the decision for the boss to play some more experienced heads is an important one, it shows that he is taking the competition slightly more seriously and would be more than happy to really go for the trophy this season. There are some formiddable sides we could get drawn against though, how lovely it would be to give Citeh a hiding and knock them out of the cup at the Grove.

Speaking of Middle Eastlands, Adebayor has opened his big fat unwanted skanky fast talking trap again. Bugger off Ade – go spend your money on engraving the number 25 on the moon or something like that you utter clot.

Has anyone noticed that we could be fielding three different goalkeepers in three consecutive games? It is looking more and more likely that Manuel Almunia will reclaim the keepers jersey after Fabianski has tweaked a muscle and will be out for around a month, I thought he did well against Liverpool, his decision making was slightly less dodgy than usual and I wasn’t biting my nails like some kind of neurotic erm…nailbiter.

There is good news about the future of goalscorer Fran Merida though, he is wanting to stay with us (and rightly so) for years to come and said of a new contract:

“I am really happy here so hopefully everything is going to be OK. We are going to sit down and talk about [a new contract].”

He and Cesc seem to get along pretty well, they came to the club in similar circumstances and I’m sure Cesc helped him settle, Ive heard they are good mates and after Merida scored Cesc was the first one to leap out his seat.

Right so I will be back soon with a look forward to our game against the neighbours. Till then.


Liverpool preview: Vela misses out on a chance but others can shine 2

Posted on October 28, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

First up, apologies for my absence over the last few days, I’ve come down with swine flu and it is not the most pleasant thing under the sun, my skins gone pink and Ive even started oinking too. Its not good.

Anyway tonight we need to get back to winning ways after two draws, it might only be the Carling Cup but at the moment any cup would do for us. The squad is a mixture of youth, inexperience and incompetence so lets hope everything goes smoothly and Liverpool don’t name their first eleven. Gerrard is out of the tie and I doubt Rafa would be stupid enough to risk Torres but then again, it is Rafa, and he is stupid.

One name rather mysteriously missing from the squad is Carlos Vela who is running out of opportunities, he really has not featured much at all in his first season and a bit at the club, he is now 20 and might start soon getting itchy feet – the rumours are out there already about interest in him from Spain so it would be good to know why he isn’t going to be taking any part tonight. Could it be injury? Well he has had a fair few in his time with us.

The boss has confirmed that Nasri and Fabianski will start the game, I’d think Bendtner or Eduardo will too depending on who will get the most match time against Spurs on Saturday. It will be good to see Nasri back and he will give us that bit of class in the middle in the absence of Jack Wilshere. It is a shame not to see him play again but his time will come I am certain.

Last season we saw Nasri in a defensive role in some games and Arsene more or less confirmed that he might well be lining up next to Song in the future in a more defensive role in the center:

“I would say more in the defensive role now but, because he can dribble, he can play on the flanks too. He has pace and he can play in a role that is half a winger. A dropped winger who will come in sometimes, can go wide. But maybe it has to be balanced with a striker on the other side sometimes.”

It is a big season for him and he had a pretty good season last time out, at points he tailed off a little and went quiet but he has a lot of quality and it will shine through. He is the same age as Cesc, I think of him as being older than him the majority of the time.

It seems that this is the chance for Lucasz Fabianski to cement the number one spot with Almunia still out in the cold, its not a situation I think is for the good of the club or our trophy chances this season, I would go as far as to say it could well cost us silverwear if it is not sorted out. In the FA Cup semi last season Fabianski was at fault for at least one of the goals, there was only one goal between the teams. We need a class keeper, project youth does not cut it in that position.

Some of the younger members of the squad have been talking up the game today, labeling it as their chance to change and make their careers, it is a big game for the likes of Gilbert, Randall, Senderos (his appalling treatment will make the subject of a rather strongly worded blog soon) and Fran Merida – who Wenger described as “too good to go out on loan”.

I’m looking forward to this one tonight. If your going have a great time and be safe.

Till tomorrow.


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