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Archive for November, 2009


Arsenal v Chelsea: Defeat is unthinkable Comments Off

Posted on November 29, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

So today is here and hopefully it will provide a good end to a rather shite few weeks, the latest kick in the bollocks is the news that van Persie will be sitting on the sidelines for the rest of the season after the Dutch FA lied to us over the seriousness of his injury, van Persie is devastated, Wenger is livid and all in all, its not the best build up to our biggest game since we played Chelsea at Wembley in the FA Cup last season.

On that occasion we choked and we can’t afford for that to happen again, the front three have to snaffle any chance mustered against the Chelsea defence and start the massive defensive shift we are going to need to put in, Denilson would be my favorite to partner Alex Song in the middle of the park and offer more stability and a work ethic that Diaby, Nasri or Rosicky don’t have.

The defeat last week at Sunderland means that we have to win this one to stay in the title race, an 11 point deficit at the start of December wouldn’t be unassailable but you have to ask serious questions as to whether we are good enough to wipe out that points difference. I don’t know if being at the Grove is a good thing today, last season we went to Stamford Bridge and came from behind to win, we played at the Grove later on in the season and got our arses kicked, is that still going to be in the players minds?

We have to have William Gallas out there, the thought of Senderos or Silvestre against Didier Drogba fills me with dread and Gallas will be sweating spinal fluid to get his eye sorted for the game this afternoon, the lest back slot is one that is asking lots of questions too and I think either one of Sagna or Eboue will play there.

The isnt much more to say on this match, we’ve just gotta win it. Eduardo needs to fire, Arshavin is a big match player and needs to shine or some people are going to start getting a bit peeved with him, Song and Denilson have to bos the midfield for Fabregas to fire in the passes for the front three.

I’m excited but very nervous, losing doesn’t bare thinking about because however many goals we have scored, at the end of November the big L column would read 4 which isn’t title winning stuff.

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Arsenal 2-0 Standard: I wasn’t convinced from what I saw Comments Off

Posted on November 25, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

“we do have to be wary of this Standard team, they have a habit of raising their game away from home and tonight we will have to be careful”

Actually, they are a very poor side indeed. I got that wrong.

I missed the first half, and consequently both the goals. Looking at various blogs and match reports we seemed to play rather well in the first half and took the foot off the pedal in the second. I hope that is true because what I saw in the second half didn’t please me much, it was similar to the Sunderland game in the way we lacked that cutting edge. I haven’t harped on about how van Persie gave us that cutting edge but we are really missing him at the moment, Wenger said any team would miss his ’super class’ and nobody can argue that we are missing him.

Despite Denilson and Song having very good games, (Denilson making a welcome return from injury), we were shocking at the back. Liege hit the post twice and if they were a better side would have got a couple of goals at least, this is really starting to grate with me because without much of our favoured front-line we can’t outscore teams as we did before. We just don’t have the same firepower.

A quick bit on the goals though…. in their own way they were both superb, Nasri’s finish was top top class although he made it look so easy, its moments like that that show you just how good these players at professional level have to be. Denilson’s goal was superb, the sheer power behind the ball and the fact it swerved both ways bamboozled their ‘keeper and netted the Brazillian his second of the season on his comeback.

These last couple of games I have been thinking of the difference a bullying, powerful striker would make and you can’t really argue that it would give us another dimension, someone in the Drogba mold could bulldoze defences and get us very important goals. Eduardo and Vela can’t do that.

On those two, Eduardo is a class finisher, I’ve always thought that but right now what he needs is goals and he needs them quick. Vela is a player with a great amount of hype around him but he has settled here now and has to prove his worth, he isn’t doing that at the moment. We have seen him do it at Carling Cup level but we are yet to see him do anything of the sort in the Premiership. In frame he reminds me of Pato at AC Milan, I just hope he can cut it here, I really do.

We can now look at the weekend and the game on Sunday, I suggest to the boss intensive defensive drills. He can say all he wants about Sunderland only having one effort on target in the entire game on Saturday but if that one effort goes in we are at a disadvantage straight away, Chelsea have been scoring just as many goals as us in previous weeks and I somehow doubt we will be able to outscore them, we will have do defend very well too. I’m nervous about the game to tell you the truth.

The game last night gave us three more injury victims, Gibbs has a broken metatarsal so we won’t be seeing him for a long time, Arshavin has had to have his head stapled after his clash of heads with Gallas, who has a nasty swollen eye and an ankle niggle.

Great.

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Time to get back on track: Standard preview Comments Off

Posted on November 24, 2009 by Martin @ thegoonblog.com

After the defeat at Sunderland on Saturday attention has mainly focussed on the game with Chelsea next week, but at the moment that is the least of our worries as Arsenal entertain Standard Liege at the Grove tonight. A strong confidence boosting performance is vital ahead of the big game on Sunday but expect a few changes with some of the players who went away for the internationals a couple of weeks ago given a rest.

I’d expect Carlos Vela to start, maybe alongside Eduardo who needs a goal to boost his confidence, Denilson may come in for Alex Song but I’d expect Cesc to start and Samir Nasri to fill in the other midfield slot. The battle for the right will be fought out between Rosicky and Walcott, I think Rosicky will start with Walcott getting 30 minutes or so to pick up some sharpness before the weekend.

Be under no illusions, the boss wants to win tonight and to top the group, giving us the chance for a slightly easier draw in the start of the knockout rounds:

“You feel at the start we were favourites, so if we finish top, it will be like ‘job done’,”

“If you are second in the group, you could have a disadvantage in the draw for the next stage, and you do not want that.”

The minimum requirement should be winning the group, we are much better than any of the teams in the group, and I mean no disrespect when I say that.

As Wenger says though, we do have to be wary of this Standard team, they have a habit of raising their game away from home and tonight we will have to be careful not to get caught cold like last time out in Belgium.

Cesc was up for interview duty yesterday and he made some rather nice comments about staying here for the rest of his career, I certainly wouldn’t mind that at all. We all know how good he is and he seems to be loving life here in what is his seventh season already:

“I’m very happy where I am and there is very long season in front of us. The last thing I want to do is get disconnected from what I have to do which is to play football for my team and for the Club that pays me. I’m really looking forward to a great season with Arsenal.”

[The skipper was then asked if he would like to stay for the rest of his career.]

“Why not?” he replied. “I have never thought about it. I’m only 22. You never know what your career will bring but why not? I’m in my seventh season now and I’m really happy, better than ever.”

Those seven years sure have gone fast, I can still remember when he burst onto the scene as a 16/17 year old, he is not one of the very best players in the world and he is only 22 years old. He can become one of the greats in my view.

Hopefully tonight we see some real desire and urgency because we were really lacking that on Saturday, despite already almost guaranteed progression into the next round it would be nice to see the lads really go out there and play like their lives depend on it to at least heal a bit of the weekends disappointment.

I will be out when the game is on but hopefully I’ll catch the end of it, heres to an encouraging result.

More tomorrow.

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