Arsenal’s Century Club – Olivier Giroud

May 14, 2019

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Olivier Giroud sits at number 12.

Oliver Jonathan Giroud was born in Chambery, France on September 30th 1986.

He began his career at Grenoble in Ligue 2 before joining Tours in 2008. He was the leagues highest scorer with 21 goals in his second season at Tours. On July 1st 2010 he joined top-flight side Montpellier and scored 21 goals in the 2011–12 season, helping Montpellier to their first ever Ligue 1 title.

Giroud made his full international debut for France in 2011. He has earned  87 caps, and was part of the teams which reached the quarter-finals at UEFA Euro 2012 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the final of UEFA Euro 2016 in which he received the Bronze Boot as joint second-highest goal scorer, and won the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

On 26 June 2012, Arsenal signed Giroud on a long-term contract for a fee of around £9.6 million and was given the number 12 shirt. He made his debut on 18 August as a substitute in a goalless home draw against Sunderland in the Premier League and scored his first Arsenal goal on 26 September, in a 6–1 win against Coventry City in the League Cup. He scored his first goal in Europe in the UEFA Champions League in a 2–2 draw at Schalke.

On 22 August, 2014 he broke his left tibia and was ruled out for four months but returned to action quicker than expected, replacing Aaron Ramsey for the last 13 minutes of a 1–2 home defeat against Manchester United on 22 November and scoring Arsenal’s consolation goal in added time.

On 30 May, 2015 he scored Arsenal’s fourth goal after appearing as a substitute in the team’s 4–0 FA Cup Final victory over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium.

On 1 January 2017, he scored his iconic and unforgettable back heeled “scorpion kick” volley in a 2–0 win against Crystal Palace, a goal described by Arsène Wenger as the greatest he had seen at the Emirates Stadium. The goal later earned him the FIFA Puskás Award for the goal of the year.

During the 2017 FA Cup Final against Chelsea at Wembley, Giroud came on in the 78th minute with the score 1–1, and a minute later he delivered an assist for Aaron Ramsey to score the winning goal which saw Arsenal lift the Cup for a record-breaking thirteenth time.

On 28 September 2017 during Arsenal’s Europa League group game away to BATE Borisov, Giroud scored his 100th goal for the club in a 4–2 victory.

Theo celebrates Giroud’s 100th goal against Bate

On December 10th 2017 in a 1-1 draw with Southampton Alexis Sanchez sent a cross into the box and Olivier scored his 105th and final goal for Arsenal with one of his trademark.

 

GunnerN5

Advertisements

Arsenal’s Century Club – Theo Walcott

March 25, 2019

Today we start to look at the players who are members of – “The Arsenal Century Club”. We start today with the player who took the most games and we will finish the series of posts with the player who took the least.

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. Theo Walcott sits at number 19.

Theo James Walcott was born 16 March 1989 in Stanmore, London, but grew up in Compton, Berkshire. He attended Compton Church of England Primary School and The Downs School. Nike agreed to a sponsorship deal with Walcott when he was fourteen years old. He is a product of the Southampton Academy and started his career with Southampton before Arsene Wenger signed him for Arsenal in 2006 for £5 million.

He initially joined as a scholar, having agreed to sign a professional contract on his 17th birthday on 16 March 2006.

On 30 May 2006, Walcott became England’s youngest ever senior football player aged 17 years and 75 days. In December, he received the BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year award. On 6 September 2008, he made his first competitive start in a World Cup qualifier against Andorra. He has represented England at the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2012 and has 47 caps, scoring eight goals. In September 2008 against Croatia he became the youngest player ever to score a hat-trick for the full England side, aged just 19.

His first goal for Arsenal came in the 2007 League Cup Final against Chelsea at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff, on 25 February 2007. His 12th-minute strike was overshadowed by events later on in the match: John Terry was knocked unconscious, Didier Drogba scored twice to give Chelsea a 2–1 victory and three players were sent off following a mass brawl.

Some words from the man himself-

“I was only 17 and hadn’t even played in the Premiership when I went to Germany. It wasn’t my decision to pick me. But it was good experience to train with world-class players, see the way they handled themselves.

“I never read the papers, so I never know what people are saying about me. That helps. The environment I’m in with the other players around me, I don’t really see what is in the papers. Of course I wanted to play for Arsenal. But I was only 17 and I didn’t want to play too much and get injuries. The boss has done brilliantly with me and now I’m ready to push on.”

Some more words-

Football is about opinions, but love me or hate me I don’t really care,” he said.

“I have been so pleased with everything I have achieved and I’ve enjoyed everything about it. Even with the injuries, it is part of the game. I genuinely wouldn’t change anything, I don’t have any regrets.

“I’ve seen players come through who everyone says, ‘They’re the next best thing’ and they put so much pressure on them, but then they go down the leagues and down the leagues and you just don’t hear about them anymore. But if you’re strong up here [mentally] and you have good people around you, then you can get through it.”

This may come as a surprise, but Walcott is a published author.

He has written no less than four children’s books for his “T.J and the…” series.

He was just 21 when they were published in 2010. The lead character, TJ, appears to be based on the author. Goodreads rated every one of the books at least 4.5/5.

In his 370th game for Arsenal on February 20th 2017 he scored his 100th goal in a 2-0 FA Cup victory over Sutton United.

Theo’s 100th goal punch

Throughout his last season at Arsenal, he was mainly used in the Europa League and in the EFL Cup, and he only made 6 substitute appearances in the Premier League. By October, he was increasingly on the fringes and was criticised following a poor performance when made captain in a 2–1 League Cup victory at home to Championship side Norwich City.

On 17 January 2018, Walcott signed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Everton, ending his time at Arsenal.

GunnerN5


Who should be AFC Director of Football?

March 22, 2019

It seems we are in desperate need of a Director of Football. Apparently, Arsenal have failed miserably (once again) in their hunt for this Magic Man which makes us the laughing stock of the football world. We are officially “in crisis” 😀

As I understand it we have never had an official Director of Football (henceforth known as DOF) but if we need one let’s look at possible candidates …

Well, he clearly cannot be a red head. They just cannot do the job, hence the reluctance to give Mr. Sven Mislintat the job which led to his resignation. We have never been lucky with redheads – Willy Young struggled, Alan Ball was better at Everton,  Steve Sidwell at anywhere but AFC. In fact I can’t think of a carrot-top who has succeeded at THOF.

Marc “Roadrunner”  Overmars has chosen to stay at Ajax which must be to do with the Dutch cuisine which he clearly has developed a passion for (see below)

0_Real-Madrid-v-Ajax-UEFA-Champions-League-Round-of-16-Second-Leg.jpg

 

There was talk of the Brazilian, Edu ,who attested to his love of AFC but chose to remain in a cushy job in a warm climate – and who can blame him.

Other candidates abound but we need an Arsenal Man.

How about one of the TV experts … Wrighty? Now that would be a laugh. Magic Man Merson – we need someone who can read and write. TA6 – imagine the mess after a year. Lee Dixon – possibly. MArtin  Keown – why not? George Graham – I would love to see him cope with the restrictions of working with the Kroenkes

We all know who is the only right and proper candidate  … step up to the plate Sir Arsene Wenger.

You have had your rest, you look back to your magnificent self and you know more about the club than anyone. You never needed a DOF because you are a DOF.

Mr. Wenger … Your Club Needs You

written by Big Raddy


Did Arsene and Arsenal waste the Club’s footballing talent of 1998-2006, coaching-wise?

March 12, 2019

My brothers will tell you I am a glutton for punishment. All my life I have been sports mad (I taught it in schools for 23 years!). I read anything and everything on almost every sport imaginable – good, bad and indifferent material.

Although football, rugby and cricket are the very top of my interest, I will find myself studying the intricacies of free climbing, or bias in curling, the mechanics of the sand wedge or transference of force in a boxing jab. (I say “almost every” – I have little regard for F1 and American Football).

Jimmy Chin – National Geographic

In addition to reading much, I listen to sport, live commentary, and the opinions of ex sportsmen, “pundits”, and those somehow (unbelievably)  provided with money to talk bowlocks about sport with little or no significant experience to justify their existence in the role.

And so (eventually) to the point of my post…….

Listening to Georgie Bingham and the fake Irishman Cascarino recently, I heard, following copious praise for how well the wonderful Man Utd had used so many of its ” golden generation” in Club coaching and managing roles, with Solskjaer being the crowning glory, that ARSENAL and WENGER had not only wasted theirs from the 1998-2006 period, but, in the case of Arsene, had a definite policy to NOT involve them in Club.

Hackles up, I started to analyse this comment.

Firstly there is Steve Bould. (Although given his “staticness” on the bench during the Wenger era, perhaps he’s more evidence for Ms Bingham’s case than anyone else!) I am fairly certain that Keown, Dixon, and Winterburn, play some part in the daily running of the Club, if not as much in the coaching of defenders role that I would like to see!

Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Freddie and the BFG are now in charge of the Academy and U23s, and at that point I asked myself a question. How many of those missing do I think COULD have been usefully involved. My answer was reduced to two! I have always believed Patrick V. should have been incorporated into our set-up. ( I would still like him to be an Arsenal manager someday). And I would now have to add Marc Overmars for what seems to have been a silent but excellent role behind the scenes at Ajax.

Of the rest, TA has always been clueless to me in terms of coaching, and I believe the same might (perhaps unfairly) be said of Thierry. Sol might prove me wrong, but I doubt it. DB10 never really wanted a coaching role, and has now fallen out even with his Dutch love. Ray Parlour, Gilberto, Lauren, Manu P, Merson, Smith, Ian Wright…….COULD any of them have made it in coaching/managing at our Club? Doubtful IMO.

So have we wasted talent? Have I forgotten anyone important? What do you think?

LBG


Arsenal FC – Our away record against Huddersfield Town

February 7, 2019

Huddersfield entered the Football League in 1910, three years after they were founded. To stave off a proposed merger with Leeds in 1919 citizens of Huddersfield were asked to buy shares in the club for £1 each. They went on to reach the 1920 FA Cup Final and win promotion to Division One.

Under the leadership of Herbert Chapman and Cecil Potter they became the first English team to win three successive league titles 1924, 1925 & 1926 – a feat that only three other clubs (Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United) have achieved. Their largest home attendance was 67,037 against Arsenal in a FA Cup game on 27 February 1932.

Leeds Road, Huddersfield, Town v Arsenal FA cup 1/4 final 1932. 67,037 fans!

Honours

First Division (top tier)
Champions (3): 1923–24, 1924–25, 1925–26

Second Division (second tier)
Champions (1): 1969–70

Third Division (third tier)
Promoted: 1982–83
Play-offs Winners: 1995, 2012

Fourth Division (fourth tier)
Champions (1): 1979–80
Play-offs Winners: 2004

FA Cup
Winners (1): 1922

FA Charity Shield
Winners (1): 1922

The last time we lost away to Huddersfield was on January 16th, 1971. In fact since 1938, we have only lost two away games.

Huddersfield 0 Arsenal 1 in April 1955 at Leeds Road. Derek Tapscott shoots for goal

 

Our only away game against the Terriers in the Premier League just so happened to be Arsene’s final game in charge. Rather shamefully it was to be our first away win of 2018. Auba scored the only goal after some fine interplay between Lacazette and Ramsey.

Without Dr. Wagner to worry about, I expect nothing less than a resounding victory, but I’m often wrong.

GunnerN5


Is the Arsenal Man United rivalry a thing of the past?

January 24, 2019

Yesterday’s post suggested that the aggressive, no holds barred Arsenal v Man U animosity originated in February 1988 when Nigel Winterburn castigated Brian McClair for blasting a penalty into the North Bank right at the end of a fifth round FA Cup tie with United 2-1 down. Funny as that was, did the seething dislike of one another begin then?

As far as supporters go, the Cockney Reds (London-based Man U supporters) have always been universally disliked by fans of London teams. Between 1967 and 1993, Man U did not win the League title. We won it three times but it was Liverpool who dominated the 70s and 80s.

Arsenal won the title in 1989 with the famous last game of the season triumph at Anfield. That McClair/Winterburn spat had occurred the season before so perhaps it had been that which sparked the mutual loathing. Certainly October 1990 at Old Trafford saw a 21 man brawl, when McClair started kicking Winterburn after a dodgy tackle on Irwin.

As David Rocastle said, “It was our team-mate, our little blood brother, in trouble. They were kicking Nigel like a nightclub brawl. That’s what got us upset. If it was just a bad tackle, you wouldn’t go in like that, no chance. But when I saw them kicking Nigel I ran over thinking, ‘You can’t have this!’ We went in there and we stuck up for each other. At Arsenal we never, ever started any brawls – we just finished them.”

Arsenal won the game 1-0 thanks to Anders Limpar but we were docked 2 points, the mancs docked only 1, even though they had instigated the violence. Arsenal ran away with the League losing only the 1 game all season and the fans enjoyed singing “you can stick your 2 points up your a*se” as the title win was confirmed.

During the early and mid 90s, United dominated the League once Ferguson found his feet. He had been within a cat’s whisker of being sacked (oh, how things might have been). Once a certain Monsieur Wenger transformed the dreadful George Graham mid-90s Arsenal into a team which could compete for the title again, his rivalry with Ferguson was set and became a feature of the late 90s right up to the 2005 FA Cup Final.

Other outfits complained that it had become a two team League with either Arsenal or Man U winning it every season. The biggest games every season were the blood and thunder London/red Manc showdowns. Overmars in 1998, the epic 1999 season (which sadly all went United’s way) and the battle of the midfield titans of Vieira and Keane were all hall marks of that time.

United hated Arsenal’s 2003/4 dominance and several times used tactics more suited to Gorbals street fighting to close the gap in class. Our 49 game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of grievous bodily harm all over the pitch, a pathetically lame excuse for a referee in Mike Riley and a disgraceful Wayne Rooney dive. If Fergusion couldn’t win fair and square, it was obvious he would do anything in his power to conjure up an advantage.

These days he sits in the stands like a genial old uncle who commands respect and admiration by all those around him. However, Arsenal fans will never forget the beatings our players took, especially at Old Trafford, which were the work of one man alone.

Since 2005, Arsenal slipped and it was only the revolting Robin van Persie who revived the animosity with his ‘listened to the little boy inside’ nonsense.

Are there any players left who might still understand the depths of hatred which caused mild-mannered bloggers like Chary to lose their rag whenever Man U were mentioned? Herrera is a sh*thouser’s sh*thouser but he’d be like that whichever team he played for. Maybe the new, baby-faced United manager would know more about it than anyone else involved tomorrow.

Rooney knew the score, van Nistelrooy would do anything to turn us over, the Neville brothers were manc-versions of the Krays in some of those early noughties games at OT, Schmeichel and Wright squared up over allegations of racist taunts and corresponding two-footed tackles, Keown caused the Dutchman to soil his pants in 2003, Lauren cut Ronaldo in half at Highbury, Vieira made Gary Neville look like a schoolboy in the tunnel at Highbury.

Andy Hooper

Where has all this resentment gone? Swallowed up by Chelsea and Man City buying the League, maybe. Would we want it all back how it was, maybe not. Perhaps with both teams currently more likely to be fighting for the 4th CL slot or Europa football rather than Championships, it has taken some of the edge off it?

What do you think? Are we now looking back at an intense rivalry consigned to history?

One thing’s for certain, when the whistle blows for kick off tomorrow evening, I hope the Arsenal team show the passion and pride they’ve shown in the two big London derbies at the Emirates so far this season and go out to humiliate Solskjaer’s boys with the quality of their football.

chas


Oystons Out

January 5, 2019

Is there still any Magic in the Cup? Does the prospect of a day out at Wembley still set you in thrall? It does for me but I am traditionalist (in other words … old).

I still love the Cup and although there are less upsets than in previous years it remains one of the centre-pieces of the season with today’s tie up at Blackpool way more interesting than a Europa League game.

And, of course, we all know which club has won it the most, and which manager. The FA Cup has been good to us.

Will it be this afternoon?

It is distressing to read (and hear on the Arseblog podcast) of the current state of affairs at Blackpool. The Oyston saga is a warning to all and an indication of how impotent the PL and EFL are when facing a corrupt owner.

One must assume the B’pool fans want to lose today so no  more TV money goes into the club. Non-attendance is costing the owner as is the lack of money from the sales of shirts, burgers etc. A draw today and the resulting income of a game at the Emirates would be a huge boon to the Oystons.

What would happen at Arsenal if Kroenke starts to strip the club of its assets and refuse to buy players? He can. He owns the place. Would lifelong fans and the thousands of tourists who go to games refuse to attend? Even if they did, would it affect change when the owner is a billionaire and the club runs on TV money? Do you think, in this highly unlikely scenario, that the PL would do anything but issue platitude whilst jetting off to another meeting in a 5 star hotel in Dubai?

The action of the Blackpool supporters is a credit to all football fans. Oyston Out.

This is Mr. Emery’s first FA Cup game, how will he react? Will he send out a team of children with Grandad Cech at the back of them? Or will he persuade Mesut and Aaron that they need match sharpness?  We cannot risk PEA and Lacazette. Terrier, Wardrobe, Xhaka and Kos need a rest. I predict a start for AMN, Willock, Corporal Jenks, Elneny, Saka, Nketiah and Medley.

Blackpool’s most famous player is Sir Stanley Matthews, the Wizard of the Wing. The man was Ronaldo famous in his time, a worldwide icon. I actually saw him play at Highbury but for Stoke not the Tangerines. Arsenal could use a winger of his genius now, could Saka be the man?

We should win this game.

Let it Be So

COYRRG

written by Big Raddy