Rooney doesn’t dive, Gerard doesn’t dive ….. and Eduardo is a cheat

February 17, 2015

Rooney doesn’t dive … he’s an English bulldog

Gerard doesn’t dive …..  he’s a legend

Eduardo is a diving foreign cheat …..

Discuss …. and tell me again why on the spot video replays will ruin the game???

Rasp


Arsenal’s Worst Injury News Ever

October 15, 2012

Following Theo Walcott’s worrying injury against San Marino (who knew you could bruise a lung?) this seems like a good time to ask what has been the most damaging injury we have ever suffered.

I don’t mean damaging to the player (because surely Ramsey and Eduardo would jointly walk away with that one… well, hop away at any rate).

I mean damaging to Arsenal’s fortunes at the time.

Yes I know it’s a downbeat subject, but I’m feeling downbeat during this ridiculous two-week interlull*.

I know we’re supposed to be all “Cry God for Harry, England and Saint George” when Ingurland are on international duty, but I really couldn’t give a Gareth Bale’s uncle.

And so to the injuries which, given our abysmal history in recent years, should be a topic close to the hearts of most of us.

Fabregas Fractured

In the 2009-10 season Cesc Fabregas is proving to be an inspirational player. As the final day of March arrives, we are entertaining his DNA buddies from Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final (first leg); we are also sitting just four points behind Manchester United in the EPL, with six games to go. The Barca game finishes a 2-2 draw, with Captain Fabregas grabbing a memorable equalizer.

Unfortunately it emerges afterwards that even as he hit that goal to send the Emirates into ecstasy, he was suffering a leg fracture. Cesc misses the rest of the season and, without him, our form slumps. We lose the second leg in Barcelona and in the EPL we win only two of our remaining six matches to finish the season in third place, 11 points behind United.

If Fabregas had stayed fit, might we have ousted Barca and pushed on to CL and league glory? The answer to the first question is almost certainly “no” and to the second… “maybe.”

Van Persie (1)

Same season, 2009-10, and Robin van Persie is in fine form. He is named Player of the Month for October after a string of goals and assists. On November 14th he turns out for Holland in a “friendly’ against Italy.

A nasty tackle by the Italian defender Chiellini leaves him with an injured ankle and, supposedly, a six week lay-off. Clearly not wanting to become another of the “Disappeared Ones” in the Arsenal treatment centre, Robin pops over to Europe for some treatment with horse placenta and – Bingo! – six weeks out becomes five months.

Would a fit Robin have potentially sent us into the final run-in several points AHEAD of United rather than behind them? With the form he was in – very possibly.

Eduardo Horror Tackle

We probably all remember that day at Birmingham a bit too well. Arsenal are top of the league, the team are looking strong and, surely, glory awaits. Then, within minutes of the kick off, a lumbering Brummie oaf – Martin Taylor – dives in on our in-form Crozillian striker Eduardo and snaps his ankle in two.

The team are traumatised; captain William Gallas sits in the centre circle crying at the end of the game and, subsequently, our form drops quicker then a Towie girl’s knickers on a night out in Basildon.

Could we have won the league in 2008 but for Eduardo’s break? Most definitely YES.

Snap! Ramsey Horror Tackle

It is unbelievable when our boys have to experience an almost identical assault on another of their team mates, Aaron Ramsey, two years (almost to the day) later. In this case the offender is the Orc’s Orc, Ryan Shawcross, and the venue is the Britannia Ground where those classy Stoke fans boo young Aaron as he’s stretchered off to hospital.

In fairness, the team’s reaction was stronger this time round but we still had a disappointing finish to the 2009-10 season.

Did Aaron’s injury make a crucial difference? Given his youth and inexperience, probably not – but with the subsequent loss of Fabregas a month later it certainly didn’t help our midfield options.

Van Persie (2)

Come to think about it, this whole Post could have been about Brave Sir Robin, but I’ll keep it to two. In 2007-08, following the departure of Thierry Henry, it’s BSR’s turn to step into the limelight. He starts just as we would have hoped, with seven goals in 10 games. Then – yes, you’ve guessed – he goes off on international duty and comes back crocked. His involvement for the rest of the season is sporadic, to say the least.

Notwithstanding the trauma following the Eduardo injury, Robin’s full time presence in 2007-08 might well have given us the edge to find our way to silverware.

Ashley Cole

Football’s most charming man misses most of the 2005-06 season through injury, before following the smell of Maureen’s filthy lucre over to West London. We finish third that year, just ahead of the Spuds.

Flamini does a good job filling in in an unfamiliar position, but we undoubtedly lose something with not having Cole’s defensive solidity and attacking threat.

Could we have won silverware with him? A long shot, but it’s a possibility.

Those are the most telling ones from recent memory. There must have been devastating injuries from previous eras but I can’t seem to recall them.

Players just didn’t seem to get injured so much in the pre-Premier League age. Or maybe they did, but they were just pumped full of cortisone and sent out to get on with it: “Bruised lung? You’re havin’ a larf. Here, hold still while I give you this jab… that’s it – now get out there and kick someone.”

For what it’s worth, I believe the Eduardo injury was the most damaging of the ones I have listed.

The team was cooking on gas and I – and many Gooners – really felt the title was there for the taking.

The collapse in the team’s morale after the injury was disappointing (whatever happened to “let’s win it for Stumpy”?) but I do feel that we might have celebrated a 14th league title if it hadn’t happened.

What do you think?

And what injury blows have I missed off?

RockyLives

* © Arseblog


Sunk By Our Former Comrade But Its Far From A Disaster

November 4, 2010

So Eduardo scores against us again!

Not as nice a feeling as last time around. Then we were cruising, had the three points in the bag and it was just a weird added bonus that Eduardo scored. Last night his goal meant we lost and failed to secure the win we needed to progress to the knock-out stages with two games in hand.

It was only a minor blip and not a disaster. I said after the game in London that the Ukrainians were a far better side that what they showed when we thrashed them, that it seemed they were willing to lose at the Emirates and go for the win at home, and so it proved. Of course it would have been nice to go through and let the kids out to play in the last two games, but with a stronger team we can go to Braga and win, and we should definitely beat Partizan at home regardless of the players available.

Once again the defensive worries popped up last night. Young Craig Eastmond had a torrid time of it – he never protected the back four and the game passed him by. He’s a game lad and has proven he’s a decent player, but be it lack of match time or just out of his depth, last night was one to forget for him. The much more experienced Eboue and Clichy have just as much blame, if not more, than Eastmond. Willian made a fool of Eboue time and again down the right, and it lead to Eboue giving away the free-kick that they scored from. Then Clichy foolishly played around with the ball instead of hacking it clear and Eduardo scored the second that proved the winner.

We really missed Song and Fabregas, both as a unit and individually. We failed to really get a hold of the ball and Shakhtar really pressured us and closed the spaces last night. We had a few chances to equalize at the end, most of all from Squidgy but he didn’t connect right with the header.

Not a nice feeling to lose but no need to get worked up – I know I won’t be. We have a massive goal difference on the other sides in the group and its still only a matter of winning one of the two games. Look at it this way – if we won tonight we wouldn’t really mind losing the last two games and letting the kids play, instead we just have to give the grown-ups one more run out to finish the job, its hopefully just prolonging the inevitable – we progress.  We are still top – just have to make sure the Ukrainians don’t pip us for first.

Player Ratings

Fabianski (7) – Thought he did well over all. Couldn’t do much for either goal.

Eboue (5) – Oh dear. Got caught out and had to give away a free kick where he got booked and they scored. Not a good night for EE.

Djourou (6) – Did well enough, got in a few timely tackles but too many gaps appeared between him and Squillaci.

Squillaci (6) – Same as Djourou. Should have done better with the free header.

Clichy (5) – Just hoof the blasted thing Gael.

Eastmond (5) – He kept going and is a earnest young man but he needs to start stamping authority on the game.

Wilshere (7) – Good showing again by Jack but again should have done better with his chance. Couple of way ward passes, still feisty in the tackle.

Walcott (7) – Terrified them with his pace for a while and then that avenue was plugged. What a turn of pace for the goal and cool as you like finish.

Rosicky (6) – Did a lot of donkey work and linked as usual but not as effective as we are used to.

Nasri (6) – Involved in all our play and tried to get us moving forward, couple of bad decisions in and around the box though.

Bendtner (5) – Not match fit. Didn’t play much of a part.


Donetsk Forget To Mind The Gap In London As We Celebrate 6 Goals

October 20, 2010

“I don’t think I will celebrate,”  Eduardo.

True to his word, everyone’s favourite Crozilian didn’t even acknowledge his consolation strike, but how we celebrated. You guys behind the goal, I saw you, jumping up and down like it was an Arsenal goal, and the Nicklas Bendtner look-alike in the crowd I saw you too, holding that number 9 shirt proudly aloft, and we all heard the announcer acclaim the goal as if it had been scored a year ago. The standing ovation afterwards was just proper order for a player who didn’t get a real send-off, he has now. Yes, us being 5-0 up at the time helped the mood a lot, but be honest, how many shouted “yes” and punched the air when he scored? We all want the clean sheets but exceptions must be made, and this was one of those times. Its almost like a weight off our shoulders that we gave Dudu his dues.

Eduardo aside, last night’s game was very comfortable. The Ukrainian visitors should know that when you come to London you must mind the gap, not alone on the underground but those around the Emirates pitch. Give us enough gaps and we will punish you.

Donetsk are a far better side than what they showed last night. In the second half we saw they could pass the ball and press a lot better than what they did. Its almost as if they had decided before the game that they would lose here, give us the group, try and get something from us in Ukraine and go for second which they should get based on the evidence so far. Not a great plan and honestly a much harder match might have suited us with Manchester City coming up on Sunday. Not that we should have been ran into the ground, but it was almost a five-a-side training session at times and we rarely had to move out of second gear.

Apart from Eddie, the other opposition player to bring a smile to our face last night was Pyatov – what a shocking ‘keeper he is! His missed catch for Song’s goal even had van der Saar laughing, while my eyes may have deceived me, I thought I spied our Moroccan making a cup of tea after checking was he onside for our fifth.

It was good to see Fabregas and Walcott get a run out. Cesc’s touch was a bit off at times but that’s to be expected after his lay-off, hopefully it will be better by Sunday. It was also interesting to see Wenger play Walcott in the middle when he came on. He didn’t have much time, but on one occasion near the end in particular we saw how his speed has the potential to wreck havoc in the opposition defence.

We now have 9 points from 3 games, with 14 goals scored and only 2 against. A draw away in the next match should see us top the group and after that Wenger can bring out the kids and rest some key players.

Player Ratings:

Fabianski (7) – Didn’t have a whole load to do but made an excellent save at the start of the second half to keep the score at 2-0. Looks more solid in recent weeks.

Eboue (7) – Not too much defending to do, and concentrated on attack. Linked up well at times, but was wasteful on occasion.

Squillaci (7) – Again didn’t have much to do, but should have got out quicker to Eduardo to stop his shot.

Djourou (7) – Made a fine last ditch tackle in the second half and won us a penalty. Will be back on the bench once Vermaelen and possibly Koscielny return.

Clichy (6) – Bombed forward when he could and wasn’t overly troubled by the opposition. I do still worry about his positioning at times.

Song (8) – I thought Song had a great game last night. He won ball around midfield, tidied up, linked well and scored a goal.

Wilshere (9) – Played a central role even though Cesc was back and in the first half completed more passes than the Captain. Great vision, great positioning and great finish.

Rosicky (8) – Started well and his name kept popping up. Involved in defence and attack.

Fabregas (7) – Not at his sharpest but for me he did a fair share of defensive work when it was needed. Well taken penalty.

Nasri (9) – Brilliant once again. Played some superb passes and scored a great goal.

Chamakh (9) – I thought he would be a good signing. WRONG! He has been a great signing. Tremendous work-rate, pressures from the front, excellent hold up play and a cool as you like finish.

Subs

Denilson did well when he came on. Made some strong challenges.

Arshavin was given a breather by Wenger and played little more than a cameo. Got involved in some good link up play.

Walcott didn’t get a whole load of time and the game was well won but hopefully we’ll see more of him down the middle in weeks to come.

(It would be remiss of me not to mention the “situation” at Old Trafford. First Tevez, then Ronaldo and now Rooney – smells of a selling club to me!)

Written by Irishgunner


Another step upon the road to European Glory.

October 19, 2010

First off, there is the possibilty that Cesc is fit, so is Theo and Nik. At last we have the opportunity to rotate the squad. Without diminishing the threat of Shakhtar, it is time to give certain players a rest before the real business of the PL at the weekend. Arshavin for one needs a break.

Tonight I would like to see Theo start on the right and Chamakh play centrally, with Chamakh getting a rest after 60 minutes, though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nik start. Bendtner does well in European ties.

I expect Wilshere to start ahead of his 3 match ban, his form has been outstanding and Shakhtar will be stunned by our 18 y.o marvel. Should Cesc start we will play a very attacking midfield  though I expect him to be on the bench ahead of the important game at Man City. The defence picks itself with so many injuries, though perhaps Gibbs will be fit in which case I would expect him to start ahead of Clichy.

My team

Shakhtar bring our old friend Eduardo back to THOF and  he will get a hero’s welcome. Despite never reaching the heights expected of him on his return from injury, he gave all for the cause and left with dignity. I wish him well but not tonight.  Shakhtar have a decent record in the CL however we have a superb home record in the CL and I expect it to continue. That said, Shakhtar not having conceded a goal in the CL this season plus they have won 15 out of 17 in the Ukranian League. They are level on points with us and having won 3-0 in Braga are clearly no mugs, but we will surely beat them if we play to our potential.

This Arsenal team look great on European nights and appear to play better against foreign teams who play the passing game as opposed to the muscularity of the Premiership, though Shakhtar who play with two hard tackling midfielders are not afraid of the physical challenge.

It should be noted that Shakhtar Donetsk won the UEFA Cup in 2009 and are a fine team.

Donetsk is Ukraine’s second city with a population of over a million. It was founded by a Welshman (John Hughes) in 1869 (no kidding!!). More Russians live in Donetsk than Ukranians and the city was  called Stalin until 1961. The Euro 2012 semi-final is due to be played in Shakhtar’s stadium. The most famous son of Donetsk is Sergei Bubka the brilliant pole vaulter who between the years 1984 -1994 broke his own world record 18 times! He remains the world record holder 16 years later.

Can we win?  Yes.   Will we win?  Yes

COYRRG