Arsenal FC – Our away record to Burnley

May 11, 2019

Well folks the 2019/20 season grinds to an end with an away game at Turf Moor.

Burnley team of 1893

The season has been full of the occasional high that has been more than offset by the multitude of lows. Our defensive woes have once again been our Achilles heel and we can only hope the Unai and the rest of the management team make it their number one issue during this transfer window.

Our superb win at the Mestalla Stadium in the Europa League has cast a different light on our final league game. Should we wrap the first team up in cotton wool and play our second string or should we go all out in the hope that Spurs lose and we overcome the eight goal difference between us?

I’m for looking after the team and finishing the season off on a HIGH note in Baku.

Turf Moor

Our record at Turf Moor in the Premier League has been very positive having gained ten out of twelve points and only having conceded one goal in four games. However all of the games have been close with neither team scoring more than one goal in any of the games.

Rambo celebrates scoring at Turf Moor April 2015

As you can see our overall record favours Burnley in both Division’s One and Two.

We’ve had many must win games this season however I class this game as a must not get any injuries type of game.

Baku here we come……………..

GunnerN5

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Arsenal’s Century Club – Robin van Persie

May 8, 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. Robin van Persie sits at number 13.

Robin van Persie was born in Rotterdam, Netherlands. The son of two artists, he was encouraged to follow in his parents’ footsteps, but he preferred football.

He joined Dutch side SBV Excelsior’s youth squad at the age of 14 years, but left at the age of 15 and signed for Feyenoord. He was quickly promoted into the first team due to injury problems among the squad, and made his debut for the club at 17, which was the first of 15 total starts. He received the KNVB Best Young Talent award at the end of the 2001–02 season and then signed a professional three-and-a-half-year contract the following season.

Clashes with his manager Bert van Marwijk saw him demoted to the reserve squad, he finished his tumultuous debut season on the first team, making a total of 28 appearances and scoring eight goals, in addition to finishing runner-up in the KNVB Cup. Feyenoord unsuccessfully attempted to extend his contract during the off-season. His deteriorating relationship with van Marwijk led to his spending most of the 2003–04 season on the bench. He again played 28 matches, but finished with two fewer goals than the previous season.

Unveiling at Highbury

On 17 May 2004, Robin signed a four-year deal with Arsenal for £2.75 million, just over half of Feyenoord’s original asking price of £5 million. Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, who planned to convert him from a left winger to a centre forward, said of his new acquisition, “He can play on the left side of midfield, as a creative player behind the main strikers or as a target man. Robin spent most of his time on the bench during earlier parts of the 2004–05 season, and made his competitive debut on 27 October by scoring Arsenal’s opening goal in a 2–1 League Cup win over Manchester City.

He was sent off for the first time, in an Arsenal shirt, on 26 February against Southampton, following a lunge at left back Graeme Le Saux, for which Wenger was seen yelling an obscenity at him from the sidelines. He then later lambasted him in the press stating “I do not support Van Persie today” Telegraph sportswriter Clive White described Van Persie in his match report as “21 going on nine.” He was consequently benched for a number of games, starting with Arsenal’s FA Cup replay against Sheffield United, and he was reintroduced into the squad only after Henry was out with a calf injury, his return to the first team saw him score twice in a FA Cup semi-final win over Blackburn Rovers. The rest of his season was cut short by injury, and he finished with ten goals in 41 appearances in all competitions.

Robin’s good form at the start of the 2005–06 season earned him the Player of the Month award for November 2005 after eight goals in eight starts, and he was rewarded with a five-year contract extension until 2011. Two days after signing the contract, however, he was once again hit by injury when an opponent stepped on his foot and broke his toe during an FA Cup match.

The beginning of the 2006–07 season included an airborne volley against Charlton Athletic that Arsene called “the goal of a lifetime” and he was later named BBC Sport’s Goal of the Month for September, and he capped off the calendar year by being named the 2006 Rotterdam Sportsman of the Year. His season, however, ended early for the second time in his career on 21 January, when he fractured the fifth metatarsal in his right foot.

After the departure of Thierry Henry he assumed the role as Arsenal’s main striker. Following a streak of seven goals in ten regular-season games, he was sidelined for two months with a knee injury suffered on international duty. He made his comeback in Arsenal’s Champions League group stage on 12 December and made his Premier League return in the win against Chelsea over the weekend. However, he picked up a recurrent injury that kept him sidelined until January when he played 45 minutes in a League Cup game against Tottenham Hotspur. He was withdrawn at half-time following another injury scare and featured sporadically throughout the rest of the campaign. The following season (2008–09) he was named as the Arsenal.com Player of the Season.

With only one year remaining of his contract, it was announced in July that he had signed a new long-term contract with his club, stating, “My heart is with Arsenal and I just can’t picture myself in a different shirt.”

On 14 November 2009, he injured his ankle in an international friendly and was initially expected to be out for six weeks, but further tests showed that he would be out for five months. Before the start of the 2010–11 season, his squad number was changed to number 10. He made his 200th appearance in August but an ankle injury suffered in the game placed him on the sidelines once again. He returned as a substitute for Arsenal’s 0–1 defeat to Newcastle United on 7 November. On 1 January 2011, he scored his first goal of the season in a 3–0 away win over Birmingham City. On 15 January, he added two more goals to his tally in a comfortable 3–0 win over West Ham. This made him only the fourth Dutchman to reach 50 goals in England’s top division.

Robin scored his first career hat-trick in a 3–0 win over Wigan Athletic on 22 January and two goals against Newcastle United in a 4–4 draw on 5 February. Continuing his fine form, he hit a brace the following week against Wolverhampton Wanderers scoring both Arsenal goals in a 2–0 win including a volley from inside the box. The ten goals he scored between 1 January and 12 February set a new Premier League record for most goals scored in the first two months of a calendar year.

He set the Emirates alight with a goal from an almost impossible angle in Arsenal’s fight back against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 which ended 2–1 in favour of the Gunners. On 27 February 2011, Van Persie captained Arsenal at Wembley Stadium in the League Cup final, scoring the first half equalizer for the Gunners. It was his first goal at Wembley and his first in a cup final for Arsenal. However, he was later taken off in the second half with a knee injury he picked up while scoring the goal. He was voted as the second best player of the 2010–11 season on Arsenal’s official website and also received the team’s Goal of the Season award for his audacious strike in the 2–1 victory over Barcelona in the Champions League.

RvP celebrates the equaliser against Barca in February 2011 credit AFC.com

Having been appointed vice-captain for the 2010–11 season, he was promoted to club captain at the start of the 2011–12 season. He finished the season as the top goal-scorer in the Premier League with 30 goals, and became Arsenal’s 8th all-time top scorer with 132 goals.

On 4 July 2012, he announced that he would not be signing a new contract with Arsenal.

Finally after a series of rumours he was transferred to Manchester United for a reported £22.5 million. Supporters of Manchester United voted Van Persie as the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year for the 2012–13 season. He was transferred to Fenerbahce in 2015 before returning to his first senior club Feyenoord in January 2018. At both clubs, and in the dying embers of his career, he continued to score at nearly a goal every other game.

He owed so much to Arsene Wenger for converting him from left winger to centre forward (much in the same fashion as Thierry Henry) but repaid Wenger by deserting Arsenal Football Club after his best ever season of 2011/12.

His 100th goal was his 2nd of the game in a 2-0 win against Sunderland on Oct 16th, 2011 at Highbury.

GunnerN5


Arsenal 1 Brighton 1 – Player Ratings

May 6, 2019

Team selection –  meh- does it really matter?

First Half

Mkhitaryan hit the post in the 2nd minute and things looked bright for a moment.

A fortuitous penalty put us in front but we singularly failed to capitalise on it.

Brighton had a few half chances on the break. It’s such a disgrace that we made a team which narrowly avoided relegation look our equal.

Ryan made a decent save from Auba just before the break. Can’t really remember much else on target

Second Half

At least we created a few more chances but the keeper, some courageous defending and Auba not being able to score an open goal meant that the crucial second was not forthcoming.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Taylor evened up the score with another ridiculously soft penalty. 1-1 and a reasonably fair reflection of the game.

The triple substitution seemed to destabilise the team rather than give it a boost.

Plan B is give it to Iwobi. Cosmic.

Conclusion

Brighton deserved their point and we don’t deserve to be in a top 4 which contains a poor spud side and a poor chav side.

I feel sorry for anyone who made the journey for an end of season celebration and witnessed that travesty of a performance.

I find it hard to agree with those who say we have made progress this season. As far as I can see, we are as poor as last season and much worse than 2016/7.

Man U drawing away to Huddersfield made me laugh. Us drawing at home to Brighton did not. We haven’t been any better this season than a shambolic Man United in Mourinho disarray.

The whole season rests on the Europa now and let’s hope Auba’s late goal helps get us to the Final where anything can happen in a one-off game.

Tara Rambo
Credit Epa-Efe/Neil Hall

It was unfortunate that Rambo, Danny and Petr had to say their goodbyes during the lap of dishonour.

Getty Images

Ratings

I can’t really be bothered with separating the players out from one another.

A rating of 4 for everyone including the subs? Maybe 3?

Leno made a great save to stop us losing 2-1. Where was Lucas Torreira meant to be playing in the first half? – I really had no idea. The strikers tried to score but didn’t have the quality of that early season purple patch when they defied the xG.

Managers

Emery – didn’t get his team playing well enough in the League for the 4th? 5th? 6th? game in a row. We’ve been garbage for weeks … 3

Chris Wagnerson – managed a team which had just escaped relegation, with nothing to play for but pride and made them the equal of a poor Arsenal team – I’d give him a higher rating but other managers have made their average teams look much better than us recently … 5

chas (written just after the match to give a true reflection – please disagree in the comments)


Arsenal FC – Our home record against Brighton

May 4, 2019

Brighton’s home ground is the 30,750-capacity Falmer Stadium.

Founded in 1901, and nicknamed the “Seagulls” or “Albion”, Brighton played their early professional football in the Southern League, before being elected to the Football League in 1920. The club enjoyed greatest prominence between 1979 and 1983 when they played in the First Division and reached the 1983 FA Cup Final, losing to Manchester United after a replay. They were relegated from the First Division in the same season.

Last game at the Goldstone

By the late 1990s, Brighton had slipped to the fourth tier of English football and was in financial trouble. After narrowly avoiding relegation from the Football League to the Conference in 1997, a boardroom takeover saved the club from liquidation. Successive promotions in 2001 and 2002 brought Brighton back to the second tier, and in 2011, after 14 years without a permanent home ground the club moved into the Falmer Stadium . In the 2016–17 season, Brighton finished second in the EFL Championship and were thus promoted to the Premier League, ending a 34-year absence from the top flight.

Brighton history-

The first settlement in the Brighton area was Whitehawk Camp, a Neolithic encampment on Whitehawk Hill which has been dated to between 3500 BC and 2700 BC. It is one of six causewayed enclosures in Sussex. Archaeologists have only partially explored it, but have found numerous burial mounds, tools and bones, suggesting it was a place of some importance. There was also a Bronze Age settlement at Coldean. Brythonic Celts arrived in Britain in the 7th century BC, and an important Brythonic settlement existed at Hollingbury Castle on Hollingbury Hill. This Celtic Iron Age encampment dates from the 3rd or 2nd century BC and is circumscribed by substantial earthwork outer walls with a diameter of c. 1,000 feet (300 m). Cissbury Ring, roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Hollingbury, is suggested to have been the tribal “capital”.

The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses.

In the Georgian era, Brighton developed as a fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. Brighton continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Metropole Hotel (now Hilton) Grand Hotel, the West Pier, and the Brighton Palace Pier.

The town continued to grow into the 20th century, expanding to incorporate more areas into the town’s boundaries before joining the town of Hove to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove in 1997, which was granted city status in 2000. Today, Brighton and Hove district has a resident population of about 288,200 and the wider Brighton and Hove conurbation has a population of 474,485 (2011 census).

Brighton’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas and large cultural, music and arts scene. Brighton attracted 7.5 million day visitors in 2015/16 and 4.9 million overnight visitors, and is the most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas tourists. Brighton has also been called the UK’s “hippest city”, and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.

We are unbeaten at home by Brighton – here is the record.

Nacho scores against Brighton October 2017 – Getty Images

 

This is our final home game of the season so I fully expect that both the team and the crowd will be on top form.

GunnerN5


Leicester Arsenal – Player Ratings

April 29, 2019

A needs must team selection with Mesut and Nacho ‘injured’.

First Half

A few good saves from Leno and one over the bar from Steptoe.

from Arsenal twitter

A difficult chance for Laca and a much easier one for Iwobi were our only decent chances.

The sending off was ridiculous. Sent off for two nothing challenges, the second a blatant case of Maddison attempting to get a fellow professional sent off. Rolling around clutching his shin when there was no contact on his shin whatsoever. A fine player but a cheat. He should be ashamed. Michael Oliver gave us nothing in that first half apart from a good shafting.

It seems even more of a waste of time watching football if your team is playing poorly, when the ref is allowed to ruin a game to such an extent. Pathetic.

Second Half

Our best ten minutes of the match followed halftime but a headed goal by Tielemans made it 1-0 soon after.

Leno made a series of decent saves as Arsenal’s ten men struggled in adversity.

All hope of a sneaked equaliser disappeared when Vardy bounced one in after it came back to him off the bar. Didn’t see the third as I’d started this.

Conclusion

Leicester were the better side but in the context of our poor away form, playing 10 men against 12 was an impossible task.

The turning point in the game was Oliver wanting to take centre stage. After that it was game over.

On a personal level, I wish Arsenal’s season was over right now. With a Europa semi-final coming up on Thursday, that is ridiculous way to feel. I just wish the crushing disappointment was over and done with. Then again, I’m sure I’ll feel different come Thursday evening. 🙂

Ratings

Leno – MOTM by a country mile … 9

Maitland-Niles – unlucky to be Oliver’s chosen target … 5

Sokratis – struggled with Steptoe’s pace, as Arsenal have consistently done in the past … 5

Mustafi – no glaring errors – brought in to give Kos a rest, I suppose, but Oliver put paid to that plan … 5

Kolasinac – not really a left back but didn’t disgrace himself … 5

Torreira – beaten black and blue with no protection – his early season partnership with Xhaka hasn’t really progressed … 5

Xhaka – often too slow to shift the ball and seems to think giving away stupid free kicks is part of his job … 5

Mkhitaryan – terrible in the first half – we needed someone to keep the ball and he didn’t – dispossessed far too easily always … 4

Iwobi – his left foot chance in the first half needed him to cut back on to his right as Schmeichel would have been left on the floor – not picking on him but he seems symptomatic of Arsenal’s away form – at home he’s great but away a bit of a luxury … 5

Aubameyang – neither him nor his strike partner hold the ball up, so it’s bound to keep coming back –  his commitment was ok though … 5

Lacazette – difficult chance in the first half, the rest was just hard work … 5

Subs

Kos – three at the back made a difference – we could have done with him rested for Thursday though … 6

Eddie – nearly had a chance to equalise – I bet he’s looking forward to being brought on when we’re two or three up for a change … 5

Managers

Emery – a bit like King Canute at the moment – that flippin tide keeps coming in … 5

Brendon Wagner – his team played well albeit helped by the man playing for Leicester in the black shirt … 6

Referee

Oliver – a complete disgrace – Mike Riley will probably recommend him for a knighthood after that corrupt performance … -1

chas


Arsenal FC – Our away record against Leicester

April 26, 2019

Formed in 1884 by a group of old boys of Wyggeston School as “Leicester Fosse”, the club joined The Football Association  in 1890. Before moving to Filbert Street in 1891, the club played at five different grounds, including Victoria Park south-east of the city centre and the Belgrave Road Cycle and Cricket Ground. In 1919, when League football resumed after World War I, Leicester Fosse ceased trading due to financial difficulties of which little is known. The club was reformed as “Leicester City Football Club”, particularly appropriate as the borough of Leicester had recently been given city status.

Courtesy of John Hutchinson

On 21st April 1930 Leicester drew 6-6 with Arsenal in the highest scoring draw ever recorded in the top flight. The following is an extract from a book by Paul Donnelley entitled ‘Firsts, Lasts & Onlys of Football: Presenting the most amazing football facts from the last 160 years’

Leicester City V Arsenal
At City Stadium, Filbert Street, Leicester, Easter Monday 21st April 1930

The highest-scoring draw in English football history at that time was a feast of goals watched by 27,241 fans towards the end of the 1929-1930 season and five days before the FA Cup Final (which Arsenal won). In a tactic that would be recognised today, Arsenal rested some players before the Final.

After just two minutes David Jack had the ball in the net, only for the referee to disallow his effort for offside. Arsenal scored first through David Halliday (in his only season in the Arsenal first team), but by half time Leicester were leading 3-1.

By the 62nd minute Arsenal were 5-3 to the good. With around 11 minutes left on the clock, Arsenal were leading 6-5 – all goals coming from Halliday (four) and Bastin (two) – and then Leicester equalised. Arsenal had two more chances in the final minutes, but could not convert them.

Despite his four goals, Halliday did not play in either the FA Cup Final or Arsenal’s last two League games and left the Club soon after.

Leicester City FC moved away from Filbert Street in 2002 to a new 32,500 all-seater stadium. The stadium was originally named The Walkers Stadium in a deal with food manufacturers Walkers. On 7 July 2011, Leicester City confirmed the Walkers Stadium would now be known as the King Power Stadium. In 2015 their vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha stated plans were in place to increase the capacity of the stadium to around 42,000.

The club’s home colours of royal blue shirts, white shorts, and either white or royal blue socks have been used for the team’s kits throughout most of its history. The first sponsorship logo to appear on a Leicester shirt was that of Ind Coope in 1983. British snack food manufacturer Walkers Crisps held a long association with the club, sponsoring them from 1987 to 2001.

The club have three main nicknames – The Foxes, The Blues and City. “The Foxes” is the most common nickname for the club, whereas “The Blues” and “City” are more local terms, usually used by supporters. Other names include “The Filberts” and “The Fossils”. An image of a fox was first incorporated into the club crest in 1948, as Leicestershire is known for foxes and fox hunting – this is the origin of the nickname “The Foxes”.

A previous version of the Leicester City FC crest with the more obvious fox-hunting symbolism

The club mascot is a character called “Filbert Fox”. There are also secondary characters “Vickie Vixen” and “Cousin Dennis.” Since 1992, the club’s badge has featured a fox’s head overlaid onto a Cinquefoil; the Cinquefoil is similar to the one used on the coat of arms of Leicester. Prior to 1992, the club’s badge had a range of designs. In the 2009–10 season, the club’s 125th anniversary year, the home kit featured no sponsor and a new central crest with “125 Years” written beneath it.

Leicester won the 2015–16 Premier League, their first top-level football championship. They are one of only six clubs to have won the Premier League since its inception in 1992. A number of newspapers described Leicester’s title win as the greatest sporting shock ever, considering at the start of the season they were favourites to face relegation. Multiple bookmakers had never paid out at such long odds for any sport. As a result, the team was dubbed “The Unbelievables”, a spin-off harking back to Arsenal’s undefeated team “The Invincibles”. The club’s previous highest ever finish was second place in the top flight, in 1928–29, then known as Division One.

The club hold the dubious record of having been defeated in the FA Cup Final on four occasions – in 1948–49, 1960–61, 1962–63 and 1968–69. This is a tournament record for the most defeats in the final without having won the competition.

Our away record –

 

Walcott slides the ball past Schmeichel in the 5-2 demolition of September 2015 during their title-winning season

Our away record against Leicester in the EPL has been favourable only losing twice in twelve visits, one of which was our last visit in May 9th, 2018 when we lost 3-1.

GunnerN5


Wolves Arsenal – Player Ratings

April 25, 2019

Four at the back with Mustafi and Kolasinac moving to the bench. Our strongest double pivot and wing attackers who will be required to add to the midfield too. Mesut sat in behind Laca. Sounds a promising line up from Senor Emery.

First Half

We had three times the amount of possession and passes of Wolves but they scored the three goals.

Second Half

We had a couple of decent chances before Papa scored a close range header from a corner. The 4th goal from 4 efforts on target in the whole game.

AP

Conclusion

More garbage. Palace gave us a clue what to expect.

I blame Venga for instilling a culture of possession for its own sake. (This is meant to be irony)

Heaven knows how we can turn this around for the Europa semi?

Maybe beat Leicester on Sunday?

Ratings

Can’t be arsed – 5 for everyone including subs and manager?

OK, maybe too generous – all 4s or all 3s?

What do you think?

Maybe a 1 for the manager who has singularly failed to improve both the defence and our away form from last season.

p.s. an extra point or two for Nketiah who at least looked like he had some spark when he came on for the last twenty.

Ref

Stuart Attwell – can’t even blame that knobhead for this one.

chas