Park Life: AV prematch

January 29, 2012

Remember our last FA Cup game? One of the great moments in the history of the Emirates. An average performance completely dismissed by 5 seconds of theatre. Today I would love to see a 90 minute performance which will raise the despair around the ground following 3 defeats.

We have to accept that we are not going to be Champions this year – yes, even you Peaches. With the loss to MC in the Carling, just the FA Cup and the Champions League remain to make this a winning season and although I am convinced we will get to Munich the FAC is the easier target.

The first 35 mins of the  second half of the MU game was our best since Xmas, the aggression, application and potency was back. We can and have discussed why we lost momentum and without opening the subject again we must hope lessons have been learned.

However, Mr Wenger can be a curmudgeonly chap when his decisions are questioned and it would be no surprise to see Oxlade Chamberlain start from the bench despite his fine performance a week ago.

There is a question mark over how seriously Mr Wenger will take the FA Cup but my hope is that he takes it very seriously; whether Van Persie starts will indicate just how he prioritizes the Cup. With Bolton on Wednesday – only a 3 day break – will he play our star man twice? My guess is No. I think he will play Park and bring on RvP only if needed,

My Team

I would like to see Park, he looked better in his brief cameo on Sunday and at some point he has to sink or swim. Having already scored a beauty in the CC, let’s see him get another or ship him out a.s.a.p. along with Chamakh.

More of the same, please

Hopefully, Arteta is back to fitness which will allow Rosicky to continue and Ramsey to have a break – he needs one. The back 5 pick themselves though I worry for Djourou who if un-injured must be reeling after his humiliation on Sunday; to be subbed at half-time (a rarity for AW) for a lad barely out of Youth football must be a humbling experience for a full International, even if he is playing out of position

A little about Villa. Nice team, no-one I know dislikes them, offensive manager who is struggling in the wake of O’Neill’s (relative) success. They are getting back into form and have a potent, pacy attack.

We will concede so it is imperative our strikers are efficient. As senior attacker (in my team) it is important Theo steps up and takes responsibility. Versus MU he was poor and gave little offensively or defensively – we need more from him and at a time when his contract comes up for negotiation Theo has to give reason for a wage hike. Right now, most fans would recommend a long rest in the sun (preferably a few seasons!).

Today’s Gooner:  This week’s topic of hilarity has rightly been the High Court trial of  Harry “Del Boy” Redknapp. The rabble down the road are very proud of their man and it is a source of pride that one of their own has made it to the High Court rather than the youth offenders prison. But once again our neighbours have been trumped – we have a celebrity Gooner with a far more impressive history of blagging: Mr Ronnie Biggs.  Biggs is a huge Arsenal fan as can be seen from the pic. I cannot say I have any liking for him and certainly no respect for a man with a history of violent crime but he is a Gooner and our tribe encompasses all types.

“‘Arry – ‘ee’s 2 Bob……”

Arsenal need to win today. The schisms which were so damaging prior to the good run have re-opened and the malcontents are getting vocal. I trust the players understand those booing are a tiny minority of the Arsenal fan base, but I doubt they do. We need to get behind the team, to give vocal support when things go wrong, criticism has it’s place but not within the Emirates. This is Our House.


Written by Big Raddy


Have we found our Park?

November 3, 2011

From the title, most people will think I’m going to big up our own Chu Young Park based on his impressive performance in the Carling Cup against Bolton, but actually, I want to take this opportunity to mention an unsung hero from the same game, Yossi Benayoun.

Man United have utilised Ji Sung Park as an attack based defender for the last few years now to great effect. It may seem harsh to class Park as a defender as he also had undoubted attacking ability, but let’s be honest, he would not have won these trophies with Man U had he not been able to use his immense fitness and attitude to such great effect. If he was at United for his attacking play alone he would have been moved on long ago.

Now, the reason I bring up this United workhorse is because, based on what I have seen of Yossi so far this season, I believe we could have our very own defending attacker. Yossi is an intelligent player with good movement and a great instinct for attacking the box, but it’s his workrate and defensive attitude that I have been impressed with so far this season. Something I didn’t know he possessed!

United’s Park is the first name on the team sheet when they play any big European or Domestic tie. This is due to his ability to harass the full backs and also the way he occupies the popular DM position with his strict attitude and positioning.

I believe we could have found a niche for our Israeli raider, and hopefully Wenger will see this too. With big games coming up without Sagna available, Yossi could be the man to protect our young Carl Jenkinson.


Hide Park? – no longer

October 26, 2011

Last night saw Bolton put out of the Carling Cup by an Arsenal team containing a mixture of  new young players with the added bonus of the experienced Arshavin, Benayoun and the return of the Verminator. Many supporters had come to see if Ox, Park and Young could live up to their hype and whether they were ready for the first team.

These were the players that started the game Fabianski in goal, a back four of  Yennaris, Vermaelen, Squillacci and Miguel, a mid-field of Frimpong, Coquelin and Benayoun with a front three of Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arshavin and J Y Park.

Surprisingly, Bolton played pretty much a first team and when they lined up it was difficult to know how the game would go.

Yennaris was really impressive at right back and Miguel – who I think is a great footballer – was played out of position at left-back and was very solid.

Bolton had the first shot on goal which Fabianski handled very well. Throughout the game his shot stopping couldn’t be faulted and he made some great saves but his distribution was appalling. Kicking up to Arshavin is never really going to work and he could have taken a bit of time to choose his man more carefully. Still, he kept us in the game on quite a few occasions and he’s good cover as a keeper.

Once Bolton had a shot our boys decided they would also like to join the party and there were some rasping shots from outside the box. The link-up play between Arshavin and Park was a pleasure to watch with Benayoun doing a lot of the running to keep control of the game.

Frimpong and Coquelin were not having the best game in mid-field. Coquelin seemed to pick up an injury early in the first half but played on with too many of his passes going astray. He’s a terrier so when he loses the ball he fights to get it back. Frimpong we know can be a bit rash in the challenge so maybe his game was affected by the famous ‘hand-brake’.

The first half ended 0-0 which was pretty fair.

The second half started badly as we looked like we were half asleep and soon went behind – Coquelin and Frimpong were exchanging passes deep in our half and Muamba stole in to nick it off  Frimpongs foot and after a quick exchange with Tuncay slammed the ball into the roof of our net.

But, it was to be Arsenal’s night and within 10 minutes the tie was turned on its head.  Arshavin was having a great time playing in the middle behind the striker and soon got his chance to put us level, collecting a pass from Ox and drilling his shot into the bottom corner.

Within 5 minutes Park received another great ball from Arshavin and unleashed a curler into the top corner 2-1. This is what Arsène had to say about Park

For me I am very pleased with his performance. He had a very, very good game. He has shown intelligence in his link play with others. The quality of his movement was exceptional and his finishing is absolutely fantastic. He has shown tonight that he is a very, very good player. He is ready to play in league games, yes.

Compared to the player who played in the first match [against Shrewsbury] where he was a bit inhibited, tonight I felt he played with freedom and has showed what a good player he is.

So, it looks like Park really is the real deal. I was at the Shrewsbury game and he did look terrified to receive the ball whereas last night he played a big part in the fluency of the team and he has a great connection with Arshavin.

Vermaelen was subbed with four minutes to go which was really strange but I’ve read that he had tight calves and wanted to come off. He is such a classy player, he could have been on his own in central defence and we’d have been just fine although Squilacci played well too.

This is the ninth year that we have got to the quarter finals of the Carling Cup, whether you think it’s important or not we seem to always have a good run. Maybe we should just forget that we got to the final last year and see it a chance to win some silverware. The draw for the next round should be interesting.

It’s been said before but we do seem to be marching on.


Some comments and player ratings from Harry

Morning all, sorry Rasp / Peaches just got into office and have a meeting at 10am, so havent time to write anything……

Shame because comments like Park isnt ready for the PL yet, are so far of the mark……….

I have read a couple of write ups and comments across the blogs, I am amazed of some of the comments………

So many positives out there last night……………….

I read somewhere that Benayoun was quite and had an ineffective game? what match was he watching……….?

The only player who had a poor game was Ox, he seemed to get annoyed with himself when he messed up a chance and he didnt regain his composure, his time will come…….

All others had good games, yes made some mistakes and misplaced passes which was our biggest weakness last night, but overall, everyone for me gets a 7 minimum except Ox probably a 6.

TV gets a 9, outstanding display………MotM, dynamic and powerful, name me a better defender in the premier league……?

Miquel and Yennaris both get solid 7.5………Take into account age and out of position for Miquel…….Squillaci gets a 7 for me, for all his criticism did ok………

Fabianski 7, did ok, some good saves, got down well and quick, one swerving shot was vicious and nearly caught him out. His weakness was his distribution which was scattergun effect…….gets a 7.

Frimpers and Coquelin, both get 7.5, hassled and worked hard throughout, soem great tackles, both were guilty of giving cheap possession away at times……..which is where their goal came from.

Arshavin 8 is an enigma, desperately lacking interest one minute to the sublime, stepped up when needed, gets a lucky 8 for me…..

Benayoun 8, was excellent throughout, gets a solid 8. always probing and driving forward.

Park 8 was excellent, his movement excellent and if the linesman knew the offside rule would have more chances. His touch was sublime and his goal, well if messi had scored it, the media would be creaming their pants…………

Subs didnt have time, but Ozakup looked as good as the reviews I have heard about him……..time will tell. Ryo is so fast and will definitely add a dimsension to our squad. Boateng was only on for minutes……

Overall, a good team performance by a mixture of youth and experience, held their own and rarely looked troubled…..Goal against was unfortuante, perhaps didnt quite get into gear from the whistle. But apart from that, the team defended ok. some great blocking and tackling,led by the imperious Vermaelen…..

Next up, Quarters, Palace at the Emirates would be nice with United playing City……….

Arsenal Win 8 : 2

September 3, 2011

How did our lads fare in the recent spate of meaningless  important Internationals?

Well, first up was our shiny, new striker from Korea, Mr Young, who opened the week with a hatrick., and a fine one at that. The first being a quick run behind the last defender and a powerful volley. The second, a towering header from a corner (watch and learn Chamakh) and for the third he received the ball in the Theo position then struck a firm drive past the beleaguered Lebanese keeper. It is true that Lebanon are more the Hendon of the International football firmament, but they still have to be beat 🙂

Theo played 80 minutes for England, setting up the third goal for Rooney and generally looking threatening. He missed a sitter but the commentators said the ball had bobbled, didn’t see it myself..

Aaron Ramsey another of our Captain’s scored the second for Wales in a 2-1 victory with a fine drive. Lovely.

RvP smashed 4 goals past a sorry San Marino side but in the words of the great prophet Glenn Hoddle “you can only play against what you play against”. And RvP must have left the pitch delighted.

Benayoun played 90 minutes for a losing Israel.

Arshavin got an assist for Russia’s only goal win against Macedonia. He also played the full game.

Per was an unused substitute for. Germany

Sagna was an unused substitue for France.

Oh and Cesc scored twice and missed a penalty  in a comeback win for Spain.

As far as I can see no Arsenal players were injured but we have the midweeks to come.

All in all a fine night for our Internationals with 8 goals and 2 assists.

Written by Big Raddy

Did Arsenal fans get what they deserve?

September 2, 2011

So, the unmistakeable chimes of Big Ben bring the craziest few months an Arsenal fan has ever had to endure to a close. We have lost our club captain, we have lost last seasons best player, and we have been humiliated 8-2 by Man United, yet, with that big bell still ringing in my ear (insert your own joke!) there is a renewed optimism.

Fans had been calling for Arsène Wenger to bring experience into the club for the last few years, it had appeared to be falling on deaf ears, until last night. Finally, the professor has done away with his penchant for kids and brought some first class experience and more importantly leadership to the side.

A 6 foot 6 inch German international with 75 caps to his name has been recruited to teach TV the importance of defensive positioning, something that Vermaelen lacks at times as was all too evident in the home game against Barcelona 2 years ago. There is no doubt that TV is an outstanding defender, with a mean tackle, a wicked left foot, and possibly the best standing jump in the Premier League (apart from Fabianski!), but the chance to learn from a seasoned professional like Per will take him onto the next level.

In front of them we have signed Yossi Benayoun on a season long loan and Mikel Arteta for a princely sum of £10m. Between them they have over 10 years experience in the Premier League, more than most of our midfielders put together. They have been brought in to ease the pressure on young Jack and Aaron, but also to show the young pretenders how it can be done. Not how to pass a ball, Aaron and Jack need no help in that department, no, they are here to show he kids the all important ability to arrive into the box late. This is a skill that made Freddie Ljungberg into a Highbury hero, and with the wide players now at Arsene’s disposal, it is something that the new look Arsenal team can profit from. All Gooners know that we have the annoying habit of crossing into an empty box, if these two can find a way of making late runs more often then we could be adding an extra 15 goals a season from midfield.

As well as these timely additions, Wenger also found time to pick up a Brazilian Confederations Cup winning left back as cover for Gibbs whilst his bones and muscles find a way to get along, the current South Korean captain and 4 other young prospects who are already settled at the club.

Wenger has shown how a club without the megabucks of a sugar daddy can operate in the minefield that is the modern day transfer market.  I have heard some fans saying that they are disappointed that we didn’t bring in a marquee signing, but i have to disagree. Big money signings bring with them an air of attitude and cockiness, something that Arsenal FC could do without after the recent Cesc and Nasri sagas. They also carry huge price tags. Cahill was touted as the ideal signing by many, but with an estimated £15m value, Wenger opted to bag himself an extra 60+ caps worth of experience and pocket £5m in the process. Surely a great piece of business.

Another name that was being thrown around by our transfer hungry fans was that of Eden Hazard. Currently with Lille and with an asking price in excess of £20m, this kid is seen as the next big thing. But if that is the case, then why hasn’t he been snapped up already? It is impossible these days to keep an up and coming talent secret from the circling vultures of Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Chelsea etc so why haven’t they tried to do a deal? After all, they have enough spare change in there pockets to complete this deal without even having to nip to the local cash point! So why hasn’t it been done? Well that’s a question i cannot answer, but if they are unwilling to part with what is quite frankly spare change, then why would Wenger risk his precious money, and more importantly his future at AFC on such a player? Lets face it, after a 6% price hike, the last thing he can do is risk throwing money away. How would that look!?

Its been a crazy 3 months as a Gooner, and arguably the hardest in recent times, but we have made it through with manager in tact (to the annoyance of some), 9 new faces, and a new belief that this could yet turn out to be a successful season for our boys. I really hope so, because after all we have been through in the last few months, it is the fans who deserve it…..

Written by Fatgingergooner