Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rosicky: “I’m fit and will play in the Emirates Cup”

By Aries

Forget what the tabloids and other newspapers will have you believe.

They picked on what came out of Arsenal with regard to Tomas Rosicky’s “minor problem”, married it with his absence from all the friendlies after Barnet and came out with their usual negative headlines about him suffering a relapse…

The player on his official website has announced that not only is he fit but that Arsene Wenger has already told him (and Gael Clichy) that they will play in the Emirates Cup!

"I thought that I would spend more time on the pitch (against Barnet) and then the two matches that followed I had to watch from the stands"

“I was also ready for Wednesday's match in Hanover, but the coach decided that I, as well as Gaël Clichy will get a chance to play at the weekend in the Emirates Cup tournament” he said.

He also indicated that the reason for his absence may have been connected with the heavy training schedule in Austria which may have affected him more than others due to his 18 month absence.

"There is a difference when one has an eighteen-month break from football, even if he is healthy. We had intensive training, a few games then more exercises. I hurt all over. For four days I could not really run. We were so tired that we did not have the mood for any fun”

But I am fit, which is the most important thing now."

Monday, July 27, 2009

Video highlights and player ratings: Arsenal Vs Haladas

By 1970’s Gooner

Mannone: Did not have many things of note to do. Fluffed his clearance after a bad back pass from Ramsey when he should have kicked the ball out of his area with his left rather than the right foot. But he came out forcefully to clear a through ball. 6

Szczesny: One bad clearance when he should have stayed in his area but two very good saves, one from a free kick and the other from close range. 7

Eboue: one of the worst players in the first half. Hardly played a ball to an Arsenal player. If we can really get 8m for him then grab it and run I say. 4

Sagna: Quiet game but without mistakes. 6

Traore: Fantastic going forward, lousy in defending. Reminds me of Clichy and Ashley Cole in their earlier days where they were excellent going forward but their defensive positioning was lousy. They all had to use their pace to salvage the situation.

Cole and Clichy have turned out excellent defenders and so will Traore but how will Wenger satisfy all three current Arsenal left backs? 7

Silvestre: I am worried about his pace. This did not show today due to the opposition. 6

Toure: Still needs games to get into shape. Some clearances were shaky. 6

Djourou: Has to watch his positioning. 6

Gallas: Solid with a few very good tackles. The decision against him for the penalty was way too harsh. 7

Vermaelen: I liked his positional sense and the cultured left foot he has. He defended and also distributed well. 7

Denilson: Started every friendly game so far. I hope it is not a sign of things to come..Was, along with Ramsey, overran during the first 15 minutes when the opponents dominated. Perked up later. 6

Ramsey: One of his worst games so far. Hardly able to keep the ball or pass it to a team mate. 5

Song: Solid and getting better with his distribution. 7

Senderos: Again started in defensive midfield. Did well but I fear against Premier League opposition he will be giving too many fouls away as his lack of pace will be letting him down. This is not his position of course. 6

Wilshere: Lost on the left wing in the first half but when moved into the play makers position came into the for. This is his natural position and it is up to Wenger to decide whether to trust him there so early on in his career (like Fabregas) or bide his time. He missed two chances to score by trying to be too clever. 5

Bendtner: Increasingly looks the part. Scored two well taken goals and generally his overall play was very professional. This may be a very significant season for him and for Arsenal. I am expecting that he will rise up to fill Adebayor’s gap as I think that Wenger will not buy… 9

Eduardo: Scored two well taken goals. He is a clinical finisher and if he stays fit then he will score goals for us this season. 8

Arshavin: Was not up to his usual high standard today. Couldn’t hold the ball well nor pass it accurately. 5

Van Persie: had an average game but scored a superb penalty. 6

Man of the Match: Nicklas Bendtner

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vela shows he can take the pressure

By 1970’s Gooner

It wasn’t so long ago that Carlos Vela was thinking that the injury he sustained three weeks ago while on duty for Mexico would probably not only rule him out of Mexico’s next few games in the Gold Cup, now taking place in the USA, but also out of Arsenal’s early Premier League games in August.

But, as with many things in football, situations can change so quickly and so dramatically.

Due to the scare about his injured foot he had to sit out on the bench for most of the semi final against Costa Rica. But he came on late in the second half on the 81st minute.

Little did he know that the game would go to penalties and that he would be called upon to take the penalty that would give Mexico the ticket for the final.

He took it with consummate ease defying his young age sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, placing the ball calmly into the net. You can watch it on the video screen above (around the 8.24 mark).

He is Mexico’s hero for now. He may even repeat the feat in the final.

You never know football is a funny game….

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Eduardo: “It cannot be true. I am not injured”

By Aries

Eduardo has expressed dismay with regard to the news, apparently given by Arsene Wenger after the Columbia- Arsenal game, on his fitness.

Wenger was quoted as saying that Eduardo will take another two months to return to action and the media of course made a big meal out of it and started writing stories that Eduardo had suffered a relapse.

Wenger said: “… in the next two months we’ll have Eduardo back as well, so we have offensive options, but you do not want to lose important players before the season starts.”

Well, according to Eduardo himself this cannot be further from the truth! Speaking today to Croatian paper “Jutarhji” he said:

“I do not know anything about the statement made by my coach. It can not be true. I am completely ready physically”

He went on to say that he has already been told in which games he will play in Austria and even for how long in each game.

“I was told that I will play between 20 and 30 minutes on the 27th July when we play against Szombatelya. Two days later against Hannover 96 I will play a half” he said.

So if we are to believe Eduardo then we can only assume that Wenger was referring to the time that will take for Eduardo to get back to proper fitness after being out for such a long time.

“I feel great, next week I will play for Arsenal, and I believe that everything will be OK” Eduardo concluded.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

There are three ways Arsenal can play without replacing Adebayor

By 1970’s Gooner

One aspect that Adebayor was able to bring to Arsene’s tactical options plate was variation. Variation in the way that Arsenal was able to switch from the pass and move game that characterises all of Wenger’s teams to the long high ball for the tall and powerful front man.

This is particularly useful as most teams in the Premiership have learnt how to combat the passing game that Arsenal usually play. They put a lot of men behind the ball, pressured tightly, especially in the middle of the pitch and tried to counter attack.

Add to this the fact that as Arsenal’s teams usually contain a lot of relatively inexperienced youngsters then a mistake in defence, eventually and almost inevitably, led to a goal (unless Arsenal scored first upon which the other team usually let in more goals).

So if Arsenal does not buy a similar type player then what are we left with?

Option 1: Nicklas Bendtner gets promoted

This is the carry on as usual option. Bendtner will replace Adebayor as a regular in the Arsenal line up and Arsene will play either 4 4 1 1 with van Persie just behind the young Dane or 4 4 2 with the two players playing nearer each other.

For those who are fans of the young man this option sounds attractive and I think Nicklas will be able to step up the plate and take responsibility.

However I don’t think he will be consistent enough in his performances. And you have to take into account that injuries are part of football.

Option 2: Van’s the man

Robin van Persie can move forward and play the front man role. He has done it often enough this past season when Adebayor was injured but above all he is now an experienced forward who can take on the Premiership defenders and win.

He would however be more effective in a 4 4 2 formation as he is the type of player who needs others around him to connect with. His passing ability allows him to do that.

And there are now enough forward players in the squad that can play with him up front. Eduardo is the most likely candidate but there is of course Arshavin, Nasri, Vela and even Rosicky.

Fabregas was tried in that role last season but in my opinion he is not as effective there as in his central midfield position.

Option 3: Walcott gets what he wants

Theo has always maintained that his best and natural position is through the middle and Arsene Wenger also believes that this is where he will eventually end up.

He may well be right as Theo has the pace and goal scoring ability to eventually succeed there.

But not now. He is not strong enough yet to hold defenders off, his height does not help his heading ability which needs to be developed and he is still just a kid.

If Arsene does not buy another forward then it is obvious that Nicklas Bendtner and Robin Van Persie will play a major role in deciding whether Arsenal succeed in winning a major trophy this coming season.

Arshavin surprised with the gradient but connects with Rosicky

By Aries

Andrey Arshavin has been speaking about the first pre season game at Barnet’s underhill ground and indeed he was very surprised, not about the state of the pitch but by its gradient.

“It was a bit of an unconventional pitch. I'm not talking about the surface, it was great, but the pitch is made in such a way that in the first half we had go uphill. The gradient was around 10 degrees or even more”

This didn’t stop him of course from scoring Arsenal’s first goal just before half time from an accurate cross from the impressive Watt. The end result was not that important he said.

“Today was a normal pre-season game. We've been working for 2 weeks already so we're really raring to go. A draw? I think the result was not so important for us, unlike our opponents, who really wanted to prove themselves”

Andrey was also impressed with the support from the Arsenal fans.

“I was pretty surprised to see hardly any home fans. The stadium was filled with Arsenal supporters"

Judging from the way he was connecting with Tomas Rosicky during the first half it looks like the two have the potential to form a really good partnership in the coming season.

“I asked him how long he's been away; Tomas missed a year and a half. Today he made his return and we had a first half together, trying to make new connections”

The two players will have a chance to play more together next week when the Arsenal team continue pre-season in Austria on Monday.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Player analysis and ratings Vs Barnet

By 1970’s Gooner

Almunia: Wasn’t his fault for the goal. Otherwise his usual self assured. 8

Djourou: Started at right back. A sign of things to come? Had an average game. Unless Arsene gets rid of a central defender we will have a plethora of available players in this position (Gallas, Toure, Vermaelen, Silvestre, Senderos, Djourou and Song if required).

Gallas: Was at fault for the Barnet first goal missing the high ball into the box. I hope it is not a sign of things to come. 6

Vermaelen: Showed that he has good awareness and positional sense. Made a few saving interceptions. Looked assured and confident. He will grow better the more he gets accustomed to the English game. 8

Silvestre: Played his normal game. Not pressured a lot. 7

Randall: Was disappointing. Couldn’t tackle nor take control of the midfiled as he should. I don’t think he will be at Arsenal for long. 5

Wilshere: Had a rather quite game for his usual high standards. 6

Frimpong: Showed why he is valued at Arsenal. Has a strong physical presence and combativeness. Characteristics needed in this defencive midfield position. Needs to improve his passing however. 7

Rosicky: The most important positive outcome of this game. Was out of touch of course but that is to be expected having been out for 18 months. Got involved in tackles though without showing fear which is very encouraging. I am really pleased. 7

Arshavin: Carried off where he left last season. He is a little demon. He scored the first goal because he timed his run perfectly. He will have a great season for Arsenal I am sure. 8

Watt: Showed an elegant touch throughout the game. He set up Arshavin for the goal by laying the ball off in the middle of the pitch and then running on to receive the return pass into space. 7

Mannone: I like Mannone. He is brave, a good shot stopper and has a goalkeeper’s presence if you see what I mean. I do not consider him at fault for Barnet’s second equalizer as he did throw himself bravely at the opponent’s feet trying to stop a bad situation developing. 7

Cruise: Was at fault for the second equalizer. He was way out of position playing the eventual scorer onside when he should have been out with the rest of his defenders. 5

Eastmond: I like him too. He is a determined defender and is good going forward. 6

Ayling: Was out of position sometimes but overall had a good second half. He will grow into a good central defender. 6

Coquelin: He is strong and combative in the Flamini style and he has the potential to grow into that role. Average 45 minutes. 6

Thomas: He should be given more chances to show what he can do this season. He has the body, the skill and the versatility to play in many positions. He can grow into a big player for Arsenal. Missed a good chance right at the death to make it 3 2 but the good thing about it is that he created it. 7

Barazite: Scored a beautiful individual goal and generally had a good game. Asked for the ball and took responsibility. He also can show if he is given the chance what he can do this season. His loan spell at Derby helped him a lot. 8

Sunu: He is strong and fast and he could grow into the front striker’s position. 6

Simpson: Did not achieve much while he was on the pitch. I don’t think he will make it at Arsenal long term.

Is Arsenal letting its TV subscribers down?

By 1970’s Gooner

When Arsenal TV (not the on line TV but the one you can get through Sky) was launched I was very pleased as it meant that we could watch through a proper channel high quality programmes both in terms of content and picture.

A particular feature that we all looked forward to were the preseason games where we could see the boys, including the new signings and the youngsters brought through from the reserves, in action.

This was the case ever since the Arsenal TV channel was launched. But alas it seems no more.

For some reason Arsenal Football Club have failed to inform all of us subscribers to Arsenal TV as to why we now have to fork out even more money to join Arsenal TV on line so that we can watch these pre season games.

This is what Arsenal Football Club have said:

“Arsenal TV Online is the ONLY place to watch live coverage of Arsenal's first four pre-season fixtures.

Those four games will not be screened live on television but ALL FOUR will be streamed live and exclusively on Arsenal TV Online.

If you already subscribe to Arsenal TV Online, you've got plenty to look forward to. If you don't, sign up now for every kick of Arsenal's summer schedule.

Please note: these games will NOT be shown on Arsenal TV and will only be available Online”

That’s it. No explanation as to the switch and no apologies…

We have therefore written a letter to the club complaining about this issue and we suggested that they at least offer a free subscription to Arsenal TV on Line for these pre season games for all the current Arsenal TV subscribers.

This is the letter we sent:

“There are a lot of visitors to our blog (Arsenal Analysis) that are complaining and enquiring as to why all Arsenal's pre season games are not featured on Arsenal TV. Apparently they will now be shown only on the TV on Line channel.

This is because many fans have become subscribers to the TV channel (through SKY say) and were promised features that certainly included pre season games. Otherwise they say there is no point in carrying on with the subscription to Arsenal TV.

We think all Arsenal fans deserve an explanation as well as information regarding the future of the TV channel so that they can take appropriate action.

As a goodwill gesture you could, in the meantime, offer free subscription to Arsenal TV on Line for these pre season games for all Arsenal TV subscribers.

Awaiting your reply with interest.

Best Regards

Arsenal Analysis

Friday, July 17, 2009

Vela hopes for comeback may aggravate his injury

By Aries

As we reported yesterday Carlos Vela’s injured foot sustained two weeks ago while on duty for Mexico has been troubling him lately. So much that he missed training and there were fears that he would not only be missing Mexico’s next few games but Arsenal’s pre season too.

Now Vela himself feels that his chances of making the game against Haiti on Sunday have improved. Speaking in a press conference he said:

"I feel good, I'm very glad that I have improved from last week to this, I think I will be ready for Haiti, I hope that everything goes well and there is nothing that prevents the coach in taking me into account"

When Carlos suffered the original injury to his ankle it was initially feared that he may have suffered a break. Further tests however revealed it was a sprain, though there was still the worry that there had been some serious damage done his ligaments.

This doesn’t sound good to me. It looks like the player may be getting carried away and taking unnecessary chances with his injury. He thinks he will be ready for Haiti, which implies that he is not 100%.

If he plays there is a real chance of aggravating the injury and potentially jeopardising the rest of his season.

A season in which he will be making claims for a more important role in Arsene Wenger plans.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Unlucky Vela again

By Aries

Carlos Vela looks likely to miss Arsenal’s pre season training and maybe the beginning of the Premier League season after suffering a relapse to his injured ankle he suffered two weeks ago while on duty for Mexico.

As we reported last month, international duty for Mexico in the Gold Cup and then for the subsequent World Cup qualifiers meant that Carlos would have missed a large part of pre season training anyway. Now he looks like being out for longer.

When Carlos suffered the original injury to his ankle it was initially feared that he may have suffered a break. Further tests however revealed it was a sprain, though there was still the worry that there had been some serious damage done to the player's ligaments.

"The injury that is present is medial tibial pain, affecting the ligaments on the leg. In simplest terms, he has a sprain," Radames Gaxiola the Mexican team doctor said.

Well it looks that that diagnosis was wrong as Carlos has had to withdraw from training this morning unable to put weight on his leg. The rest of the team trained this morning in Dallas Stadium without him.

The Mexican national side arrived in Texas to prepare for the Quarterfinal game against Haiti and it looks like they will have to make do without the young player.

So will Arsenal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bordeaux paper expects Chamakh to be an Arsenal player by next weekend

By Aries

It is a fact that Moroccan international and Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh has made it known that he will welcome a move to the Premier League.

"I have good contacts from clubs and the possibility to join a Premier League club. I will take my time because there is some very interesting interest and I have to make the best choice." Chamakh said recently.

Arsene Wenger has been an admirer of the player that exhibits those characteristics that actually fits the mould of an Arsenal striker.

Relatively tall (6ft 1), good in the air, skillful with good close control and above all a team player. He is the type that can hold up possession and bring other players into the game.

Chamakh has not scored so many goals, 13 from 34 games last season but he has 6 assists to his name. And at 25 he is at the right age for this youngish Arsenal squad.

Now Adebayor is on his way, Wenger has the money from his sale to Manchester City and the vacancy to bring Chamakh to the Emirates.

Chamakh has a buy out clause in his contract reported to be set at set at (£8.4m) which has prompted Bordeux’s chairman Jean-Louis Triaud to state that he ‘won’t join Arsenal for €10 million (£8.4m).

Now local Bordeaux paper, Sud-Ouest, is expecting that the transfer could happen as early as next weekend although the player’s agent, Pierre Frelot, when contacted did not want to offer any information on the matter.

Chamakh has started pre season training with his club but Arsene Wenger will want him to join Arsenal’s pre season tour of Austria which begins next Monday...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Arsenal very pleased with Eduardo’s recovery

By Aries

Eduardo has been talking to the Croatian press about his pre season training and has been very upbeat about his fitness and his troublesome ankle.

“Everything is great, nothing hurts me. Last week I worked with a fitness coach and physio. I did all that was required and Arsenal are very pleased with my recovery” he said.

He also revealed that no special care is needed or taken with regard to his ankle.

Remember he had to undergo revision surgery on the left ankle to remove small metal screws which were originally placed there to assist in his recovery from the horrible injury he sustained more than a year ago. The doctors also removed a bone that had been troubling him during the close season.

“Every day we are scheduled exercises running with the ball. Still, we mostly work on improving our fitness levels and endurance. No specific exercises are carried out for the operated ankle”

Arsène Wenger and Slaven Bilic will have some reason for feeling satisfied as they sent Eduardo to Croatian physiotherapist, Bojana Radanovic, who did a brilliant job on the player while he was holidaying in Zagreb.

Eduardo believes that his first game will be in Austria.

“We are leaving for Bad Waltersdorf next week, on Monday. We will play two games where I should get (playing) time in one” Eduardo said.

Let’s hope all goes well.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Arshavin braves the morning rain prior to training

By Aries

Andrey Arshavin has returned to London and pre season training after holidaying in his native St Petersburg.

He has joined a selection of his Arsenal team mates at London Colney as those who were involved on duty with their national teams were given permission to join a week later.

Speaking on his personal site he revealed some of the exercises that Arsene Wenger set for them.

“They consisted of two racing exercises of twelve minutes of continuous running with periodic accelerations” he said.

These he had no problem in completing which is not a surprise as he mentioned that he does some extra training prior to setting off for training every morning.

He goes for a morning jog even if it usually rains: “No (the rain does not put me off) as running is necessary for me” he said.

With the signing of Zhirkov by Chelsea there are now three Russians playing in London with Arshavin and Tottenham’s Pavlichenko the other two.

Arshavin has however offered his tip for the next Russian to play in the Premier League and he is CSKA’s and Russia’s goalkeeper Akinfeev.

I don’t think he will be coming to Arsenal.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Arsenal's three new signings begin pre season training (photos)

By Aries

Pre season training began under heavy rain but Arsene Wenger, with timer and whistle in hand, still put all the boys through their steps with the usual precision that characterises all his sessions.

Players that were involved in games for their national squads have been given time off of course.

These include among others Gibbs, Walcott and Fabregas.

But among the players that were present were Arsenal’s three new signings…

Thomas Vermaelen we all hope will be the answer to Arsenal’s defensive needs.

The two others are like new signings to me. I am very pleased to see the much maligned Tomas Rosicky back with the first team squad. What a tremendous boost this is to him (and to us), having been out of action and nowhere near the training pitch for a whole year and a half!

The other “signing” is Eduardo. He did come back towards the tail end of last season but had to cut that short with more niggling injuries. He looks refreshed in the photo.

I have a feeling that all will go well this coming season…..

Monday, July 06, 2009

Edu returns home

By Aries

If only Edu was convinced by Arsene Wenger to sign a new contract instead of going to Spain’s Valencia. I believe Arsenal would have gone on to dominate the Premier League for years to come.

Instead after belatedly, as it turned out to be, being offered an improved contract he had already made his mind up to leave Arsenal, cheesed off by what he considered the apparent lack of interest to keep him.

Sounds like the Flamini saga doesn’t it?

Wenger plucked him up from the Brazilian league side Corinthians where he had already won the 1998 and 1999 Brasileiro championships and the 2000 World Club Championship.

Seen as his finest so far in football, his 2003-04 season in midfield for Arsenal was capped by one of five goals against Internazionale in a 5-1 Arsenal victory. Arsenal went on to win the Premier league that season, unbeaten…

In May 2005 Edu left Arsenal on a Bosman ruling free transfer. Shortly after signing for Valencia he suffered a pre-season injury that ruled him out of first-team action until a year later. Further injuries however restricted him to just 44 appearances during his four years there.

Edu, now 31, has signed a contract with his old club Corinthians which will run till 2011. He will be presented to the Brazilian media tomorrow.

Good luck Edu..

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Is Melo really coming to Arsenal?

By 1970’s Gooner

I have been enjoying the sun and the beach for the last week or so without really paying too much attention to all the speculation regarding the “impending” transfers that are about to happen at the Emirates.

One such transfer speculation that has excited a large proportion of Arsenal fans judging by the way that some Arsenal related blogs covered the matter is the Filipe Melo saga.

They have been led astray of course by the way the press has distorted a statement made by Fiorentina with regard to the possibility of Melo moving clubs this summer.

What has really prompted this statement is not Arsenal’s bid for the player (and the offer of part exchanging Eboue). It is that Melo has been in advanced negotiations with Juventus which has got the Fiorentina hierarchy all flustered.

They obviously want to agree the transfer fee first and THEN for the player to agree personal terms with his new club. Since it is obviously happening the other way round, with the player set on a move to Juventus, they see their bargaining power being eroded.

Hence the statement from Fiorentina which refered to the get out clause on Melo’s contract setting his price at €25m.

“In case the footballer has already reached an agreement with any club, the release clause fixed with the player himself is 25 million euros. We would not contemplate any exchange, unless it is to the liking of Fiorentina”

Yes Arsenal did put a bid in for Melo but a) they wanted to reduce the cash outlay to €21m by offering Eboue (which is a good move if you ask me) but b) Melo himself, as he has stated before, wants to stay in Italy and has already been negotiating personal terms with Juventus.

As you may already know Melo signed a new contract with Fiorentina only a week or so ago which set the release clause of €25m! This tells you that it was just a move agreed between the player and his club so that Fiorentina could get some extra cash.

In other words the real power lies with the player’s wishes (as always) and not really with Fiorentina.

And Melo is not choosing the Emirates is he?

As I wrote before I am not very optimistic that Wenger will get a new defensive midfielder this season.

This is because there is a tight budget (hence the offer of Eboue in part exchange), the relative unavailability of quality defensive midfielders (at an affordable transfer price and subsequent wages) and also the need to preserve the tremendous improvement that Song in particular has shown last season.

I hope I am wrong as we will need extra cover in this area as the season unfolds.