Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Player analysis and ratings Vs Villa

By 1970’s Gooner


Needs to improve his kicking. Other than that had a good game. Came out to collect the high balls when he could and relieved the pressure that we all feel when crosses come in. 6


Improves with every game and plays with confidence. With Jenkinson still out I think he will be a very able understudy to Sagna. Djourou should have a rest now. Another Flamini in the making and with a bright future. 7


You somehow feel a sense of security when he is in the line up. Anywhere he plays he plays well. What a shot he has in him. I think he will be scoring many more goals this season. Should he be kept at left back even if Gibbs or Santos get fit enough to start? probably not! 6


Had one of his better games for Arsenal. He was very strong in the air and nearly scored from a corner. Looked solid today and I hope he continues in this manner. 6


Excellent performance. He is this season’s revelation for me. He has settled in his role as a centre back in the Premier League and is able to deal with the physicality of the game here. What a run out of defence which saw him play the one two with Song and then drive in the Villa box to win the penalty for the winning goal. 9


Back to what he does best today after a poor performance against United. Won the balls in the midfield and distributed simply. 6


Tomas is improving by leaps and bounds this season. He is becoming more effective with every game he plays and is strongly starting to challenge for a first team spot at the expense of the other two more creative midfielders, Arteta and Ramsey. I think Ramsey will probably be rested next game. 8


Put in a better performance today. Kept the ball well and took up dangerous positions in the opponent’s area. Won the penalty by moving on to Song’s pass touching it away from Dunn’s reach. 6


A much more improved performance from Theo today. He was everything that he should have been against United. He found space to run in, put in good crosses and got a deserved lucky rebound for the goal. 7

The Ox

Carried on where he left against United. This boy is a fantastic player. He can run at pace, dribble, place his crosses and defend when needed. Above all he has no fear. He should be a starter every game now. No need to rest him. Arshavin can warm the bench until the summer when he will go back to Russia. 8


Two very well taken penalties and a very good all round performance today. Kept the ball and linked up play well. His positioning and peeling off players always causes problems for defenders. 7

Sagna and Arteta

Welcome back

Man of the Match: Laurent  Koscienly

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Five Arsenal players return next week!

By 1970’s Gooner

Savic is a young 21 year old Manchester City centre back. He has been a starter for his team in recent games because the first team choice centre backs Kolo Toure (Afica Cup of Nations) and Kompany (red card) are unavailable.

The young lad has looked out of sorts. His mistakes are costing Manchester City. Spurs were allowed to get back in the game from 2-0 down through his mistake and he gave away the penalty in the 1st leg of their Carling Cup defeat to Liverpool. He was that bad he was substituted at half time in the return leg. Kind of reminds you of Djourou doesn't it?

Why do I go on about Savic and Man City you would ask. Because he is the only weak link in an otherwise strong side. Yet they suffered badly in the games he has played.

Compare this with Arsenal missing FIVE first team players against United: Arteta, Gervinho, Sagna, Gibbs and Wilshere. Can you imagine what would have happened if they were available? I think we would have taken sweet revenge for the 8-2.

There are promising news emerging from the injury front.

Sagna has returned to full training today with the first team and apparently came through unscathed. He may be available for selection for the next league game at Bolton next Wednesday!  If not for the Blackburn game at home on the 4th of February.

Gibbs is due to return to training in a few days time. I would think the Arsenal physios will be a bit more cautious in this case due to the player’s history with injury. But he could come back within the next two league games.

Both full backs, if all goes well, will be available for the CL game against AC Milan on the 18th February.

Arteta will return to first team action probably against Aston Villa and so will Henry.

And there are good news about Coquelin. He is also returning to training next week.

 Wilshere is now only three weeks away. So is Gervinho (from the Africa Cup of Nations).

Arsenal will bounce back that’s for sure and our performances when these players return to action will be out of this world.

I predict that we will go on a run similar to that in the early part of the season after the disastrous start and challenge for 4th spot and beyond, strongly.

We have added a new feature on the site detailing the injuries to Arsenal players, the nature of the injury and the expected date of return. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Arsenal’s injury news provide valid hope

By 1970’s Gooner

I call it as I see it and if there is a team that has room for improvement it is Arsenal. Not only because the performances have been so awful the only way is up; but because more than any other team in the top six Arsenal has been missing four irreplaceable first team starters.

These are the two full backs, Sagna and Gibbs/Santos, midfielder boy wonder Jack Wilshere and on the flank Gervinho.

These players apart from their own obvious quality are extremely important for Arsenal in another sense. The squad is thread bare and this is of course a deliberate policy of Arsene Wenger in bringing through promising youngsters as part of his philosophy in keeping wages down and raking in large profits from their eventual sale when they mature.

So when a first team player is injured then his replacement is either a promising youngster who is not yet good enough to stand up to the opponent’s big boys or a more mature player who cannot now hack it in the Premier League.

Examples of the former are Miquel, Jenkinson, Mannone, Coquelin, Djourou, Ramsey and Frimpong, I would include the Ox too in this list. Don’t get me wrong they are almost all of them very exciting players with tremendous prospects, but for now they are just kids.

Examples of the latter are Benayoun, Arshavin, Squillaci even Henry.

Hell, a team will fall below par even if only one irreplaceable first teamer is missing let alone four as in Arsenal’s case.

So you can see where I am heading to. Arsenal WILL bounce back soon enough to challenge strongly for the 4th spot or even beyond when these players return to action.

Sagna, Gibbs and Wilshere are two to three weeks away and one of those involves the FA Cup. Gervinho will also be back by then.

It will be tight I know but if Wenger abandons his stubbornness, stops using Arshavin and Benayoun and changes his tactics a little to offer protection to the full backs then WE WILL BE BACK.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Player ratings Vs United

By 1970’s Gooner


Couldn’t do much about the two goals. Saved well when called upon to do so. 8


Shouldn’t start again as a full back. And I don’t see him starting as a centre back again either. He should be sold in the summer as part of a general clear out that is badly needed at the club. 2


Was at fault for United’s first goal. His position was in front of the scorer than behind him. He was disoriented after managing to clear a through ball. Other than this he had a good game. 5


Had a decent game but he does lack pace. He was threatened by Wellbeck when he got past him but got back well to clear off the line. He is though very useful when we are defending dead ball situations. We haven’t let as many goals under these situations this season which is a good sign. 6


Our best player on the pitch and I think along with RVP our best player of the season so far. Was influential in our goal by winning the ball in our penalty area and accurately passing it to Rosicky (who then passed it to the Ox) 9


Another indifferent performance from a promising young player. He found it hard to have an  influence the game. His passing was also below par. 4


His worst performance this season. Could not win the ball, tackle or pass accurately. WHY? Improved in the 2nd half but overall he was disappointing. 4


A good performance from Tomas. He is getting near his top form since his long lay offs due to injuries. He was full of running and energy. Why didn’t he start against Swansea? 7


Was quiet. He hardly got beyond his man and really was out of the game. At least he was tracking back most of the time in the first half. In the second he was staying in the more attacking positions. 5

The Ox

What a player he is and what a player he will be! He is at far more advanced stage at this age than Walcott was. He is a far more complete player than Theo. He runs at the defenders, his crosses are far more accurate and he generally plays without any fear. WRONG SUBSTITUTION BY WENGER. 9


Did not get any real support at the front. He was failing to win or hold the ball when it was getting pumped up to him when we were under pressure in the 1st half. Missed a sitter but what a goal he produced though. 6

Niko Yennaris

I was impressed by Niko. He did well to come on in such an important game and play against Nani. He was far more effective than Djourou and he put in some decent crosses when we were in the ascendancy. Well done young lad. 7


Go back to Russia. 1

Wenger manages to lose us the game

By 1970’s Gooner

I call it as I see it and Arsene Wenger made one of the most horrendous decisions he will ever make.

We had just equalised after raising our game and peppering the United defence with some strong pressure in the second half. The young Ox had a terrific game. He was the only Arsenal player who was putting a good day’s shift.

He was running the United defence rugged. He was tackling them like our defenders should have been tackling and running at their defenders head on. Most of the rest of the Arsenal players were really awful. Song was nowhere his normal game. Ramsey was nowhere full stop.

Djourou was the weakest link. He should never play in the right back position again. Better to play the young boy Yennaris who actually did pretty well.

It was the moment we gained momentum. We could have gone on and won the game. RVP had just equalised after a wonderful pass from the Ox but what does Mr Wenger do? He takes the young boy off! And to compound the mistake he brings the idiot Arshavin on.

In other words he not only took our most influential player off but he brought on someone who could not defend . Lo and behold Valencia goes past him as though he wasn’t there and we are 2-1 down and out!

If we don’t finish fourth then Arsene Wenger will know why. And he should a take a good look at himself and ask:

Have I got any more to give to this club?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Arsenal need to wield the Ox and change tactics against United

By 1970’s Gooner

I call it as I see it and after Arshavin’s poor performance against Swansea I shudder to contemplate what will happen when Nani begins to terrorise young Miquel on the left hand side of Arsenal’s defence.
Add to this the likely possibility that Arsenal will be without Arteta and you then face the possibility that we will be suffering in central midfield as well. This is because I fear that Wenger may select Benayoun to fill in. He is however inept to play that role as his performance last week proved.

You can imagine what tactics Fergie will employ on Sunday. He will pack his midfield, probably with 5 players and try and suck the Arsenal players forward. He will then play on the counter attack as they have done in recent games at the Emirates.

With a defence relying on makeshift full backs and leaking goals Fergie will definitely fancy his chances of scoring at least one goal.

That is why Wenger has to drop Arshavin and Benayoun.

Arshavin is awful going forward but more significantly in tracking back. Poor Miquel was left isolated on many occasions in our last game and if this is repeated then expect a very one sided high scoring game. Again…

It’s about time the young Ox is given a start.

He is a far more dangerous player going forward than Arshavin and, unlike him, full of enthusiasm. He has the pace, tenacity and eye for goal. He will certainly terrorise a slow Evra but also discourage him from going forward.

The Ox, as he has shown already, can also track back and defend far more tenaciously than Arshavin ever will.

Benayoun was out of his depth whenever he played so far. He cannot and will not provide the midfield tenacity nor the skill needed to replace Arteta. If he starts then expect that we will be outrun in midfield.

Tomas Rosicky if fit should start. He is much more able to hold his own in such a difficult game and also has the ability to hold the ball and make telling passes.

Due to the obvious weakness in the full back positions and irrespective of who starts the game, Arsenal should play a more tactical game rather than go gung-ho in all out attack by pushing the full backs forward as per normal.

This will make it a much closer contest which will suit us, as the advantage of playing at home and RVP’s potency in front of goal may in the end prove decisive.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

What do you expect with Benayoun and Arshavin in the side Mr Wenger?

By 1970’s Gooner
I call it as I see it. And I blame Arsene Wenger.

Let’s start with Benayoun. He is a championship player. I said it before and I am saying it again. He is not Premiership standard. He cannot keep the ball, tackle or pass forward. He is useless. Why oh why did Wenger start with him only God and he knows.
If Arteta was not fit to start then obviously Rosicky should have started. As soon as he came on we started passing the ball forward, having possession and looking dangerous. As soon as I saw Benayoun’s name in the starting line up I knew we were in trouble.

Benayoun’s positioning also confused Song who didn’t know whether to stay back or help forward as well as he normally does. But you see normally Arteta would be covering for him. Didn’t Mr Wenger instruct someone to stay back a bit?

And I sensed we were really in trouble when Arshavin was starting the game. Granted he made the killing pass for our opener but ***k, what else did he contribute? I blame Wenger really for picking him.

I would go as far as to say that if Chamberlain had started in his place we would have won the game. The ox looked hungry and dangerous when he came on and he should be starting games.

Our third weakness for which I don’t blame Wenger was Miquel. He was the weakest link in defence and Swansea exploited it. However, picking an uninterested Arshavin on the same side as Miquel was a suicide act that only Wenger can perform.

We ended up being outplayed, out possessed and run rugged.


I call it as I see it. And I blame Arsene Wenger.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Likely 11 against Leeds

By 1970’s Gooner

I believe that Wenger will give much needed rest to certain players and also give the chance to bench warmers and other aspiring first teamers to show what they can do.

In goal Fabianski has to be given playing time so that he can be match fit  in case Szczeszny gets injured or becomes unavailable.

Coquelin has to start in order to get match fit and also get used to the left back position as it looks like he will be the preferred choice until a first team full back gets fit again.

Miquel will start as there are no other viable options. Niko Yennaris is likely to be on the bench.

Squillaci, who produces a clanger every time he plays will be risked by Wenger as he has to protect at least one of his remaining centre backs!

Mertesacker will provide the experience.

Song similarly and also as the team needs a defensive midfielder.

Benayoun, Rosicky and Arshavin need games.

So do Park and Chamakh

Henry is way behind on the fitness stakes and I think he will come on as a sub probably playing behind the forward player.


Coquelin Mertesacker Squillacy Miquel

Benayoun Rosicky Song Arshavin

Park  Chamakh

Monday, January 02, 2012

Walcott can’t be as bad again and Coquelin will be better

By 1970's Gooner

I call it as I see it. And Walcott looked slightly out of touch against QPR. His crosses left a lot to be desired and he rearely got beyond his man.

There was a better balance in the team of course when compared to when Benayoun was deployed on the side in the game against Wolves. But still Theo looked as though he needed a game to get back to his normal self. I think he will manage it tonight where I expect him to put a scintillating performance against Riise and maybe get a goal.

On the other hand Arshavin’s only contribution against QPR was to set up the goal. And if you were to guarantee me that he will be doing this tonight I would gladly include him in the line up. But alas he is a shadow of his former self.

He doesn’t deserve a starting place and if he plays tonight I fear we will be playing with 10 men…

On the other hand Coquelin impressed me when he had to come on for Vermaelen at left back. He was awful against Villa but as it often happens with these young men they only need a handful of games to improve tremendously.

And if he carries on where he finished against Wolves then I think he will have a good game tonight. It looks like Wenger is convinced that he will be able to fill in better than Frimpong (who is off to Wolves) if Song or another central midfielder become unavailable.

I would also like to see Gervinho back as his penetrating runs on the wing are what RVP needs to get a few more goals.


Djourou Mertesacker Koscienly Coquelin

Ramsey Song Arteta 

Walcott RVP Gervinho