Posts Tagged ‘Arsenal FC’


I’ll get you something on the US Mens’ national team victory over Jamaica tonight, 1-0, for tomorrow but with work lately I’ve been kind of zonked when I get home on some nights & tonight is one of them.  By the time you work late, fix something to eat, wash some clothes, it’s already 9:15 & you just know I have to squeeze in some Football Manager time too.  So, with that said here’s the laziest blog post in the world, actually it’s not it’s just a tribute…

Arsenal’s simple passes out of the back lead to our possession dominance in the early season.

Arseblog’s tactics column predicts it won’t be long before Olivier Giroud opens his scoring account.  Dennis Bergkamp & Thierry Henry opened their club accounts versus Southampton.  Guess who we play on Saturday?

Chuks Aneke made his debut for Crewe Alexandra over the weekend.

Diaby sat out France’s game yesterday & was set to do so prior to the match.  Word is he picked up a slight knock.  Knock on wood, because we all know the history with Diaby & injuries…

Alright, there is the laziest blog post.  Hope you had a good 9/11.

 


Miki’s facial expression says, “how good is THIS guy, eh?”

For all the constant consternation & sniping at how Arsenal FC are run from pundits & media talking heads, it is always an absolute pleasure when you beat one of the supposed intelligentsia’s usual darlings like Liverpool.  Last year the Scousers were led by one of their supposed saviors, Kenny Dalglish.  They’ve spent tons of money in the last several years on players, including Englishmen which were supposed to be the new nucleus of the club, including one supposed rising English star (LOL!) in Andy Carroll.  And last year they won the Carling Cup.  So, what’s the problem?

Today we beat their ass, 2-nil, they currently lie in the relegation zone in 18th place after today & have changed managers, those several Englishmen brought in to be the nucleus now prop up the bench, they’ve shipped out their record English striker & are these days reduced to spouting off how many times they’ve been champions of Europe to sides that defeat them as that means anything in the game just played.  That’s the problem.  The Roman Empire was once great too, Liverpudlians.  Those creaking & crashing sounds you hear are the Visigoths at the gates, dopes.

Laurent Koscielny came back from injury today but Arsène Wenger continued with Per Mertesacker to partner Thomas Vermaelen in the center of defense but Wojciech Szczęsny & Łukasz Fabiański once again missed out through injury giving another start to Vito Mannone in net.  Interestingly, Wenger went with Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of both Gervinho & Theo Walcott on the right.  There was speculation last night that The Ox would start but many were guessing it would be in Abou Diaby’s stead.It would be interesting to know if Le Boss wanted something tactically specific from The Ox or if Walcott is being a bit punished for the ongoing contractual spat.

Either way, we started out like this:

Arsenal Starting Lineup
Mannone

Jenkinson — Mertesaecker — Vermaelen (c) — Gibbs

Diaby — Arteta

Cazorla

Oxlade-Chamberlain — Giroud — Podolski.

Bench:   Martínez, Koscielny, André Santos,  Coquelin, Ramsey, Gervinho, Walcott

Liverpool enjoyed most of the possession throughout the match but this new look Arsenal looks much more comfortable & compact in their defensive shape in the early days of the season.  Thank you, Steve Bould?  However, you wouldn’t have known this fact unless you’re watching the matches.  If you’re relying on the media, the story prior to the matchwas still “Arsenal haven’t scored a goal since Robin van Persie left.”  Well, that fortunately changed today.

On the half-hour mark & following a period where Liverpool were threatening, mainly through youngster Raheem Sterling, Steven Gerrard played a poor ball in the Liverpool final third which Arsenal took advantage of to take the lead.  The Gunners used the turnover to mount a swift counterattack like the Arsenal of old.  The ball found Santi Cazorla outside the area & he in turn played in Lukas Podolski nicely on the left & the German fired home to open up his Arsenal account.  You can catch at the end of the link the humorous song sung by traveling Gunners of, “He’s Lukas Podolski! He scores when he wants! He scores when he wants!”  The song being an obvious thumbing of the nose to all the punditry’s hammering of the Robin van Persie/lack of Arsenal goals saga.  Well played, Gunner fans.

We took the 1-nil lead into the break & within minutes of the restart Martin Skrtel hacked down Abou Diaby rightly earning a yellow card in the process.  The French midfielder was outstanding on the day, evoking comparisons to Patrick Vieira throughout the Arsenalverse.  Not quite sure about that but the 6’4″, oft-injured Diaby was certainly my & most people’s Man of the Match as the Frenchman put in a performance that made you realize why Wenger has been patient with him.  Someone even joked (or was it a joke?) on Twitter that “City united & Barca all with bids for Diaby in January.”  If he can stay healthy, Diaby can really help us in the center of the park.  He was terrific in his movement, his passing was stellar (91% on the day) & was a force in the tackle today (with 4).

Also in the second half, Liverpool began to look for free kicks & penalties at just about every foray forward.  Led by cheat extraordinaire & diving supremo, Luís Suárez, Liverpool nearly won a PK from Mertesacker as the big German made some contact on the Uruguayan inside the box.  El Perro Langosta, of course made it look like a sniper hit, flinging himself to the ground but luckily Howard Webb wasn’t buying it.  Did you get the envelope, Howie?  Ok, thanks, remember us later in the year too.  Suárez is such a diving cheat I’m thinking of changing my nickname for him of El Perro Langosta, or “the lobster dog,” to La Puta Engañando, or “the cheating cunt/bitch/whore.”

Despite Suárez’s cuntiness, it was Arsenal that found the next goal.  In the 68th minute it was Cazorla & Podolski combining again, but this time it was Santi Cazorla’s turn to net his first goal when he rifled home at the near post with a massive helping from Pepe Reina.  I don’t want to hear it complaints of a soft goal though, because as many ‘keepers that come in & have a blinder against us in the last few years (I’m looking at you, Ali Al-Habsi), we’re still owed some of these kind of goals even with the type of performance that moron from West Brom put in against us in the last match of last season.

After going up 2-0, Liverpool obviously pushed for a goal but the newfound ease & calm in the Arsenal defense kept out the Scousers time & time again.  There were a few hairy moments, such as when Vito Mannone failed to claim a corner with two attempts, but luckily his defense was on hand to eventually help get the ball cleared.  The Italian did make a terrific late save to keep the clean sheet unblemished, however, so credit where it’s due.

For all the talk of lack of goals prior to this match, I was heartened in the opening matches with the new defensive shape we’ve had & that will go a longer way to helping us reach higher mountains this year than trying to find a RvP 2.0.  Because the goals will come & if they don’t, we’ll just have to dust off the old “boring, boring Arsenal!” & “1-nil to the Arsenal!” chants.

Gifs of the goals in case the vid links are yanked by YouTube: Podolski 30‘ & Cazorla 68′

WhoScored.com’s match report.  Don’t let it fool you.  Scousers will argue they were much better, but they’re both wrong & stupid.  Most of their shots were hopeful efforts well over & we stole the ball form them often.

Player Ratings
Vito Mannone (7)- Made a couple of nice saves but is definitely too hesitant at times.  He definitely looks a backup ‘keeper at this level.  Definitely wouldn’t want to play a whole season with him in net.

Carl Jenkinson (7)- Faced Liverpool youngster, Raheem Sterling, who was arguably Liverpool’s best threat but overall, acquitted himself well.  Jenks still can get himself out of position at times but he’s still only 20 and learning, after all.

Kieran Gibbs (7)- Another solid performance from Gibbs & looks to have solidified the left back spot as his own.  If we’re being picky, he could still provide better service going forward.

Per Mertesacker (7.5)- For all the cries of lack of pace (which I won’t argue with), the skyscraper of a German reads the game & tackles well for a big man as he’s way more athletic than his often, partially clumsy look would make it seem.  Nearly got conned by Suárez for a PK though.

Thomas Vermaelen (7.5)- The Verminator played a terrific game making a several key tackles & an outstanding blocked shot on Suárez (I think).  Definitely growing into the responsibility of the captaincy with every game.  Keep it up, TV5!

Abou Diaby (8)- Diaby was the Man of the Match.  Didn’t score, didn’t provide an assist but definitely bossed the midfield at times, often letting Liverpool come forward before expertly tackling the ball away in partnership with Mikel Arteta.  Will be a key cog in the side if he can stay healthy.

Mikel Arteta (7.5)-  Alex Song who?  Arteta had yet another brilliant performance as the deepest midfielder.  The Spaniard isn’t the beefiest midfielder in the world by any means, but his athleticism & technique make him an excellent tackler.  His excellent reading of the game helps out in that regard as well.  I forgot what we bought him for last year but he’s been worth every penny.

Santi Cazorla (7.5)- Once again had a very good game.  He definitely is dynamo in the final third as he likes to pop up all over the place and make runs both with & without the ball.  AND HE ISN’T AFRAID TO SHOOT.  Thank the Maker, it’s about time we get a midfielder who isn’t afraid to shoot.  Are you & your nut-hanging fanboi watching, Alex Hleb & Mazza from the old Arsenal America board?  Watch Cazorla if you’re an aspiring attacking midfielder.  He’s how you’re supposed to play- full of energy, two-footed, unlimited passing range, dribbling skills & shooting boots.  He will likely be our Player of the Year.  Book it.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (6.5)-  The Ox had a slightly ineffective game going forward but I’ll bump him up to a 6.5 because he never failed to track back & work hard in defense.  This kid will be special though if he can keep his feet on the ground & head out of the clouds (ahem, Msr. Walcott), there is no doubt about that.

Olivier Giroud (5)- Giroud missed another sitter in the first half, this time on his preferred left foot, and skied a golden chance with a header in the second half.  The hunky striker just needs to relax.  You can definitely tell he’s thinking too much at the moment trying to make a good impression.  Just play, Ollie.  Your goals will come.

Lukas Podolski (7.5)- Maiden voyage for this epic song today.  Won’t reach RvP’s goal total of 30 last year but here’s a secret I’m going to let you in on- HE DOESN’T HAVE TO.  Get us anywhere near 20, Lukas & we’ll go a long way with our new defensive nous.

Substitutions
Aaron Ramsey (6)- Didn’t do much.  Nothing great, nothing bad; put in a shift closing the game down.

André Santos (nr)- Also didn’t do much.  Came on late  &pretty much did well not to get arrested for speeding…

Laurent Koscielny (nr)- Came on at the stroke of full time for Vermaelen who had been kicked by Steven Gerrard in a rough (but fair) tackle. No time to do anything really.

Unfortunately, one of the accursed international breaks is upon us so we will have to wait for the opportunity to continue our good run & these breaks always make us Gunners all a bit pensive with worry over injuries.  Hopefully, with van Stapleton now in Mancunster some of those fears can be allayed these days. We certainly don’t need any injuries now as the fixture list becomes congested soon with all the cup competitions soon to begin.

Speaking of the cups, Arsenal drew Coventry City as their opponents in their opening League Cup match.  The League Cup is now called the Capital One Cup.  So, get all the “what’s in your wallet?!” jokes & memes ready.  Arsenal’s League Cup/Capital One Cup campaign begins on September 24th.

In the Champions’ League, we’ve drawn Schalke 04 (with American, Jermaine Jones), Olympiakos & Giroud’s former club, Montpellier. You have to think that’s a pretty good draw for us though midweek cross-continent trips can be tricky.  I’m not saying we’ll walk this group, but if we don’t win it, it’ll still be a bit disappointing in my view.

That’s all putting the cart before the horse though because our next match after the accursed international break is against Southampton who have given both Mancunster clubs all they’ve wanted despite losing both matches, 3-2.  Today Soho lost to ManUre with that traitorous cunt bagging a hat-trick despite completely botching an attempted Panenka PK.  Soho deserved to win the game too so they’ll be no pushovers at all.  I imagine Ricky Lambert will give us fits much like Grant Holt did for Norwich last year.  They’re very similar type players & Lambert is arguably better.

So, Arsenal with a good win over Liverpool & Labor Day tomorrow, so have yourselves a few adult beverages.  Chilled or frosted, it matters not.  Oh, the U21s have a fixture against Everton tomorrow as well.  I’ll try to find a feed & watch since it’ll be a holiday.

COME ON, YOU GUNNERS!


Well, the transfer has been floating around Twitter & various news outlets for the last couple of weeks but Olivier Giroud‘s transfer to Arsenal is sounding more & more like a done deal with each passing day.  This article out of Lebanon claims Arsenal is set to announce the signing officially following the Euros.  Not sure what waiting would do other than Arsenal & Arsène Wenger are notoriously cagey when it comes to signings, so, there you go.  However, ESPN & the Daily Mail are also reporting the deal is close to being done, so, the transfer is beyond the English press “Player A to Club!” rumor mill stage.

Giroud doesn’t have a snappy dance tune about him like Lukas Podolski does, at least not that I know of, but he did just help Montpellier to a  Ligue 1 championship last season as well as being league’s leading goalscorer with 21 goals.  He actually was level on goals with PSG’s Nenê but was awarded topscorer honors by having more goals from open play.  Huzzah!

Giroud definitely seems to have a decent goalscoring record in his career & Arsenal could certainly use another finisher outside of Robin van Persie & the recently signed Lukas Podolski.

Giroud’s career league appearance & goals record:

Grenoble 2005/06:   6 appearances, 0 goals
Grenoble 2006/07:   17 appearances, 2 goals
Istres 2007/08:   33 appearances, 14 goals
Tours 2008/09:   23 appearances, 9 goals
Tours 2009/10:   38 appearances, 21 goals
Montpellier 2010/11:   37 appearances, 12 goals
Montpellier 2011/12:   36 appearances, 21 goals
CAREER TOTALS:   190 appearances, 79 goals

HONORS
Club

Montpellier

  • Ligue 1 (1): 2011–12

Individual

  • UNFP Ligue 1 Team of the Year (1): 2011–12
  • Ligue 1 Top Goalscorer (1): 2011–12
  • UNFP Ligue 2 Player of the Year (1): 2009–10
  • UNFP Ligue 2 Team of the Year (1): 2009–10
  • Ligue 2 UNFP Player of the Month (2): September 2009, November 2009

Well, after hitting the Thursday & Friday game double, I thought Chuckles/Curtísimo was going to have a good week but much like his beloved Arsenal of the English Premier League on Saturday morning, a bright start was only a prelude to a second half that was shambolic & full of downright suckitude.

However, there was the golden nugget of sunshine that was the 30-7 Vandy ownination of Ole Miss (GEAUX TO HELL OLE MISS!).  Vandy, alas, was just a mere few minutes away from their 1st shutout since Lyndon B. Kennedy was President or something but Ole Miss (Geaux to Hell Ole Miss!) scored on a late TD scored by Trent Lott.  The 23-point margin of victory is also the biggest margin of victory for Vandy over an SEC opponent since a 49-19 victory over Moo St. when Otis Nixon was President.

Overall records going into Week 3
Straight Up (SU): 7-5, .583
Against The Spread (ATS): 5-7, .417

Thursday’s Game
LSU -4.5 at Moo St.
Predicted Score: LSU 27, Moo St. 20          Actual Score: LSU 19, Moo St. 6
Straight up: Won; Against the spread: Won 

Moo St. didn’t end up finding love against LSU.  Indeed, in about as dominating as a 19-6 win could be, the Moo Staters found an LSU defense that was not only “fucking hostile” but a bunch of “nasty boys” too.  (Thanks for the link, Les).  In fact, Moo St.’s offense looked like someone who had been trampled under hoof by a herd of crusher destroyers.  “Where strides the behemoth?,” you may ask yourself.  Well, this past Thursday it strode through Starkvegas in the form of some purple & gold sadistic, prehistoric robo-beast.  A giant tiger.  That was part Mastodon.  A Tigerdon.  Perhaps a Mastiger.  A Mastiger that feeds daily on ligers, Napoleon Dynamite.

Get used to gratuitous metal references of LSU’s defense all season long  as that’s what playing LSU’s defense is like- being stuck for 4 hours in a mosh pit in a European heavy metal music festival & being bludgeoned both physical & mentally.


Have good Mosh-Pitting!

Friday’s Game
Boise St. -20.5 at Toledo
Predicted score: Boise St. 41, Toledo 17          Actual score: Boise St. 40, Toledo 15
SU: Won; ATS: Won 

Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn.  So the only thing noteworthy about this game is I think I heard on ESPN that Kellen Moore won the Heisman during it.  So if any of you have a Heisman vote, go ahead & don’t waster your time voting because it’s apparently been done already.  Never mind that Tyrann Mathieu is the best damn player in all of college football.  But everybody go ahead & keep thinking the Heisman is fucking relevant.  Would love to see somebody like Moore have to face SEC defenses every week. Blah blah blah Georgia, yeah whatever.  Have him face Bama & LSU’s secondaries & get back to me.  Perhaps either one could paint the Superdome’s turf blue with the blood of Broncos in the BCS title game in January.

Saturday’s Games
Clemson -3.5 vs. Auburn
Predicted score: Clemson 31, Auburn 30          Actual Score: Clemson 38, Auburn 24
SU: Won; ATS: Lost 

The beginning of the end for the Crystal Asterisk kingdom?  Auburn’s luck finally ran out on Saturday & frankly, their defense was shredded, yet again.  It does not bode well for their SEC outlook long-term.  In fact, if Auburn may end up doing so poorly people will quickly revert to the “Chiznik” interpretation of Coach Chizik’s name.

Notre Dame -4.5 vs. Michigan St.
Predicted score: Michigan St. 28, Notre Dame 24          Actual score: Notre Dame 31, Michigan St. 13
SU: Lost; ATS: Lost

Sportwriters’ nipples across the country were hard with Notre Dame bromance love since the Irish actually won a game.  And over a ranked opponent too.  So at 1-2 I think this qualifies Notre Dame for a BCS berth in some subtle bowl contractual clause.  The one where it says Notre Dame bromance wins are worth 4 for every other school.  Just think if Saban coached at Notre Dame?  The sportwriters would never write another article because they would be too busy masturbating to the ultimate football dream- the iconic school (the only time people aren’t afraid of Catholics!) & the archetype coach (he’s like The Bear with better hair!).

Florida -9 vs. Tennessee
Predicted score: Florida 23, Tennessee 21          Actual score: Florida 33, Tennesee 23 
SU: Won; ATS: Lost 

Well, as much as the officials tried to keep this one close for me with Florida’s 843 PI penalties, Tennessee just wouldn’t be outdone with their mega, Costco-like savings combo of 1312 missed tackles & 667 dropped passes.  Tyler Bray’s got moxie, I’ll give him that.  Actually Ted Williams will give him Moxie.

Ted Williams says, "Drink Moxie," Jortsy

USC -17 vs. Syracuse
Predicted score: USC 20, Syracuse 14          Actual score: USC 38, Syracuse 17 
SU: Won; ATS: Lost 

No, Lane, relax.  Moxie isn’t what you have.  You have a different kind of bravado, a different kind of braggadocio.  You have what experts call “doucheness.”  In fact, you may be the Douchiest Man In The World.  Lane Kiffin: “I don’t always drink beer.  But when I do, I prefer Douche Equis.”

Miami (Fla.) -3 vs. Ohio St. 
Predicted score: Ohio St. 34, Miami (Fla.) 24          Actual score: Miami (Fla.) 24, Ohio St. 6
SU: Lost; ATS: Lost

The IneligiBowl goes to Da U!  Gee whiz, did the Ohio St. look pathetic.  They had something paltry like 23 yards until 2 completions on the final 2 plays that jacked that total up to like 50.  Jacory Harris still sucks though.  He’s like the college football version of Tony Romo.  If he played somewhere like say, oh, I don’t know, Kentucky, you would never hear the end of how bad he plays.  But since he’s a QB at Da U, he “fights through adversity,” “he’s a ‘gamer’.”  You know what a gamer is?  A guy who sucks.  It ain’t adversity when you create 3 adversities per game.  Adversity is what happens to you, not what you cause yourself.  Those are called mistakes.

PS Have you heard of Curtísimo’s Tony Romo Theory of Over-Hypedness (TRTOH)? The TRTOH is when a player gets elevated to a certain status or talent level just because of the team he plays on by the media & not his actual talent level.  I.e. QBs in Dallas, regardless of how many times they shit the bed are viewed better than say a QB in Detroit or St. Louis, etc.  
Records Following Week 3
Weekly Record- SU: 5-2; ATS: 2-5
Overall Record- SU: 12-7, .632; ATS: 7-12, .368