Nil all, not too disappointed

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Jan 072011
 

Arsenally Yours had a difficult Wednesday at work, the Arsenally little one was being a cheeky monkey, and I struggled to get a decent stream. So, I’m afraid, I can’t give you the review I’d like because I hardly saw the game. And I’d like to apologise for saying that Jack Wilshere was suspended when, err, he wasn’t.

The Arsenally quids didn’t do well either. As it ended nil-nil, obviously my bets on first goalscorer came to nothing, and it was hardly the 2-0 victory I’d predicted either. There was some hope for the bet I placed on first yellow card, but Gareth Barry contrived to get himself booked before de Jong, so I’m Arsenally down for the season for the first time after my success against Chelski.

City’s performance highlighted the Italian-ness of their manager. They didn’t play to win, they just played to contain us and only attacked on the break. Which is to be expected, and not just when the opposing manager has a name ending in “-ini”. Try as we might, we couldn’t get the goal the game badly needed to bring it to life.

We were unlucky though. Van Persie went close on a couple of occasions, as did Nasri and Fabregas. But we didn’t get a last-gasp winner, and essentially dropped two points rather than saving one.

These are the kind of games that ManUre are winning. Not that we played badly as they have recently, but the football gods were against us, and despite our domination, we came away with the same points as City, who hardly had a sniff.

There are positives though – especially that last point – that City didn’t create many chances. Granted, they were happy to sit back, and despite Tevez’s boundless energy, he didn’t create any chances for himself or his team mates either. So, we dominated, but came up short in the finishing department. However, it’s good that v Persie had another game without suffering a quadruple leg fracture; Nasri continued his good form, and Theo had a successful run-out.

Yes, I’d be happier if we’d won, but the fact that we were hardly threatened by the Premiership’s new ‘top four’ team is cause for at least some celebration.

I’m not happy about Sagna though, and I’m even less happy about Clatten-pillock. Sagna’s ‘coming-together’ with Zabaleta was pure handbags, nothing more. Why Clattenburg chose to send them both off remains a mystery to me. Two yellows would have sufficed.

We’ll miss Sagna during his suspension. He’s been one of Arsenal’s better players so far this season. He’s the kind of player, and possibly the kind of man that doesn’t draw much comment or attention. I can’t remember a single interview with the man, and he’s been with the Arsenal for a few seasons now. He falls easily into the clichĂ©d category of ‘unsung hero’. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration, he’s been excellent both defensively and offensively, and just like that girlfriend you still dream about, we’ll only miss him now he’s gone for a few games.

Next we face Leeds in the FA cup. We’re still competing in all 4 competitions; and the FA cup is one that is certainly within our capabilities. The game against Leeds is ripe for all sorts of terrible punditry about ‘giant killings’; it’s imperative we approach this game as we would any other, and forget the fact that they play in the Championship.

According to the official site, v Persie and Nasri may well be rested on Saturday. Chamakh has now had a decent break, and Theo looks like he needs a whole game to show us what he can do. Let’s hope those two give AW and the fans reasons to want them on the pitch every week.

Also on the official site is the disappointing news that Havard Nordtveit has been sold to Borussia Mönchenladbach. It’s a shame that he hasn’t lived up to expectations. He’d played in midfield as well as at the back, and that made me think he’d turn into a top ball-playing centre half. Now that won’t happen at the Arsenal. Good luck Havard.

Leeds preview tomorrow.

Arsenally Yours,

Will

The Brum Biter Bit

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Jan 022011
 

Despite my bold 3-1 betting prediction, I was more than a little concerned about the Birmingham game. My work colleagues, one a Chelski fan and one a ManUre fan (honestly – I’ve been tempted to hand in my notice at times) both told me how we didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of a win, and that a draw was the best I could hope for.

Well, they couldn’t have been more wrong. We won with style, and we won with grit and determination in the face of severe provocation from a Birmingham team that seems to regard breaking our legs as just part of the game. There were three really bad challenges, and that’s leaving aside the stamp on Sagna from Bowyer. I hope other teams will learn from this that physical violence only makes us play better football, and we won’t be cowed into submission by their hooliganism.

birtacklebv309m Uploaded by arsenalist.

To be fair, though, v Persie was lucky, to say the least, to win the free kick that led to his goal. However, we outplayed them, outclassed them, and outfought them. AW was delighted.

Here’s the post-match BBC interview with RvP and Nasri:

ManUre could have lost to West Brom if only Chris Foy hadn’t been playing in red, and Chelski suffered a last minute sucker-punch to draw at home to Villa. So the stage is set for a battle at the Grove on Wednesday when we entertain football’s nouveau riche, Citeh.

For some comedy, please visit here to see the utter b*llocks that some ‘journalists’ come up with. Sp*rs to win the title. Please.

And to cheer you up some more, here’s Cesc on a good result and his New Year’s Resolutions.

Happy New Year, isn’t it!

Arsenally Yours for 2011,

Will

Wigan preview and odds

 Match Previews  Comments Off on Wigan preview and odds
Dec 292010
 

A bit of a rushed post today, I’m afraid. Trying to juggle the work, family and blogging aspects of life is proving a little tricky today.

The big question is what kind of teams will appear at the DW Stadium tonight. Will the real Arsenal turn up – the side we saw demolish Chelski the other night? Or will we fail to turn up in any meaningful sense? We need to ensure that we keep our workrate and concentration levels the same as we did on Monday night, and then I can’t foresee any problems at all.

There’s a similar question as regards the Wigan team. This season they seem to vacillate between quite good and shockingly bad. Will we see the side that lost to Chelsea 6-0 at home, or the side that beat Sp*rs at WHL? On average though, they’re hardly a dangerous side, scoring only 15 goals in 18 matches.

As I said, either way I can’t see a problem AS LONG AS we compete at the same levels as we did the other night. However, the boss is sure to ring the changes. Cesc is suspended. Others are nearly there. There has hardly been time for players who featured on Monday to recover.

So I reckon for the Arsenal:

Fabianski – Sagna – Djorou – Squillaci – Clichy – Song – Denilson – Fabregas – Arshavin – Chamakh – Nasri

Wigan may have something like:

Al-Habsi – Gohouri – Caldwelll – Alcaraz – Figueroa – Cleverly – Thomas – Diame – McArthur – N’Zogbia – Rodallega. As the inimitable Arseblog would say, “meh”.

I hope that “meh” doesn’t come back to bite me.

The Arsenally quid is feeling bold and I fancy us to score 3 with no reply. That’s 8/1 with Ladbrokes. I’ve got a strong feeling that little Sammy Nasri will score tonight, but he’s only 11/8 to score any time. Might be worth a few pennies though.

Arsenally Yours,

Will