Tag Archive: Arsenal F.C.

By Tony Alvarez
Following Tottenham finishing fourth a position which would normally put them in the qualifying rounds of the Uefa Champions League, many fans who are not supporters of the North London side or Roberto Di Matteo‘s Chelsea have been caught in two minds about who they want to win the Champions League.
Of course Chelsea finished the season in a disappointing 6th place but all will be forgotten if they can win in Munich on Saturday and be crowned European Champions for the first time.

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Pat Rice a fond farewell…

By Tony Alvarez
Despite being well known by Arsenal fans and perhaps fans of a lot of other clubs up and down the country Arsenal yesterday officially announced that Pat Rice the clubs long term assistant manager and even longer servant would step down after Sunday’s clash withWest Brom.

He joined the club as a youth-team player in 1964 before turning professional two years later and went on to make more than 500 appearances for the Gunners, captaining the side to FA Cup victory in 1979.

Rice left Arsenal for a four-year spell withWatford in 1980 before returning to the club as a youth-team coach.

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Football…….who cares?

By Tony Alvarez
As I write this it has just been reported that Bolton Midfielder Fabrice Muamba is in a stable condition following his collapse on the pitch in his clubs FA Cup quarter final away at Tottenham’s White Heart Lane home.
The midfielder went down off the ball without a player around him and was being resuscitated on the pitch for 10 minutes before leaving on a stretcher to hospital where thankfully he was saved.

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By Tony Alvarez
At 13:30 tomorrow the game that could shape the rest of Arsenal’s season and possibly the club for the next few years will kick off.
Media outlets especially Sky tend to over hype games such as these because in reality saying 4th vs. 3rd no one would really care. But this game could really be the all important blockbuster Sky are always promoting.
I’m sure you are aware of or are one of the many Arsenal fans who have completely lost faith in manager Arsene Wenger and want him out the club as soon as possible. Whilst these fans have been in this mood for quite some time, there dismay at Wenger has heightened over the last 10 days following an embarrassing loss in Milan and then a totally inept performance in the 2-0 FA Cup loss at Sunderland.
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By Tony Alvarez

More increasingly recently there has been a section of Arsenal fans calling for the sacking of Arsene Wenger, and it seems the number of people supporting a Wenger out campaign are growing.

At half time in Arsenal’s 3-2 FA Cup win over Villa, while the side were 2-0 down phone in shows, social networks and even inside the ground itself were inundated with people who believed Arsenal were better off without Wenger.

Needless to say that number was greatly reduced upon the final whistle. However, there are still a large number of Arsenal fans who no longer want to see Wenger in the dugout at the Emirates.

For those who don’t know, I am an Arsenal season ticket holder and have passionately followed the club for as long as I remember. Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

In recent weeks Arsenal play maker and Welsh national team captain Aaron Ramsey has spoke out against the Welsh FA for not consulting any of the senior members of the squad whilst deciding on the appointment of their new manager following the tragic loss of former manager Gary Speed.

The young Midfielder who has already overcame adversity in his career when he battled back from a horrific leg break to become a regular starter in the Arsenal side tweeted “We have just lost our manager and leader through a tragedy and not footballing reasons. Continue reading

By Tony Alvarez

Most Football fans will be aware that yesterdays fixture vs Everton saw Arsenal mark their 125th anniversary as a Football club, the club have been through various stages during that time and looked to commemorate as many as possible prior to yesterdays kick off.

The main attractions and the ones that will make the news are the guard of honour given by club legends from all eras who had been introduced to the crowd, of course the statues and Thierry Henry’s tearful speech and the North Bank holding up signs to display the number 125.

However there were many other mementos that may not reach a wider audience than those at the Emirates, that match ball was brought on by the great grand children of one of the original founders of Arsenal Football club, the coin toss to decide kick off was performed using a sixpence as the original founders of the club all put in a sixpence to buy a football.

There was also a nice touch at half time with a presentation made to a staff member ofNottinghamForestas they donated a red and white kit to Arsenal which as you all know is the colours Arsenal still play in to this day.

After all the ceremonies were over and the fans chanted their songs for the likes of Ian Wright, Thierry Henry, Bob Wilson, Robert Pires and Rocky Rocastle their was still a game to be played and three valuable Premier League points up for grabs. 

 This has never been a website where you come to read match reports as frankly they can be found anywhere and are a dime a dozen as the saying goes, I am not going to break tradition in writing a match report as by the time you have read this you will of seen the highlights anyway.

The game was won by a piece of individual brilliance from current talisman Robin Van Persie ( who on a side not had quite a poor game) but the most fitting thing about this result was the score line, if ever one score line was written into Arsenal history it would be One-Nil to the Arsenal.

 The whole day show just how much pride there really is in the Football club and also the talent that’s been through the doors in the clubs rich history, as I eluded to earlier three statues were erected outside of the Emirates stadium to commemorate club legends, the figures chosen were Thierry Henry, Herbert Chapman and Tony Adams, there was many debates amongst fans as to who the legends and in all honesty 20 statues may have not been enough.

Who could argue with the likes of Arsene Wenger, George Graham, Pat Rice, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp to name just a few having a statue in their honour, I’ve been lucky enough to see these people involved with my club, yesterday brought home what a true honour it has been to be a fan of this wonderful club and the beautiful game.

As a proud Gooner and footballer lover I joyfully say here’s to the next 125 years.

What are your memories of the club? Do you think the celebrations were fitting for a 125th anniversary? Who would you of had a statue of outside the ground?

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By Tony Alvarez
Earlier in the week the shortlist of 23 players who are in contention to win the coverted Ballon D’or or the world player of the year award to you and me were announced.
Amongst the shortlist were many of the usual contenders Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and a whole host of other Spanish based players, the players who ply their trade in the Premier League on the shortlist were Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney and Nani Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero Liverpool’s Uruguayan hot shot Luis Saurez and former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas (mentioned due to him being at Arsenal for most of the calendar year.) 

What makes the Ballon D’or different from other awards apart from its prestige is the fact it is judged on calendar year so from Jan 1st 2011 to Dec 31st 2011 this is so voters can take into account any international tournament there may have been during the year.
You will notice from the title of my article that its about the omission of one man from the 22 man shortlist, Robin Van Persie, I know I am an Arsenal fan but I don’t believe I’m being biased when I say in this calendar year he has been in the top 10 players in the world so to not be on a 22 man shortlist is ludicrous.
His goals to game ratio speaks for itself in the league in 2011 he has scored 29 goals from 28 appearances, only 5 men have ever scored 30 goals in the Premier League in a calendar year before fitness permitting Van Persie has 8 games to add his name to the list, not only is the record great but he has performed at every level, he is not only notching against the lesser sides, he has hit the back of the net at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and least we forget scored a pivotal goal in a victory against the eventual Champions League winners.
Not only has he consistently performed home and away whilst leading by example and captaining Arsenal he has also been on form with his international side a criticism which is often labelled at many of the nominees on the shortlist.

In the current season Van Persie has scored four goals in four international fixtures, these may have been against some weak competition but all the major nations will come up against weaker nations, they still have to be punished.

I am not for one minute saying that Van Persie is a better player than him but on goals per game record in 2011 Van Persie is second ahead of many people’s favourite to receive the award Lionel Messi, Van Persie’s record is bettered only by that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

How can the second best striker in Europe who is plying his trade in arguably the best league in Europe if not the second best be omitted, he has scored more goals than most others led his side and to be frank he does not have the quality of players along side him that other nominee’s have.

There are many people who can feel hard done by to not be on the shortlist includingManchesterCity’s David Silva but it can be argued he has not performed for the whole year and just since August.

There is obviously no way the shortlist will be changed but I feel Van Persie has been dealt a huge disservice in over looking him, as an Arsenal fan and a Football fan I hope he makes them take notice of his ability’s and keeps scoring from now until the date the player of the year is announced to make a mockery of the system.

What are your thoughts? Should Van Persie of been included in the shortlist? Where would you place him in terms of Worlds best player this year? Was Van Persie overlooked because Arsenal are no longer a glamorous side? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

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By Tony Alvarez

 Today sees Arsenal and Tottenham meet atWhite Hart Lanefor the firstNorth Londonderby of the 2011-2012 season and for the first time in recent memory Tottenham go in to the game as favourites for the victory, it pains me to say it as an Arsenal fan but the odds are justified.

Tottenham have played 5 games in the Premier League this term due to their opening day fixture against Everton being postponed due to the riots at the time, from the 5 fixtures Tottenham have gained 9 points and sit 7th in the league in a very tight table.

Arsenal on the other hand have played 6 fixtures and have only picked up 7 points which leaves them in 13th place.

Despite the gap between the sides in the League table the simplest of maths will tell you that should Arsenal pick up the three points in today’s fixture they will leapfrog their fierce rivals.

Tottenham had a poor start to the campaign losing to Manchester United away before suffering a heavy defeat to Manchester City at White Hart Lane, but since then everything has gone well for Harry Redknapps men, loan signing Emmanuel Adebayor has become eligible to play and Tottenham haven’t looked back beating Wolves, destroying Liverpool and picking up the three points at Wigan.

Arsenal have looked like a side void of confidence after losing key players in the Summer and then suffering a frankly embarrassing defeat at Manchester United, a battling win at Swansea seemed to put Arsenal back on track before suffering another set back away to relegation candidates Blackburn, since then Arsenal have looked to of found some form with a confidence boosting win over Bolton Wanderers and a Champions League victory over Greek side Olympiakos despite starting without around 6 first team regulars.

Ex Arsenal man Adebayor has hit the ground running in a Spurs shirt scoring 3 goals in 3 games and there is no doubt that the Togolese man will be more than up for the battle tomorrow which Arsenal fans will know is dangerous.

There is no doubting Adebayors ability and when he is truly up for it he can be one of the most dangerous strikers in the game and due to the bad feeling form the fans when he left Arsenal, Adebayor will certainly be “up for it” come kick off.

Many Arsenal fans will tell you that Tottenham seem to raise there game more for the North London derby and it seems like the derby means more to them, this as well as home advantage and the fact that they are simply playing the better Football at the moment sees many agreeing with the bookies suggestion that Tottenham will win this fixture.

As much as it hurts to say it Tottenham are rightly favourites and should be thinking of nothing less than a victory but I would also not rule Arsenal out, you do not need me to tell you about the performances that Arsenal can produce and often when nothing is expected of them and with players of the quality of Robin Van Persie in the line up you can never write them off.

I would not be surprised if this fixture ended as a draw but that might just be my pride saying that and my heart ruling my head, Arsenal’s defence is notoriously shaky and Tottenham are not clean sheet merchants themselves, my hypothetical money is going on a 2-2 draw with both Adebayor and Van Persie to find the net, my real money is… staying in my pocket.

What are your thoughts? Who will go home with the 3 points from the North London derby? What is your score line prediction? How much of an impact will Emmanuel Adebayor have? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

By Tony Alvarez

Following his two goals in two starts for Arsenal including one on his Champions League debut which saw him become the youngest Englishmen to ever score in the competition, many sections of the press and the public are hailing the abilities of the young Arsenal star and also claiming he should be ahead of Theo Walcott in the pecking order for club and country.

Although I missed Chamberlain’s man of the match performance againstShrewsburyin the Carling Cup due to a holiday I was present to watch his Champions League performance against Olympiakos and I may be going against the grain but he didn’t overly impress.

 He had moments of magic and showed he has real ability and huge potential but at the moment from what I saw at the moment it’s just potential and not realised something I’m sure the lad himself would be happy to admit.

The following is not slating the boy but more a hope people don’t overhype him prematurely the same way they have with pretty much every young player showing a bit of promise for the last few decades at least.

 There were many flaws in his performance some you may of noticed on the TV others were off the ball and would not have been highlighted.

 The biggest problem I would say is his off the ball running he never runs in behind the defence always wanting the ball to feet, this makes him incredibly easy to defend against, say what you will about Walcott’s technique but one thing its never is easy.

Chamberlain showed a huge ability to run onto either foot and perform off both sides which will always be encouraged. But he needs to work so he can get in the position to be able to run at people, Sagna probably had the worst game I’ve seen for him in an Arsenal shirt, it can’t all be blamed on Chamberlain but he gave him no option or out ball.

Despite being deployed as a winger for his time at Southampton Chamberlain still appears to have no idea where to be when defending to be fair to him he does get back to try and be an extra body but he has no idea where he is supposed to be and does not track runners.

For me Chamberlain is also not fit enough for the Premier League, the game against Olympiakos wasn’t the fastest pace it was not slow but I’ve seen a lot quicker. At times in the second half Chamberlain went and stood at right back and sent Sagna up ahead of him as he did not have the fitness to get up and down, unsurprisingly he was substituted shortly after.

The problem I think, especially from what I heard from around the Emirates is that Chamberlain is very good at the things Walcott isn’t (e.g. delivery and composure on the ball) because Arsenal fans have had varied levels of frustration with these aspects of Walcott, Chamberlain’s emergence has been like a breath of fresh air, however I think the fans are overlooking all the plus sides of Walcott’s game. 

Some where between the two is the perfect player, one journalist commented “Chamberlain, if only he had Walcott’s pace, if only Walcott had Chamberlain’s feet” whilst being partially correct I think this also taps into the lazy journalist aspect of claiming Walcott only has pace, Lionel Messi doesn’t brand you one of the worlds most dangerous players on pace alone.

It is also important to point out that both players are still improving of course that is clear with Chamberlain as he’s very young people seem to forget Walcott is no old man due to his emergence nearly 6 years ago now.

For me at the moment if I had a straight choice between the two Walcott would be starting every time and I think most Premier League defenders would prefer to face Chamberlain than Walcott, in the future this may change and given the technique Chamberlain posses I would not be surprised if at some point he is moved more central.

What are your thoughts? Do you think too much hype is around Chamberlain at the moment? Who would you pick between Walcott and Chamberlain? Do you se ea central role in the future for either of the two? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts

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