Tag Archive: Arsenal

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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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
With 2011 coming to an end with most clubs only having a single fixture left or having already completed their duties in 2011 we look back to the stand out moments in 2011 and to see what yours are no matter how big or small.

The joy of this topic is it will be different for everyone and can span from a Champions League memory to one in the lowest of levels of Football.

For the sake of this article I will look back to my top 4 memories of the year. These are in no particular order but are all moments that have touched my heart, made my chuckle or just made me celebrate like a mad man.
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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
Last night Huddersfield lost their 43 game unbeaten league run at the hands of current League One leaders Charlton Athletic thanks to goals to QPR loanee Hogan Ephraim and Frenchman Yann Kermorgant.
The result gives Charlton a 7 point lead at the top of league 1 over closest rivals Sheffield Wednesday and gives them an 8 point lead over Huddersfield Town.
Although Huddersfield lost to Peterborough in the play off finals at Old Trafford in May they were unbeaten in the League since December 2010 when they tasted defeat against current Championship leaders Southampton.
Many people are not counting Huddersfields record due to the defeat in the play offs whilst others are just seeing it as an achievement to remain undefeated in the league for so long.
After Huddersfield’s 2-1 over Notts County their was celebrations on the pitch as the club had surpassed Nottingham Forests 42 game unbeaten Football League record however they could only better it by one game after last nights defeat.
Although they have set a new Football League record the club were hoping to chase down Arsenals 49 unbeaten game run but unfortunately for the terriers they fell short.
It will now be seen how the club deal with defeat as it is a psychological barrier which has been knocked down, Premier League fans may remember the severe drop in form Arsenal had after they suffered defeat at Old Trafford in what would of been their 50th consecutive game without defeat.
Despite the loss Huddersfield are still in a great position in League One and cannot afford to let the defeat get into the players head and affect their form in the next few fixtures and even more importantly until the end of the season.
On a side note but quite an interesting fact, both Nottingham Forests and Arsenals unbeaten runs were ended with 2-0 away defeats and now Huddersfield’s record has fell to the same score line.
What are your thoughts on Huddersfield defeat? Will it affect them psychologically? Have they still got enough to get promoted? Are you one of the people who are not counting the clubs run due to the play off defeat? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.
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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

 When talking about the crazy match betweenChelseaand Arsenal if any controversies were to be brought up there are two talking points, did Lukaku foul Andre Santos forChelsea’s third goal? Should Wojciech Szczesny have been sent off for his second half foul on Ashley Cole? For this article I will focus on the Szczesny incident.

For those of you who have not seen the incident Cole raced towards a ball over the top as Szczesny rushed off his line, Cole won the race got to the ball first and was taken down by the Polish keeper, there was at least one defender covering, Szczesny was booked but this still made me question the laws of the game.

The law basically reads if a obvious goal scoring opportunity is denied due to foul play then the player committing the foul player shall be dismissed for committing a professional foul.

An example of this rule being put into place is Jonny Evans sending off vs.ManchesterCitylast week, his foul on Mario Balotelli was not malicious or dangerous but as he was deemed to be the last man he was sent off.

Here is where my question of the ruling comes in, Jonny Evans had a man behind him, who was able to use his hands which gives him an advantage when trying to save the ball, whilst Szczesny also had a man behind him it was a defender who cannot use his hands making the chances of him saving the ball greatly reduced.

I am an Arsenal fan as many of you will know so I am not criticising the decision to keep Szczesny on the field of play but this set of circumstances in one we see often in Football.

If a keeper has someone behind them or in a covering position then they are not deemed to be denying a goal scoring opportunity, however when a defender commits a foul even if the keeper is behind them they are sent off.

I do not claim to know the ins and outs of the rule book and would love this to be explained to me.

The odds are clearly worse if a covering player is a defender and not a goal keeper yet the punishment is much less severe and usually doesn’t have too much impact on the game.

Some people may say this argument is not relevant in the case of Szczesny vs. Cole as their may of been more than one player covering but I have seen many times when there is no doubt that only a one man is covering the keeper and the foul has not been met with a dismissal.

What are your thoughts? Can you think of any reason why the worse offence is met with a reduced punishment? Should Szczesny been sent off in your opinion? Leave a comment and let us know your thoughts.

P.s what an outstanding and crazy game of Football Chelsea vs Arsenal was.

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