The Offside - Arsenal Archives for January 2010

Arsenal 2 – Wigan 0: It’s Our Cup To Lose

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After furiously clicking around various streams that were cutting in and out, I finally managed to get a hold of a decent link. Thank you Al Jazeera! It wasn't a great game. We never got into top gear, but if you count up all the missed chances, we could have finished with 6 goals (particularly with the 3 handball shouts in the Wigan penalty box that were not called).

Arsenal v Wigan: Carling Cup Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Szczesny, Eboue, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Wilshere, Walcott, Bendtner, Van Persie (c), Vela Bench: Sagna, Nasri, Arshavin, Eastmond, JET, Nordtveit, Shea

Wigan: Starters: Al Habsi, Gohouri, Alcaraz, S.

Arsenal – Wigan (Carling Cup) Preview

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Wigan Athletic

Position: 18th, 3-5-7 (14 points, -15 goal differential)

Away Form: 1-2-4 (-6 goal differential)

Recent Form: LDWLL

Last Meeting: Wigan Athletic 3 Arsenal 2 (April 18, 2010)

Carling Cup quarterfinal coming up tomorrow, in what really seems to be shaping up to be our best chance at a trophy we've had in a couple of seasons.

Aston Villa 2 – Arsenal 4: Four-Star Gunners Go Temporarily Top

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Good win, good performance (probably our best performance in several weeks), a well-deserved 3 points, and we're sitting on top of the table, for a couple of hours at least.

We had an excellent first half overall. Although I have to admit for the first half-hour or so I was starting to feel a bit of deja vu from the Braga match, as we seemed to be dominating possession, and were spending a lot of time deep in enemy territory, but we seemed to lack that cutting edge in front of goal.

Aston Villa – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Aston Villa: Starters: Friedel, Luke Young, Dunne, Collins, Warnock, Ashley Young, Clark, Bannan, Downing, Pires, Carew Bench: Guzan, Ireland, Delfouneso, Beye, Hogg, Lichaj, Herd

Arsenal: Starters: Flaps, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, ChamakhBench: Van Persie, Walcott, Denilson, Djourou, Gibbs, Bendtner, Szczesny

No real shockers in our lineup, but I'm a bit disappointed to see Koscielny start instead of Djourou at the back.

Aston Villa – Arsenal Preview

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Aston Villa

Position: 13th, 4-5-5 (17 points, -5 goal differential)

Home Form: 3-4-0 (+5 goal differential)

Recent Form: DDWDL

Last Meeting: Aston Villa 0 Arsenal 0 (January 27, 2010)

Hope all my fellow Americans had a great Thanksgiving.

Rambo goes to NFFC on Loan

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Well that was quick. It was just on Tuesday we saw Aaron suit up for the reserves for 45 minutes against Wolves. Wenger didn't give any sign that he was going to send Ramsey on loan, so this has come as a bit of a surprise. Nevertheless, it seems that Ramsey will be on loan to Nottingham Forest FC until January 3 2011.

New Gunner Ryo Miyaichi could lead the way for Arsenal to take over Japan

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During the preseason this summer, while the Arsenal team were warming up with the Emirates Cup, the reserves were also participating in a few summer friendlies. In matches played against Boreham Wood and AFC Wimledon there were a few trialists featured, including 17 year old Japanese youth international Ryo Miyaichi.

Braga 2 – Arsenal 0: Player Ratings and Match Highlights

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Player Ratings:

Fabianski 6 He didn't have much to do the whole game. Was fine on set pieces. The goals weren't really his fault; his defenders left him high and dry.

Eboue 5 He falls over a lot, probably because he gets caught out defensively and he's trying to get a call his way.

Braga 2 – Arsenal 0: For Shame

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I don't even know what to say. I've been sitting here flooded with angry thoughts but was too stunned to write them down right away. I am absolutely gutted. We had 71% possession and ONE shot on target. The first half was so mind-numbingly dull, partly due to us not wanting to score, partly due to a Braga team that realized they should play like Stoke if they wanted to avoid a thrashing like the one we inflicted on them at the Emirates.

Braga – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Braga: Starters: Felipe, Alberto Rodriguez, Moises, Miguel Garcia, Lima, Elderson, Aguiar, Leandro Salino, Alan, Vandinho, Matheus Bench: Artur, Mosorro, Andres Madrid, Silvio, Hugo Viana, Anibal Capella, Elton

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Eboue, Squillaci, Djourou, Gibbs, Denilson, Wilshere, Cesc, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner Bench: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Nasri, Vela, Song, Chamakh

No real surprises in the starting lineup except for maybe Song being on the bench.

Ramsey And Almunia Return for Reserves — What Now?

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Rambo's back.

Aaron Ramsey suited up in Arsenal red for the first time in 9 months today as the reserves squad take on Wolves reserves. His horrific injury at the hands of Ryan Shawcross took place on February 27, and Aaron as been recovering and rehabilitating ever since. But today is a significant step in his recovery as he gets his first competitive match action since being injured.

Braga – Arsenal Preview

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Well, the November of our discontent continues tomorrow as we travel to Portugal to take on Braga on matchday 5 of our group.

It's been kind of a weird Champions League for us so far. Out of 4 matches, we've put in 3 excellent performances, and have a better goal differential than any other side in the Champions League group stage this year.

Retraction from Yesterday’s Post-Match Recap

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So . . . I messed up in yesterday's column. While watching the match on television, when the final whistle blew, they cut immediately to the stock "managers shaking hands" shot, which showed Harry Redknapp turning away as if there wasn't anyone there to shake his hand, and then Pat Rice coming over to shake his hand.

It’s The End of The World As We Know It

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arsnlsprs GoalTube.org
Uploaded by BozWolf. Basketball, baseball, pro wrestling and more sports videos.

Well, actually it isn't, though I'm sure most of you went out and got proper wasted and the spuds went and celebrated like they won the league as this sort of result happens about as often as a lunar eclipse.

Arsenal 2 – Tottenham 3: Second-Half Meltdown Dooms Sorry Gunners

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FT
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The Germans have this word and concept called Weltschmerz. It is a certain kind of permanent depression arising from the realization that the tangible, physical world is not, and will never, be what you want and imagine it to be.

Arsenal – Tottenham Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Flaps, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Nasri, Cesc, Song, Denilson, Arshavin, Chamakh Bench: Wojo, Rosicky, van Persie, Walcott, Wilshere, Eboue, Djourou

Tottenham: Starters: Gomes, Assuo-Ekotto, Hutton, Kaboul, Gallas, Modric, Jenas, Bale, Lennon, van der Vaart, Pavlyuchenko Bench: Cudicini, Crouch, Defoe, Palacios, Corluka, Bassong, Bentley

Well, that's the lineup I predicted yesterday except for Arshavin starting instead of Theo.

Arsenal – Tottenham Preview

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Tottenham

Position: 7th, 5-4-4 (19 points, +1 goal differential)

Away Form: 2-1-3 (-3 goal differential)

Recent Form: DLLDW

Last Meeting: Tottenham 1 Arsenal 4 (September 21, 2010)

Well, tomorrow is the North London derby, so let's get the formalities out of the way.

On “Knowing” Players, Fandom, Intelligence, and Twitter

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Somewhat of a weird, rambly column today, concluding with the cutest picture you have ever seen. And with a teaser like that, you know you can't resist continuing reading.

I suppose the stock way to write a column would be the old "We had x players on international duty yesterday, and this is what they did column.

England v France: Gunners face off at Wembley

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"England against France is the worst game for Arsenal Football Club" Wenger remarked. Funny but true, this international friendly will feature a number of our Gunners in a week where we have a major North London derby and a crucial away fixture in the Champions League. We are a club notorious for injuries, particularly when our players go on international duty.

Internationals (Who’s Injured Now?)

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Tomorrow sees our Gunners off on international duty. Sixteen of our players have been called up to play for their countries. They won't all play however. Wilshere has pulled out of England training today with a knock and I am also hearing that Bendtner will not be taking part in the Denmark friendly against Rosicky's Czech Republic.

Fantastic Weekend for Arsenal

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Not too bad a weekend for the Gunners. We wrapped up three points at Goodison Park, and Chelsea lost at home to Sunderland, bringing us within 2 points of the leaders. If you missed our match, here are the MOTD highlights:

We were on the ropes a bit near the end, but all in all a decent performance and a big win.

Everton 1 – Arsenal 2: Efficient Gunners Do Enough to See Off Toffees

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Well, we made it interesting in the end, but I thought we were very good until the last 10-15 minutes of the match. And getting 3 points away at one of the better sides in the Premiership, and going back into 2nd place, is certainly cause for celebration.

It's odd. A few weeks ago Wenger said something about maybe needed to play more direct sometimes.

Everton – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Everton: Starters: Howard, Baines, Distin, Heitinga, Jagielka, Neville, Coleman, Arteta, Cahill, Pienaar, Saha Bench: Mucha, Hibbert, Bilyaletdinov, Beckford, Gueye, Yakubu, Rodwell

Arsenal: Starters: Flaps, Clichy, Sagna, Djourou, Squillaci, Song, Wilshere, Cesc, Arshavin, Nasri, Chamakh Bench: Wojo, Eboue, Gibbs, Denilson, van Persie, Rosicky, Theo

A couple of notable things there aren't any real surprises in there.

Everton – Arsenal Preview; + Bendtner Mouths Off

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Everton

Position: 19th, 3-6-3 (12 points, +2 goal differential)

Home Form: 2-3-1 (+2 goal differential)

Recent Form: WDWDD

Last Meeting: Arsenal 2 Everton 2 (January 9, 2010)

It's hard to tell what kind of game to expect tomorrow.

Gibbs is Back, but Verma Remains a Mystery

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We finally got confirmation yesterday that Szczesny has signed a new deal with the club. I think it has been clear that he is our keeper of the future, so to hear that he has committed to the club is fantastic news.

At the moment Fabianski is our #1, so what does this mean for Almunia?

Thoughts on Wolves Win; Wojo Signs New Deal?

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A couple of things today:

I couldn't find a good highlights video that I could embed, but if you want the extended highlights, you can watch them here.

I didn't get to see any of the match other than watching those highlights afterwards, so I don't have too much in the way of thoughts on it.

Wolves 0 – Arsenal 2: Scrappy 3 Points at Molineux

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Funny story. Turns out my laptop has some issues which prevented me from being able to watch the game on a stream today. Actually, I was able to access one stream that looked like it was being filmed through a lens smeared with vaseline. Luckily I was able to follow our twitter feed for match updates.

Wolves – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Wolves: Starters: Hahnemann, Foley, Stearman, Berra, Ward, Edwards, Mancienne, Henry, Milijas, Jarvis, Doyle Bench: Hennessey, Elokobi, Mouyokolo, Hunt, Van Damme, Ebanks-Blake, Fletcher

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Djourou, Clichy, Song, Wilshere, Rosicky, Fabregas, Arshavin, Chamakh Bench: Szczesny, Eboue, Nasri, Denilson, Walcott, Bendtner, van Persie

Not too many changes from the Newcastle match.

Wolves – Arsenal Preview

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Wolves

Position: 19th, 2-3-6 (9 points, -7 goal differential)

Home Form: 2-2-1 (+1 goal differential)

Recent Form: LDLWL

Last Meeting: Arsenal 1 Wolves 0 (April 3, 2010)

We travel to Wolves tomorrow for what is becoming a game we absolutely need a good performance from.

Sing When You’re Winning…and When You’re Not

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Everyone have a good weekend? Yeah, me neither. If you missed the game, I suggest checking out the highlights rather than actually sitting through the entire match:

I suppose I'll just touch on the things that stuck out most to me. I thought defensively we had a decent game bar the goal.

Arsenal – Newcastle Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Flaps, Sagna, Clichy, Koscielny, Squillaci, Song, Wilshere, Cesc, Nasri, Theo, Chamakh Bench: Wojo, Rosicky, van Persie, Arshavin, Bendtner, Djourou, Eboue

Newcastle: Starters: Krul, Enrique, Simpson, Coloccini, Williamson, Nolan, Tiote, Gutierrez, Barton, Carroll, Ameobi Bench: Slo, Smith, Routledge, Tayler, Ranger, Soderberg, Lovenkrands

Well, that is the exact starting XI I picked yesterday, and the big news, lineup-wise, is that Arshavin starts on the bench for the first time this season in the league.

Arsenal 0 – Newcastle 1: And It’s Hard to Hold a Candle in the Cold November Rain

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What is it about frakking November?

We were on the back foot at the start of this one, as Newcastle was up for it from the beginning, and they dominated possession and looked more dangerous for the first 10 minutes or so. After that, though, we settled in and took control of the match for almost the entire rest of the first half.

Arsenal – Newcastle Preview

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Newcastle

Position: 9th, 4-2-4 (14 points, +5 goal differential)

Away Form: 2-1-2 (-2 goal differential)

Recent Form: LLDWW

Last Meeting: Newcastle 0 Arsenal 4 (October 27, 2010)

Sometimes going into an Arsenal match, I just get a feeling as to how it's going to go.

The “Arsene Affair” — Even if It’s True, Does it Matter?

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I had to go run some errands for a couple of hours after work today. I come back to find all hell has broken loose on the internets over rumors that Arsene Wenger has been having an affair.

As of this writing, we're still a few hours away from papers being released in England. But this picture has been circulated on the internet by someone claiming that it is a photo of this morning's edition of The Sun.

Jack Picks the Right Role Models; van Persie Tug of War Continues; Players Return from Injury

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A couple of things today:

First off, our little Peacemaker has been talking about who he wants to emulate. He has said his role model is Liam Brady, Arsenal's playmaking midfielder from the late 1970s who now heads up Arsenal's youth development program. Brady is justifiably regarded as a club legend, so it's a savvy choice, showing a good sense of the club's history and traditions.

Wenger Blames Complacency for Defeat, But We’ve Heard That Song Before

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FC Shakhtar Donetsk v Arsenal
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The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Let's just start by calling this what it was. It was a game against a good team who have never lost at home since moving to their current stadium, in which they needed a win and started their best team, and we didn't need to win, and rested many of our key players.

Shakhtar 2 – Arsenal 1: Gunners Fail to Conquer Shakhtar’s Fortress

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It looks like all those stats came back to haunt us. Shaktar maintain unbeaten in their fortress, the Donbass Arena, and Arsenal continue their poor away record in the Champions League. With Braga winning their match 1-0 against Partizan, it means we have not yet qualified for the next stage.

Shaktar Donetsk – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Shaktar Donestsk: Starters: Pyatov, Srna, Chygrynskiy, Rakitskiy, Hubschman, Jadson, Rat, Gai, Willian, Adriano, Eduardo Bench: Khudzhamov, Kucher, Moreno, Stepanenko, Kobin, D. Costa, Alex Teixeira

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Eboue, Djourou, Squillaci, Clichy, Eastmond, Wilshere, Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Bendtner Bench: Szczesny, Sagna, Kos, Lansbury, JET, Vela, Chamakh

We knew already that some of our big hitters weren't going to be playing today, however we still have a good lineup to put out.

Shakhtar – Arsenal Preview

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Generally when a Western European power decides to invade the Ukraine, it doesn't end well (see Napoleon, Hitler). Hopefully we'll fare better than they did.

Tomorrow we head East to the Donbass Arena, one of the best stadiums in Europe. Constructed in 2009 at a cost of $400 million, it holds more than 50,000 spectators and I'm sure will be rocking for our visit.

Match Highlights, November’s Here, Wilshere Getting Mad Paid & More!

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Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween! Over here in the Great White North it actually snowed. It was just a small sprinkling but dammit, it was snow. I'm rethinking now whether or not I should attend the MLS Cup final in a few weeks *brrrrrr*. If anyone missed our game against West Ham over the weekend, here are the MOTD highlights:

arsnlwsthm GoalTube.