The Offside - Arsenal Archives for January 2010

New Kit Leaked?; Ljungberg to Celtic; Nordtveit Sold; Lansbury to Return?

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Several stories making the rounds today:

Supposedly Arsenal's 2011-2012 kit has been leaked, and you can find the pictures of it here. I don't like it as good as this year's, but this year's home shirt set the bar pretty high. If that's really it (and I stress that this has not been confirmed) .

Wigan 2 – Arsenal 2: Disappointment, but the Sun Came Up Today

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Well, that really took the wind out of our sails, didn't it?

I was travelling pretty much all day and late night last night to and from a banquet, so I didn't get to see the match. So I won't be doing player ratings or discussing the match in any great detail. And, fair warning, I tend to be a bit more placid and level-headed when I haven't had to watch a poor Arsenal performance, so know that going in.

Wigan – Arsenal Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Wigan: Starters: Al Habsi, Stam, Caldwell, Alcaraz, Gohouri, Thomas, Diame, Cleverley, Watson, N'Zogbia, Rodallega Bench: Pollitt, Boselli, Steven Caldwell, Gomez, McArthur, Figueroa, McManaman

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Sagna, Squillaci, Koscielny, Rosicky, Denilson, Arshavin, Eboue, Chamakh, Bendtner, Diaby Bench: Szczesny, Nasri, Vela, Walcott, Wilshere, Djourou, Clichy

We're without Cesc today who is probably curled up in a blanket at home watching on his tv after picking up his 5th yellow card on Monday.

Wigan – Arsenal Preview

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Wigan Athletic

Position: 16th, 4-7-7 (19 points, -14 goal differential)

Home Form: 2-4-3 (-9 goal differential)

Recent Form: LLDDW

Last Meeting: Arsenal 2 Wigan 0 (Carling Cup) (November 30, 2010)

Still feeling euphoric after yesterday's win over Chelsea, Arsenal need to be very careful to avoid a let-down against Wigan tomorrow.

Arsenal 3 Chelsea 1: Gunners Get Some Post-Christmas Cheer by Beating the Blues

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It's a Christmas miracle! Our boys did it. With all the pressure and expectation, they went out there and beat Chelsea. It was probably our best 90 minutes this season if you look at our consistency and overall play during the match. With the help of some personnel changes, including the beast I call Theo van Nasregas, the players stepped up, worked their socks off, and pulled off the win we all knew they were capable of getting.

Arsenal – Chelsea Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Clichy, Wilshere, Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Walcott, Van Persie Bench: Szczesny, Diaby, Rosicky, Squillaci, Arshavin, Chamakh, Bendtner

Chelsea: Starters: Cech, Ferreira, Ivanovic, Terry, Cole, Essien, Mikel, Lampard, Kalou, Drogba, Malouda Bench: Subs: Turnbull, Ramires, Bosingwa, Van Aanholt, Bruma, Kakuta, McEachran.

Arsenal v Chelsea Preview: Once More Unto the Breach

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Chelsea
Position: 4th, 9-4-4 (31 points, +19 goal differential)
Away Form: 3-3-3 (+5 goal differential)
Recent Form: LLDDD
Last Meeting: Chelsea 2 – Arsenal 0 (October 3, 2010)

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

12 Days of Arsenal Christmas

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Martin and Sairax of the Arsenal Offside!

Many thanks to our good friend dreamfight3r for creating the lovely image above!

12 Days of Arsenal Christmas

On the 12th day of Christmas, Arsenal gave to me:

12 Wenger meltdowns

11 fouls on Wilshere

10 misplaced crosses

9 chips from Vela

8 crazy hairdos

7 runs from Theo

6 Gunner manpiles

5 yellow cards

4 French defenders

3 Fab saves

2 Cesc assists

And a wonder goal from Samir Nasri!

Diaby and Flaps Return; Wilshere Set for Busy Summer

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Apologies for the lack of any kind of real post today, but there just isn't much in the way of news going on.

There's a lot of pre-Chelsea talk, but honestly, it's all so boring that I can't even be bothered. Some people saying Arsenal won't win because we're scared, some people saying it's Arsenal's time, yada yada yada.

Midseason Review, Part IV: Best of Arsenal Offside

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Here's a look back at some of the more memorable posts from the Arsenal Offside this season

On "Knowing Players", Fandom, Intelligence, and Twitter
November 17th, 2010
Martin attempts to look at the influence of twitter and how it helps shape our views on players

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Songinho?

Midseason Review, Part III: Awards

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First-half Player of the Season:

1. Samir Nasri (Average Rating: 7.24, Man of the Match 5 times):

You could tell in preseason that Nasri was rested, motivated from his World Cup snub, and generally ready to kick some ass this season.

Midseason Review, Part II: Loanee Review and Rankings

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I don't do much in the way of coverage of Arsenal's youth and reserves. If you want regular coverage of those types of things, I highly recommend both Young Guns Blog and Jeorge Bird's Arsenal Youth. But I do like to check in from time to time and see how some of the youngsters are faring. So let's dive right in and see how well our young players out on loan have fared this season.

Midseason Review, Part I: Revisiting Preseason Predictions

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Well, in the absence of any actual Arsenal news, Sairax and I thought this week would be a good time to do a midseason review in the long run-up to the Chelsea match a week from today. Yes, we know it's not technically midseason yet. But given how fast and furious the matches are going to be coming starting next week, this is probably our only chance for a while to have several days of non-match preview/review stuff to put up.

Arsenal – Stoke Postponed

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The club has just announced that today's match against Stoke City is postponed due to snow and wintery conditions.

And it's probably a good decision. As much as I was looking forward to making a mug of hot chocolate and watching this match with MLSF and the cats, the conditions look pretty tough:

And supposedly things got a bit worse from there, it sounds like it was pretty much a full-on blizzard in North London.

Arsenal – Stoke Preview

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Stoke City

Position: 12th, 6-3-8 (21 points, -1 goal differential)

Away Form: 2-1-5 (-3 goal differential)

Recent Form: WWDDL

Last Meeting: Arsenal 3 Stoke City 1 (February 27, 2010)

Back in league action tomorrow against Stoke City, in a game that is important for this team on several levels.

Champions League Draw: Guess Who?

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Well, after several years of getting lucky in Champions League draw, it seems like our gambler's luck has caught up to us. It always does. For the second consecutive draw, we draw FC Barcelona.

Let me just honestly say I'm not too upset about this. Yes, I would have preferred any of the other 3 teams we could have drawn.

Poll: Who Should Be Arsenal’s Starting Goalkeeper?

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It's the question of the moment, isn't it? Manuel Almunia came into the season as our # 1 keeper, then, depending on what you believe, either got injured or got benched. Lukasz Fabianski came in and has performed very admirably, making a number of top-class saves that have kept us in some big games.

Arsenal Legends Critical of Team, Nasri Wins French Footballer of the Year, & the Winner of the Bergkamp Contest

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I have to admit, I took it pretty hard losing to ManUtd on Monday. I got a lot of it off my chest in yesterday's post, though I really cannot remember what I wrote. Hopefully it was coherent. After being in a funk for most of the day, I decided to at least give myself some perspective to lift my spirits.

Manchester United 1 Arsenal 0: So Much To Say, Yet What’s Left To Be Said?

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Manchester United v Arsenal
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I wish I knew where to begin. I apologize for the lateness of this post, but I just could not manage to string a sentence together after the game. Looking at the league table and watching the game, it is hard for me to understand how the two relate to each other.

Manchester United – Arsenal: Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Manchester United: Starters: van der Sar, Rafael, Ferdinand, Evra, Carrick, Anderson, Fletcher, Nani, Park, Rooney Bench: Kuszczak, Hernandez, Berbatov, Brown, Smalling, Obertan, Giggs

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

Our young Pole Szczney is officially going to be making his Premier League debut against Manchester United.

Pole to Pole: Szczesny to Start against Manchester United?

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That's the unconfirmed rumor.

And I do stress that this is an unconfirmed rumor. The club has not said anything official about this. Here's the evidence we have.

The Sun's Charlie Wyett has reported that Flaps picked up a "leg" injury in training, and that, given Almunia's "arm" injury (apparently we have caveman doctors, unable to pinpoint any injury beyond merely identifying the offending appendage), that puts Szczesny in line for a shock start.

Manchester United – Arsenal Preview: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

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Manchester United

Position: 2nd, 8-7-0 (31 points, +19 goal differential)

Home Form: 7-1-0 (+18 goal differential)

Recent Form: WDDWW

Last Meeting: Arsenal 1 Manchester United 3 (January 31, 2010)

Well, tomorrow is a huge, huge match that needs no build-up.

Looking Ahead To A Clash with Old Rivals

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A weekend without Arsenal just isn't as much fun is it? It already feels like Monday can't come soon enough. It's a big match, first place v second place, and one that has a history of being intense and full of drama. That's why recent comments from Patrice Evra can still get us all fired up before a game, it's all part of that age-old rivalry between Manchester United and Arsenal.

Score a Bergkamp Shirt From Arsenal Offside!

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We have a special treat for all of you readers of Arsenal Offside. The Manchester United game is on Monday, so we are holding a little contest to get you all excited. The winner of the competition will recieve this:

It is a limited edition Dennis Bergkamp "God Returns" t-shirt. It was designed by Lady Arse, in collaboration with Live Breathe Futbol.

More Reaction & Thoughts on Champions League; Almunia to Move on in January?

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I didn't get home from work until very late last night, so didn't get finished watching the game until 1 a.m. For what it's worth, here were my stray thoughts, although I thought Sairax's write-up captured the match pretty well. But that's won't stop me from chiming in with my thoughts anyway.

In no particular order:

Did I miss something, or did we win 3-1 to go through to the knockout rounds of the Champions League?

Arsenal 3 – Partizan 1: We’re Through in Predictably Nerve-Wracking Fashion

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I think that taking over for Martin during these midweek games has eternally cursed this Arsenal team. Except for that Newcastle Carling Cup game. Anyway, I can't feel my toes but I'm going to give this review a go.

The first half was almost all Arsenal. Chamakh and Captain van Persie got their very first start together playing upfront.

Arsenal – Partizan Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Koscielny, Squillaci, Gibbs, Sagna, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Arshavin, van Persie (c), Chamakh Bench: Szczesny, Rosicky, Vela, Walcott, Wilshere, Eboue, Bendtner

Partizan: Starters: Stojkovic, Medo, Petrovic, Cleo, Moreira, Jovanovic, Savic, Lazevski, Krstajic, Ilic, Babovic Bench: Ilic, Stankovic, Brasanac, Davidov, Kizito, Illiev, Smiljanic

Three points.

Arsenal – Partizan Preview

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Well, aside from the Carling Cup matches, this is the first match that can honestly be called a "season decider," simply because it is a match we have to win if we want to ensure our place in the next round. It is a bit of a departure from past seasons, when we've been comfortably through by the sixth group stage fixture and could afford to basically field the Carling Cup side in the final matchday.

Injury Updates, Gunners in Suits, and Almunia Could Leave in January

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Just a quick Monday news round up for you all. I know that many of you, like me, are still reeling from the exquisite Nasri goals this weekend. Here's what Super Samir had to say about it:

You can tell by the way he speaks about his performance that he is self-aware and possesses an intelligence that is shining through on the pitch.

How Do You Solve a Problem Like Songinho?

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"Song is a bit naturally high up because I want him to be." I believe when I read those words from Wenger, my reaction on twitter was "Son of a.....! Wenger no!" I've gotten over my snap reaction from yesterday, but there are still concerns that arise from these comments and also our defensive performances this season.

Arsenal – Fulham Highlights

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Highlights of yesterday's scrappy victory below the jump.

Watch Arsenal v Fulham in Sports | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com

Sairax back to cover your needs for all things Arsenal tomorrow.

Arsenal 2 – Fulham 1: Super Samir Powers Arsenal to Top of the Table (Updated with Player Ratings)

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Well, it wasn't always pretty, and I don't know that we exactly looked like title contenders. But title winners generally find a way to get 3 points when they aren't always at their best, and that's what we did today, mainly due to a virtuouso performance from our player of the season up to this point, Samir Nasri.

Arsenal – Fulham Match Thread

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Lineups are in:

Arsenal: Starters: Fabianski, Sagna, Koscielny, Squillaci, Clichy, Song, Rosicky (c), Nasri, Wilshere, Arshavin, Chamakh Bench: Wojo, Gibbs, Djourou, Bendtner, Denilson, Walcott, van Persie

Fulham: Starters: Schwarzer, Pantsil, Hangeland, Hughes, Briggs, Davies, Murphy, Etuhu, Dempsey, Gera, Kamara Bench: A.

Arsenal – Fulham Preview

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Fulham

Position: 17th, 2-9-4 (15 points, -3 goal differential)

Away Form: 0-5-2 (-2 goal differential)

Recent Form: DLDLD

Last Meeting: Arsenal 4 Fulham 0 (May 9, 2010)

Back in league action tomorrow against Fulham, and this is a match we could very easily lose points from.

Arsenal Draw Ipswich for CC Semi & A Look to the Month Ahead

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So Arsenal have drawn Ipswich for the Carling Cup semifinals. You know, their manager looks awfully familiar to me.....

Oh that's right, it's our old friend Roy Keane! Perhaps Paddy could drive over from Manchester for a friendly reunion. Arsenal will face Ipswich Town at Portman Road on January 10th while West Ham host Birmingham in the other semifinal match the same day.

Wigan Highlights and Thoughts; Wenger Says No Room for January Signings

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Arsenal v Wigan Athletic
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Well, in the words of the great warrior-poet Ice Cube, "I have to say it was a good day."

Now, I'm under no illustions that we played great. Or even good.