Friday, December 23, 2011

Players Arsenal should buy in the Winter Transfer Windows

The season is nearly halfway, and the transfer windows is going to be opened soon. Arsenal, which occupied fifth place, has been hit by injuries, especially on the backline, with all the fullback are out. Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Carl Jenkinson, and Andre Santos are not available. While upfront, Wenger wouldn't able to play Gervinho and Marouane Chamakh because of the African Cup. Not only because unavailability of the players, it would be wise for Wenger to bring in some players as Arsenal seems too dependant on the first team players - the second teams has too big gap with the first team players. Here are some player Arsenal should buy in the winter transfer windows to bolster the team.

1. Mario Goetze
A great player who surely would add some qualities for Arsenal. Despite his age, he has shown a great maturity, as well as great vision. He primarily plays as a playmaker, but he also could ocassionally play in the wing. With Andrey Arshavin nearing the exit door, Goetze would perfectly replace the Russian. Considering the current form, Mario Goetze is far better than Arshavin. However, he wouldn't be available for cheap. Dortmund values him around thirty million pounds, and we know Arsene Wenger is not the man who like to spend a lot. Dortmund also is not likely to release him in this transfer windows. Well, it is more likely - if Wenger really interested in bringing him - to scoop him in the end of the season.

2. Eden Hazard
Another superb player, who is said to be fitted in Arsenal style of play. Could play in either wing, and is technically gifted. A former team mate of Gervinho, and could reunite again soon. Like Goetze, he wouldn't be available for cheap. A transfer fee over 30 million would be needed to bring him to the Emirates Stadium.

3. Mauricio Isla
Has been in superb form this season with Udinese, tirelessly playing the ball down the right flank. A dependable full back, but could also play in the central midfield - an unlikely position he would play in Arsenal. With Sagna and Jenkinson is still out. He would be perfect for Arsenal, replacing Sagna and Jenkinson.

4. Lukas Podolski
A German national team regular players, but somehow doesn't really shine in the club level. Said that he admired Arsenal, and he has been linked to move to emirates. The move to Emirates is quite possible, as the contract for him runs out on 2013. Could plays down the left wing, but also able to play in the central striker, giving option for Wenger to back-up van Persie.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Arsenal - Fulham post analysis

Arsenal's streak victory stopped by a very organized Fulham in the Emirates Stadium. An uninspiring first half, and still uninspiring in the second half, before the introduction of Ivorian winger Gervinho and French midfielder Abou Diaby. Vermaelen scored an own goal to make Fulham lead 1-0, but then he scored another goal to level the score.

Wenger changed two players from the side beating Borussia Dortmund with Johan Djourou taking Laurent Koscielny's place on the right back and Andrey Arshavin was selected ahead of Gervinho on the left flank. Wenger probably would like to rest his player, just before facing Manchester City on the League Cup.

Arsenal were really uninspiring in the first half, they were only creating few chances, and Fulham even pressed Arsenal's defence line in the first fifteen minutes. Arsenal slowly got control of the match, but were unable to break the deadlock, as Fulham defended like a rock, very strong and rigid. Theo Walcott was the most dangerous Arsenal player on the pitch, but still failed to make any end product.

Arshavin, who recently said he was 'glued' on the bench by Wenger, failed to prove himself, and it justified why he was glued on the bench. Ineffective, and lacking of confidence, that's two main points of his weaknesses. He was unsurprisingly substituted by Marouane Chamakh on the second half. His time in Arsenal might has come to end, and he might leave in January, and Wenger might buy another winger, or even try Miyaichi on Arshavin's position. Proven, that after Gervinho entered the fray, Arsenal's game was improving, they were more dangerous, and Gervinho several times entered Fulham's penalty area, which Arshavin unable to do in 70 minutes. Had Gervniho played from the beginning, Arsenal might have won the game.

This result shows that Arsenal still lacking of the depth in the squad. Arsenal's excellent recent form has been depending on the first team players Wenger has always put from the beginning, notably van Persie, Gervinho, Walcott, Song and Vermaelen. The second string players had never really impressed in the Champions League or Premier League. Arsenal were lack of inspiration against Stoke City, before Robin van Persie saved the Gunners with his two goals. Arsenal weren't sharp enough in the home game against Marseille, once again when Robin van Persie was on the bench.

Wenger should add one or two players to the squad, especially flair players who could make a difference when other players is stuck. Other players like van Persie who could inspire the whole team is something Arsenal need. In my opinion, there are only two players like that in Arsenal's squad now, Walcott and Gervinho. Walcott still lack of consistency, while Gervinho is not composed enough in front of the goal. With transfer windows is nearing, Wenger should have prepared some names he would bid in January. It would be great if he could bring big names, such as Hazard and Gotze, but it is not likely.

Besides the negative side, has to be said that Wenger (finally) made a correct decision in substitution by bringing in Gervinho to replace Ramsey, a decision that he should've done earlier. Vermaelen, the own goal scorer, converted Walcott's cross to make it 1-1. Vermaelen showed great character, even after scoring an own goal, he didn't turned bad, and finally he made up for what he have done.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Norwich - Arsenal post match analysis

Another win for Arsenal, and another goals for Robin van Persie. The Arsenal skipper drove Arsenal forward once more time, with his two goals bringing Arsenal back from 1-0 down to 2-1 victory at away game in Norwich City.

1. Per Mertesacker still need time to adjust in England.
It was Norwich City who took the lead even though Arsenal was dominating the game. Last-day signing Per Mertesacker was the one to blame in this goal. His hesitation to clear the ball resulted the ball stolen by Steve Morrison, and he netted the ball, 1-0 to Norwich. He waited the ball instead of nonsensely cleared it. What a costly mistake, despite Arsenal could still win. It's the third time Per made mistake leading to goal after his bad first half on 5-3 victory against Chelsea on Stamford Bridge. To be honest, Mertesacker is a good defender, he has excellent game reading, as well as great aerial ability. However, he still hasn't really in to the game of English Premier League. He was used to play in lower tempo back then in Germany with Werder Bremen. Despite being not too swift, he should able to take decision quickly. He would need one or two month before really settled with English's tempo.

2. van Persie to rescue again
How many times Arsenal need to be rescued by van Persie? Arsenal wouldn't have had winning streak if it's not because the Dutchman. Who would be able to do a hattrick in Stamford Bridge? He led by example, not only leading the team in terms of being a captain, but also contributing in the game by scoring goals. The first goal was an easy goal, but the second goal was a world class goal, chipped above the keeper. He is unstoppable for now, with this hot goalscoring rate over the last few weeks, but clinging on one person in football is not a wise thing. Arsenal really need to find plan-B, just in case van Persie isn't playing.

He just can't stop scoring. (photos from

3. Gervinho can't miss a scoring chance like that again.
Two times Gervinho has a you-have-to-score golden opportunities, which unbelievable missed by the Ivorian. You can count it as three if you count the miss on van Persie's equalizer, which he could've scored instead of the captain. Then, One-on-one with John Ruddy on the first half, he should've been able to pass it through the net. On the second half, he already rounded the keeper, but still failed to scored, blocked by the keeper. He made handful of clever runs, though. Fortunate for Gervinho, that his miss didn't cost Arsenal a lot, as Norwich City failed to equalize. However, in big games, this mistake is a little bit untorelable, especially for players with class like Gervinho. He need to refine his final touch, and he would be much better than he is now.

4. Theo Walcott is showing his potential
He has been labelled as a player who is yet to show his potential. However, it seems that this season he started to showing his real potential. After a superb show in the Stamford Bridge, he was average on the match agains West Brom, but played well again in this match. Clever run, combined with his explosive pace, was always a constant threat for Norwich City, both from the left and right flank. His intelligence is also improving, as he several times fed van Persie upfront, and made smart one-twos with team mates. He also shows great composure in the beginning of the first half, as he faked Norwich defender, before shot it to the goal, which unfortunately cleared by another Norwich defender. What he needs now is not only a good performance in a match only, but a series of good performance. What Walcott needs now is a consistency

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Post West Brom match analysis

It's another victory in the Barclays Premier League for Wenger's Side with 3-0 scoreline against West Brom in Emirates and Arsenal continued its fine form, winning all five games in Premier League. Player of the Month in October, Robin van Persie, opened the scoreline in this match, netted the Walcott's blocked effort. Thomas Vermaelen marked his Premier League with a thunderous drive, making the scoreline two nil for Arsenal. After a little bit shaky moments for Arsenal, Wenger introduced Benayoun and Rosicky, and the momentum was Arsenal's again. Mikel Arteta made his first goal in Emirates, after a good build up from the Gunners.

Another win for the gunners (source :

Generally, it was a comfortable win for Arsenal. West Brom was particularly playing poorly, they didn't even threaten Szczesny's goal in the first half. They were quite wasteful in the final third. West Brom was much improved in the second half, on several occasion they threaten Arsenal's defence. Arsenal's way is back, they played with one-two passes, which is very entertaining.

Thomas Vermaelen and Laurent Koscielny performed very well, and it's likely they will be chosen as the starting line up next match, leaving towering defender Per Mertesacker on the bench again. Both of them showed their quality not only in defence but also in attacking department Thomas Vermaelen even showed his good instinct in front of goal by bagging one goal. Laurent Koscielny showed composure against West Brom's quick striker, and moved forward several times. Carl Jenkinson started to showed some good performance. He was solid on the flank, and his delivery was also accurate. Andre Santos, offensively he was good, but still lack of final ball; while defensively, this left back spot still become Arsenal's weak link in the defence.

Trio Song-Ramsey-Arteta composed the midfield, even their dominance faded early in the second half. Ramsey also wasn't shy to cut inside the penalty area, and could have scored a goal. Song was rock on the midfield, and seen anywhere in the pitch. Arteta showed his composure with the third goal.

Gervinho was quite dangerous, but a little bit lack of final product. Walcott was lively down the right. Robin van Persie shows his class once more, snapping the goal well, and assisting the other two goals; justified his fine form.

Rosicky and Benayoun added another dimension for Arsenal, as they played as substitutes. Rosicky played some neat touches, and Benayoun was mobile in the midfield.

Despite all those positives, there is still one problem Arsenal need to fix. When the scoreline is 2-0, Arsenal were too lax, and they found themselves under West Brom pressure. Lucky enough, they were unable to score any goal due to lack of finishing and also strong twin tower in Koscielny and Vermaelen. Had the team Arsenal face not been West Brom, Arsenal could have been conceded, and the momentum of the game changed. Arsenal need to constantly pushed their opponent, and not giving them chance to grow their game.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

post Chelsea match analysis

Arsenal overcame London-rival Chelsea after a 2-1 deficit on the first half. It's the second consecutive coming-from-behind after this midweek they beat Bolton 2-1 on the Carling Cup. Arsenal has shown a much better performance compared to the disastrous beginning of the season, where they lost 3 from 5 match, and now they are back on track to challenge for at least a champions league spot. Superb win on a full of action derby pulled Arsenal's to 6th spot, right below Tottenham.

Even defensively it wasn't Arsenal best performance, but they showed a great determination, being able to win after conceded and behind 0-1 and 1-2, could equalize and even take a lead. Arsenal also could re-take the lead after being leveled 3-3 by Chelsea, when Juan Mata scored an excellent long shot. Arsenal has been several times losing concentration and giving away their lead, ending with either defeat or draw, like when they succumbed on Blackburn game 3-4, after leading 1-0 and 2-1. Arsenal re-take lead after their opponent equalize a goal, especially on the last minutes, is quite rare. But now this week they did it, on Chelsea, on Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal was much helped by the absence of powerful striker Didier Drogba, but they started very shaky defensively, especially in the full back position, but fortunately Chelsea's attackers weren't clinical in front of goal. Wojciech Szczesny could be sent off after two foot kick attack on Ashley Cole. Per Mertesacker could be blamed for Chelsea's first two goal, even in the later game he made some good interception. Arsenal's best defender in the night is simply Laurent Koscielny, who very composed in the back line.

van Persie scores again (photos from

Offensively, Arsenal were clinical, also in the later game, not in the beginning. In the beginning they wasted several chances, as Gervinho missed, so did van Persie. However, van Persie didn't repeat the same mistake, as he scored brilliant hattrick on this match. Arsenal's passings were great, Ramsey creating the first Arsenal goal, giving a defence-splitting through pass to Gervinho. Ramsey-Arteta-Rosicky combo was also very fluid, and they both three seems to have a good understanding with each others.

Arsene Wenger also deserved to get praise as his half-time team talk boosted Arsenal's players morale. Right after the first half they could equalize via flying wing back Andre Santos, and took lead after Walcott netted the ball off Petr Cech. Coming from behind, especially on away games, is very hard, but Arsenal proved that it's not impossible. Arsenal has to admit they were helped by Terry's slippery, but they are deserved to win this game.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

van Persie dependencia

Arsenal win for the three consecutive match after wrapping a 3-1 victory against Stoke City in Emirates Stadium. Gervinho opened the score receiving Aaron Ramsey's Fabregas-like chip pass, before Peter Crouch made it 1-1. After the introduction of Robin van Persie, Arsenal looked more lively and finally re-took lead after Robin van Persie converted Gervinho's assist. Robin van Persie scored double for consecutive EPL match after once again Gervinho provided nice pass to the Dutchman.

It's always good to win the game, but it's never good to rely on one player to win the game. Arsenal seems to have early sign they relying too much on the skipper, Robin van Persie. Arsenal seems find the Stoke defence far too solid to be penetrated before the talisman's introduction. However, just after Robin van Persie came off the bench, everything changed drastically. Arsenal's game improved a lot and by van Persie, they eventually scored two goals to seal the fourth victory on EPL.

Robin van Persie, someone Arsenal really rely to. (photos from

Last season Arsenal didn't rely on van Persie because they still had Nasri and Fabregas, but this season they really depend on the Netherland striker, not only technical needs but also as role model on the pitch, as the captain. But the dependence is getting higher and higher. Now, if van Persie plays well, Arsenal win, but if van Persie is playing poorly, Arsenal can't win.

It has been a long time since van Persie stays fit for one season, and Arsenal really need to provide plan-B without van Persie. Arsenal seems to lack of creativity on the attacking department without van Persie. Chamakh, who today given a start ahead of van Persie, can't contribute much. He is an ortodox hard-working target man, who doesn't comfortable playing alone upfront. He cannot offer something van Persie usually give, creativity. Park Chu-Yong is also not a creative striker. Wenger need to think more about the frontline without van Persie, just in case the dutchman is unavailable. Remember, he also only has less than two years in his contract. Should he not renew his contract, meaning he has to be sold next season, Arsenal has to be ready without the number 10.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What We Learn from Arsenal vs Bolton

Arsenal smashed Bolton 3-0 in the Emirates Stadium, with Robin van Persie's two goals made him reach his 100th Arsenal goal, and Alex Song's cool finishing nearing the end of the match. Arsenal was decent on the first half, unable to control the match completely, but the second half was Arsenal's full domination, and they were able to score three goals.

Arsenal players celebrated the goal scored by the Captain (credit to ID-ARSENAL)

1. Arsenal slowly regains their confidence
On the first half Arsenal players seems a little bit lacking of confidence. However, after Arsenal scored a goal, the players looks had more self belief than in the first half. Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta became double playmaker on the Gunners' midfield, while RvP, Gervinho, and Walcott dynamical off the ball movement tears Bolton's defence. Alex Song looks very comfortable helping the offense; Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker weren't shy to move forward. It's the Arsenal we expected to see.

It might be the second match Arsenal won this season on the Premier League, but this is the first time Arsenal really dominated the game. The win against Swansea was very unconvincing, and Arsenal could've easily dropped two points, but on this match, the passing game Arsenal has been famous for was shown again in this game. It was a very entertaining passing-game.

However, Arsenal should also be able to play like this against 11-man stronger opponent.

2. Mikel Arteta and Aaron Ramsey are good playmakers, and they could replace Cesc-Nasri
Both of them actually had shown a great performance last week against Blackburn. However, their brilliance overshadowed by the poor defending by Arsenal. Both Ramsey and Arteta has shown a great understanding. Ramsey and Arteta dictated the play, and Arsenal got plenty of chances to score a goal. If it hadn't been Jaaskelainen who was in the goal, Arsenal would've scored five or six goals. If they continued playing like this, injured Jack Wilshere could find it hard to find himself in the line up, when he come back, and he will need to prove himself before he could back to the Starting Eleven.

3. Alex Song is offensively getting better and better.
Alex Song was a flop last week but this time he was one of the tops of the match, alongside Robin van Persie and Theo Walcott. While defensively he is untested, he played very well in his team's offense. His passing was great. He was unlucky not to name himself on the assist list. Two times he made a brilliant passes to Theo Walcott. One was disrupted by David Wheater, who recieved a marching order, fault on Walcott, and the other one, Walcott just couldn't beat Jaaskelainen 1-on-1. Alex Song finally named himself on the scoresheet, with a very good finish, fainting Bolton defender, and smashed the ball to the right to beat Jaaskelainen

Saturday, September 17, 2011

It's not the matter of players, it is the matter of defensive system

Arsenal gave away 2-1 lead to a 3-4 defeat against Blackburn on Edwood Park. It is good to score 3 goals in away games, but the defensive errors makes the goals scored not worth any points. Generally, Arsenal was dominating the game, and having many chances, while Blackburn mainly attacks from quick counter attack. Blackburn only have 4 shots on goal, and they still able to score four.

On the last 3 games, Arsenal has been conceded 12 goals, an average of 4 goals per match. On the match against Manchester United, they conceded 8, and on this match Szczesny's goal was teared four times.

It is not the matter that Arsenal don't have a quality defender or what. Koscielny, Djourou, and Song had a horrible game. Koscielny and Song both scored an own goal, and Johan Djourou was the weak link of last night game. Arsenal was using very high defensive line, and it costly punished Arsenal, as Blackburn has a quicker players.
Andre Santos twice cancelled Arsenal's offside trap, and Johan Djourou's fault was the beginning of the third goal. Arsenal's full backs was constantly under threat, and the winger didn't even try to cover the flank

It's probably a time for Wenger to change the system of play. 4-2-3-1 is a good formation if both of the 2 defensive midfielder has a high mobility, and willing to cover both flanks. As both of the full backs like to attack, the flank is very vulnerable. The wingers are just too forward to cover the backline. 4-4-2 would be a much more balanced strategy. With two wide midfielder has to be able to cover the full-back. Even with this stragegy, Arsenal would have more option on the frontline. Walcott is clearly a striker, not a winger, thus he would be more effective playing alongside Robin van Persie, instead of a right winger. Marouane Chamakh also would have more playing time, as he would be the secret weapon of Arsene Wenger, and provided more aerial ability. While Arsenal had Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas, who play in a very advanced position, 4-2-3-1 was a very good strategy who could accomodate them playing at their best. However, as this two players leave, Arsenal has playmakers in Jack Wilshere, Mikel Arteta, and Aaron Ramsey. And all of them play deeper than Nasri and Fabregas, and they would be more suitable playing on the central midfielder or wider midfielder instead of attacking midfielder

Another things matters is the high defense line. It is actually a good system, pressing the opposition players into their own area, not allowing them to improve their game. With this strategy, Arsenal plays many offside traps. However, it's common to see one of the players stay deeper, and it cancels the offside trap. One more things, explosive players are needed to implement this strategy. Per Mertesacker is not a fast defender, and he would be beaten in sprint. He surely would be enjoy more playing in a deeper defensive line. A deeper defense line would be a more solid defensively than Arsenal showed last night.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What if Cesc Fabregas and Nasri leaves Arsenal

Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri are heavily linked with moves to other clubs. Cesc Fabregas has been linked for a long time for his return to his childhood club, Barcelona FC, for the last three summer transfer windows; while Samir Nasri, who only has one year remaining on his contract, has shown his desire to move from Emirates Stadium. Manchester City has offered twenty two million pounds to lure the Frenchman who moved to Arsenal from Marseille in 2008.

They both are integral part of Arsenal FC. Fabregas usually plays behind the lone striker, while Samir Nasri is the owner of Arsenal's left flank territory. What if both of them leave? Could Arsenal survive?

Arsenal has signed Gervinho from Lille in fee of region 12 million pounds. Should one of them leave, Gervinho will be a perfect replacement. If Fabregas leave, Samir Nasri will be switched to the central, and Gervinho plays on the left. If Nasri leave, Gervinho will play on the left wing.

What if both of them leave? It would be a big problem for Arsenal. Both of them are the source of creativity alongside Jack Wilshere. Last season, Arsenal without Cesc wasn't as strong as Cesc. No player could make a killer pas like the Spaniard do. Jack Wilshere is a good passer but he is yet to be as good as Cesc. Wenger himself already admitted that Arsenal wouldn't be considered as a big club if both of them leave. Nah, Arsenal should sign another world class player then.

Many pundits have suggested Arsenal to reverse their formation back to 4-4-2. Either Theo Walcott or Gervinho will duet with Robin van Persie. However, this is not the best solution, without any more signing. Arsenal would probably buy another right midfielder, even if Ryo Miyaichi could be tried in that position. Wenger has reported to be interested in Stewart Downing, and if he comes in, Gervinho is likely to play on the right. Wenger also keeps his eye on Esteban Granero, a Spanish Real Madrid player

However, in my opinion, Wenger should buy someone better than Downing and Granero. Arsenal need a world class player. Without any disrespection, both of them are good, but not world class. Arsenal have already some good players : Arshavin, Miyaichi, Ramsey. It is likely that Arsenal won't sign any other world class forward, no one has been strongly linked with the Gunners. If so, Ryo Miyaichi would have breakthrough season this year.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Disappointing Transfer again?

On the end of the 2010/2011 season, Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal would have a busy transfer windows, which means every Gooner eagerly wait which player Arsenal would bring in. However, until now, seems Arsenal hasn't move well in this summer, with only buying Carl Jenkinson, a right back who is also able to play on the central of the defense from Charlton Athletic.

No one denied that Arsenal need to strengthen their squad. Arsenal looked really vulnerable at the backline and seems need more depth in their squad. Arsenal was quite promising in the beginning in of June. Media claims Arsenal have reached agreement with Ricky Alvarez, an Argentinian versatile right midfielder from Velez Sarzfield, and Gervinho, an Ivorian winger from French champion, Lille. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was also said nearing a move to Emirates Stadium. Then duo Blackburn's Christopher Samba and Bolton's Gary Cahill were said only one step away from Arsenal.

However, among those targets, there's no one officially goes to Arsenal. Even Arsenal finally lost Ricky Alvarez, who eventually chooses Internazionale as his destination. It is said that Arsenal doesn't want to spent 10 million on that promising player. He could develop into a 20-million-valued player in the next three years!

The bad news doesn't only come from the "into Arsenal" side. Arsenal is in verge of losing some key players because of lack of throphy. Gael Clichy already left the club with only seven million pounds. The skipper Cesc Fabregas would probably the next player who leaves Emirates this summer. The next is Samir Nasri, whose contract is only one year left. Nasri probably would move to the rival Chelsea or Manchester United, or will reunite with Clichy - to Manchester City. Robin van Persie already expressed his disappointment, could probably get out from Arsenal this season. Theo Walcott is targeted by Chelsea new manager, Andre Villas Boas. Galatasaray has already thown a 13.5 million offer for Arshavin. It would be very bad for Arsenal if all of them leave Arsenal.

Well, classic problem, money. Not only in transfer but also in the wages. Nasri wants more than 90000 pounds a week, and Wenger doesn't allow it. Arsene Wenger is too tight with the money. Every player has his own value. If you're good, you might get a good salary, that's logical.

Sometimes Wenger is right not to buy some overpriced player, but sometimes it's necessary to spend a huge amount of money to buy a world class player. A world class player usually wouldn't be available only for one million pounds.

Arsene Wenger might need to learn to spend money. Now it's up to him, whether Arsenal could win another throphy or not. It is true that money couldn't buy throphy, but with money you CAN transfer good players who would help you win the throphy. Remember, big spend meaning a big loss in the beginning, but if you can win a throphy, you could get back what you've spend, even plus the prestige! So, Wenger, with the money available from the board, don't be too tight with the transfer budget spend some money for the waited-so-long throphy!

Wenger might need to spend (pict source:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Arsenal's full season players rating (defender)

3. Bacary Sagna (8)
He is the most consistent Arsenal's defender, one of the best right back in premier league. Very solid in defense and clever positioning have been showed by the French right back. His crossing isn't bad either, while his link up with Theo Walcott is worked well too. He also has showed professionalism, after dropped to the bench by Wenger, he still played well, and later, said he is "99% for Arsenal", denying any chance of leaving Emirates Stadium in this summer

5. Thomas Vermaelen (6.5)

He was very unfortunate to spend most of this season on the sidelines. Arsenal really miss his presence. He was solid before his injury, making 3 appearances, as well as after his injury. His performance against Aston Villa was great, even it was his first game after sidelined for almost more than 9 months.

6. Laurent Koscielny (6.5)
A mixed performance in his first season in premier league. Could be as strong as a rock - unbeatable by anyone, when Arsenal faced Barcelona on the first leg of Champions League, the likes of Lionel Messi and David Villa couldn't do much against Koscielny. But also could be the weak link of Arsenal's backfour, like in home game against Tottenham. His concentration is also not too good, giving away a "free goal" to Birmingham in the final of Carling Cup. His tackling was reckless, earning many cards last season

18. Sebastian Squillaci (5.5)
A hight expectation were on his shoulder, when he came to Arsenal, as he was the most senior defender on the squad. However, he failed to show his quality he had in Sevilla, and many considered him as the weak link of Arsenal's squad. He made 32 appearances this season, because of Vermaelen's long term injury as well as Djourou's short term injuries. He is not strong and fast enough to play in Premier League. Probably offloaded by Wenger this season

20. Johan Djourou (7)
Superb comeback showed by the Swiss central defender. Missing out the whole champaign last season, he showed his potential, and become Arsenal's most reliable center back on 2010/2011. Would be an ideal partner for Vermaelen, if the Belgian defender hadn't been injured. Rarely on the spotlight, but he is one of the unsung heroes Arsenal have

22. Gael Clichy (6.5)
Alike Laurent Koscielny, he had many ups and downs this season. He often broke Arsenal's offside trap due to his not-so-good positioning. David Villa was able to score in Emirates, because a failed offside trap caused by Clichy. Despite his crossing wasn't too good, his work rate is unquestionable. His speed also makes him recovers easily after a mistake. However, a good defender rarely makes defending mistakes. With his contract running out on 2012, he is probably sold this season.

27. Emmanuel Eboue (6.5)
His playing time is limited because of Sagna's good performance. Eboue actually always showed his best when he is trusted by Wenger. He is a very attacking full back, and sometimes played on the right wing, as Arsenal is holding the scoreline.
However, he DID make one fatal mistake, making Arsenal conceded a last minute penalty against Liverpool, which ended with 1-1

28. Kieran Gibbs (6.5)
Again, another good players Arsenal have disrupted by injury. Kieran Gibbs was Gael Clichy's backup for last three season, but he could broke to Arsenal's starting line up, should Clichy leave the club. He was originally a winger, so it's not surprising to see him having a good technique and crossing.

48. Ignasi Miquel (6)
Only made two appearances against Leeds United, following the injury of Djourou, Koscielny, and Vermaelen. He showed great composure, and next year might be his breakthrough season.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Arsenal's full season players rating (keeper)

1. Manuel Almunia (4.5)
Started the season as the number one keeper. He put a decent performance for few matches, but his horrible performance - even after saving a penalty - in the home match against West Brom - when Arsenal lost 2-3 - was likely to be the U turn of his career in Arsenal. He got injury at that match, and since then Lukasz Fabianski took the number one spot, and Almunia never reclaim that place again. Things got worser to Almunia, when Fabianski's deputy, Wojciech Szczesny played well when Fabianski injured. Despite several critics, he still played fairly well against Barcelona, coming in replacing Szczesny, who is injured. Almunia may not be the first team keeper next season, and probably he is going out this summer.

13. Jens Lehmann (6)
This veteran keeper only made one appearance, in the game against Blackpool. He became the oldest player represent Arsenal in league. His peformance against Blackpool wasn't too good, conceded once and could be sent off after a reckless challenge. Fortunately, Blackburn scored a goal after that, and the referee gave the goal and didn't punish Lehmann with any cards.

21. Lukasz Fabianski (7)
Unlike last year, he was solid this season. Many doubts were at him when Arsene Wenger trusted him to be no 1 keeper following Almunia's injury, but Fabianski coped with the pressure well. His positioning was better than before, and he wasn't Fabianski we know concede 5 against Tottenham anymore. He had produced strings of great performance, like against Everton, and he was likely to be number one next season. However, he got a shoulder injury that kept him on the sideline until the end of season.

53. Wojciech Szczesny (7)
No one would expected this Polish keeper to be no 1 keeper in the beginning of the season. He started the game against Manchester United as Fabianski injured, faulted for bad positioning on Park Ji Sung's goal, he made several good saves in that match, and keep the scoreline 1-0 for Arsenal's defeat. After Fabianski back, he back to the bench. However, he reclaimed his place on the starting line up, with Fabianski injured until the end of the season, and impressed with teriffic performances. He is the keeper who never afraid of anyone, his bravery is his strength. His performance on the first leg of champions league agaisnt Barca was the example of his bravery. Facing the like of Lionel Messi, the best player on the world, and David Villa, Spanish superstriker, Szczesny kept his head cool, and couldn't blame for the goal Villa scored. He denied Barca's chance, so that Arsenal only behind one goal, before van Persie and Arshavin netted for the Gunners' victory. However, he still need to improve his commanding ability. It was probably his main weakness. He was involved in giving goals for Obafemi Martins which resulted in Arsenal's 1-2 Carling Cup Final defeat. A finger injury hit Szczesny on the second leg of Champions League, and he was sidelined for six week. He made one penalty save on Arsenal's 1-2 defeat from Bolton. He has a good career prospect in Arsenal. He is still 21, and possibly Arsenal's next season no 1 keeper, competing with another polish Lukasz Fabianski

the young, promising keeper (photos from skysports)

Problems Arsenal should find the soulution for next season

1. Bad Defending
Arsenal's defence is the weakest point, no doubt about it. Some might argue Arsenal's weakness is in goal, but Wojciech Szczesny is good enough, he is just affected by Arsenal's lack of coordination on the backline. It's an irony. Arsenal was very popular of "Boring-boring 1-0 Arsenal" before Arsene Wenger came to Arsenal, and they had a very strong defence, but now Arsenal's defence is far from strong, and even the worst from the top 6 teams.

Thomas Vermaelen's absence might be the factor why the backline was very vulnerable. Vermaelen was really outstanding last season, and Arsenal really miss Vermaelen's presence on the backline.

Vermaelen was really missed on the backline

Koscielny could be a good player, but he is far from Vermaelen, lacking concentration, and still melts under the pressure. Squillaci is too fragile to deal with physically strong opponent, and also often makes silly mistakes. Djourou is good, but quite inconsistent.

Gael Clichy is lacking of coordination with his mates, and often, Arsenal concede from his "assist", breaking the offside trap. Bacary Sagna stands to be Arsenal's best defender last season, very consistent throughout season.

Arsenal might need to buy one world class central defender, a commanding central back, to pair with Thomas Vermaelen.

2. Giving Away a Victory
If one match only lasted for 80 minutes, Arsenal might have won the EPL. Arsenal usually took lead before equalized, or even lost. 4-4 against Newcastle and also Tottenham. 1-1 against Liverpool, and Sunderland. 1-2 against Bolton, 2-3 against arch-rival Tottenham. At least 12 points is wasted because of the late goals Arsenal concede, and Arsenal only at least got 5 points saved from scoring at final minutes. Lack of oncentration, and also composure, could be said like that. Again, the mentality is playing. This is the matter of mentality, you have to hold on if you have a lead, not giving away cheap goals!

3. Winning Mentality
Nah, it's something Arsenal don't have, they just don't show the real character a winner should have. Look at Barcelona, after they lost at Copa Del Rey final against Real Madrid, their mentality didn't drop. They even play better than before, and it's known that Barcelona beat Madrid in the semifinal of Champions League. They weren't too downhearted with the defeat in Copa Del Rey. However, Arsenal didn't show their mentality. After losing against Birmingham in the League Cup final, they just fell down, and tragically finished fourth at Premier League. Again, I emphasize the urgent of buying world class player(s) for Arsenal. One or two players could bring in the winning mentality for the young, potential players, that still need tutor from the more experienced players.

4. Second Half Season Poor Form
This has been Arsenal's chronic illness since the last 4 years, since 2007/2008, where they were leading 5 points ahead Manchester United and unbelievably they keep being held and losing, then the result was third place, losing the title painfully. Then 2008/2009, they still plays quite well, until mid-february if i'm not mistaken, and they fell down again. Last year was no different. English Premier League had a three horse race between the Gunners, MU, and also Chelsea, but after Fabregas was sidelined because of injury, everything went wrong. So did this season. Even mathematically they were on pole position following Manchester United two loss in a row, but they held by Blackburn and Sunderland, instead of winning to take the 1st position, and several draws and losses, then 4th place, Arsenal's second place was taken by Chelsea, and even Man City overtake the 3rd place, which means Arsenal need to start from qualifying of Champions League, not the automatic spot. The squad is a little bit lack of depth, with the bench players don't have same quality as the first team. Time to sign someone else, or at least rotating players more.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Positive things Arsenal should maintain for next season

1. Beautiful Football
Arsenal are known for their beautiful football. Without those kind of football Arsenal wouldn't be the same Arsenal. It's true that Arsenal haven't win anything with their style of playing. But there are no guarantee that they can win if they leave their beautiful football. Now they are still trophy-less, but still admired by many people with their good-looking football, even without trophy. But, what should Arsenal do is not to leave their original style of football. Their mistake is bad defense line.

2. Szczesny on the line-up
Impressive young goalkeeper, he is deserved to be in the line up next season. Even he wasn't too good nearing the end of the season, it was just because the team's performance was not good. He is very good at one-on-one situation, and his positioning is excellent. However, he must train his commanding ability, which is not his best ability.

3. Playing Hybrid Squad on the Cup Competition
Still unable to break the trophy drought, but this was a good result of playing hybrid squad: combination of first team players, plus fringes, plus youngsters. Arsenal rarely played their first team in cup competition, but this season they played some of their best players, even in the cup. Next season, Wenger must continue playing combination squad, to increase the chance of winning the trophy as well as breeding young players.

4. Star Players in their Team
Francesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy, and Andrey Arshavin have been linked with several clubs. Fabregas to Barcelona. Nasri to Muenchen, Man. Utd, Milan. Clichy to Juventus. Arshavin to Zenit St. Petersburg. Arsene Wenger might sold his player to those clubs, but if he does so, Arsenal will have to wait more before winning a trophy. Keep them in the squad, especially captain Francesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, as they were important players for Arsenal on this season. Renew Nasri's contract, that would be a priority for Arsenal, beside ensuring Fabregas stay in Arsenal at least for one more year

He is an important player for Arsenal, the star Wenger should keep

Season Ends

Arsenal closed the 2010/2011 season with 2-2 draw against Fulham on Craven Cottage.
Walcott equalized only one minutes before the normal time ended. Not the best way to finish the season, but at least Arsenal managed to came back twice from 0-1 and 1-2.

This was the most promising season for Arsenal, well, at least until February, when they still had hope of quardruple: final in Carling Cup, second position in Premier League, 2-1 lead against Barcelona, and still playing in FA Cup; yet this season is the most painful season for the Gooners. Expectation was high, but no trophy came to Arsenal's cabinet this season.

Surprisingly lost against Birmingham 1-2 in the final, and since that lost, Arsenal seems lost confidence, winning only three matches until the end of season. As the result of that bad form, Arsenal was down to fourth position, and have to start the season earlier, playing in Champions League play-off instead of getting the ticket to the Group Stage of Champions League. Arsenal were also eliminated from FA Cup and Carling Cup.

Many things could be learned for Arsenal, so they won't repeat the same. Experience is the best teacher.

One of the good game this season, Jack Wilshere in action in 1-0 victory against MU (Photos from

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Only luck, or maybe the referee..

Arsenal suffered third consecutive defeat, this time on the same place where they beat the newly crowned champions four weeks before. This time, it's Aston Villa who stole a victory in Emirates.

Arsenal started the game poorly, while Aston Villa dominating the game. Two failed offside trap successfully maximized by Darren Bent to score twice. Arsenal gradually played better than the first fifteen minutes but Aston Villa had already gained some confidence. Even Arsenal keeps controlling the game and having some chances, Aston Villa's goal remained clean until the end of first half.

Arsenal should've got a penalty while Ramsey got a great pass from midfield, and only Brad Friedel to beat. Richard Dunne kicked Ramsey's right foot, leading to a miskick, but the referee didn't point the spot. It was clearly a penalty, and even Richard Dunne could have got a marching order. Robin van Persie also saw his shot hit the post. Arsenal were unlucky not to score a goal in the first half.

Arshavin failed to make an impact in this match (photos from FIFA.COM)

Arsenal fully dominated the second half. Arshavin shot just saved by Brad Friedel. Robin van Persie gave nice pass to Kieran Gibbs but wonderfully blocked by one of Aston Villa's defender. Robin van Persie had one one-on-one situation but Brad Friedel once again denied it. The introduction of Marouane Chamakh and Nicklas Bendtner brought good impact. Marouane Chamakh even scored a goal, but it was ruled out because the ref tought it was a foul. Actually it was a perfect goal, no offside or foul.

Arsenal had plenty of chances, but only one goal could be scored, by Robin van Persie. Bendtner recieved a good pass, but he was fouled, and the ball chipped by Robin van Persie. 1-2 for Arsenal, with only one minute remaining on normal time. Four minutes of injury time was not enough for Arsenal to equalize, and they suffered second home defeat this season.

In fact, Arsenal didn't play badly, especially in second half, they controlled the game, almost a one-way game for "the gunners", they only lacking of finishing in the final third, they had 24 shots. They also were unlucky not to be given penalty in the first half, plus one hit the post shot. Well, that's the positive thing in this defeat

Sunday, May 8, 2011

See you next season

Arsenal mathematically lost hope to win this year Premier League after losing 1-3 against Stoke City in Brittania

Ramsey in action against Stoke (photos from

Again, another bad defending by Arsenal defenders. And as usual, Arsenal had most ball during the match without effectively using it, and Arsenal were 0-2 down on the first half.

Robin van Persie just gave Arsenal hope by scoring a goal, making the scoreline 1-2. But Arsenal conceded again.. 1-3, and the game ended.

Another bad defending, another defeat, and another trophy-less season.. What an irony

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What could have been happened if Arsenal hadn't lost in Final of Carling Cup

If you want it all, you will lose it all
Arsenal's supporters must have realized the meaning of that phrase.

Arsenal was in position to win quardruple this season, just before the Carling Cup final. They was already in final of Carling Cup, only Birmingham to be beaten in the final. They already had the good position, leading 2-1 against Barcelona on the second round of Champions League, they were still playing in FA Cup, plus 2nd position in Premier League, with some points from Manchester United but easier fixtures remaining.

But Arsenal surprisingly lost 1-2 against Birmingham. And since then everything went wrong. Losing 1-3 from Barcelona, to be knocked out from Champions League; 0-2 defeat against Manchester United; plus many bad results in Premier League, earning 0-0 draw against Sunderland and Blackburn, 1-1 vs Liverpool after leading on 95th minutes, 4-4 vs Spurs after leading 4-1, and even losing 1-2 against Bolton. They only got one victory from Blackpool. In the fixtures they should've earned 18 points, they only got 7 points, and now the EPL title is gone away.

They still lack of maturity

What could be concluded? Arsenal is still lacking of maturity. They do not know how to react after a defeat. They simply lose confidence after lost against Birmingham. And even Man. Utd had a poor form, Arsenal had a worse form, so Man. Utd stays in the top.

What could have been happened if Arsenal hadn't lost in Final of Carling Cup? Arsenal might have been in the top of the table, or they might have sealed the title now. They might be the only who will fight against Real Madrid in the UCL, or maybe they are the one who will face Stoke City in the FA Cup final. Yeah, if only they hadn't lost in the Final of Carling Cup

Nice Win, but it's all too late

Arsenal hit Manchester United 1-0 by Aaron Ramsey's goal.

Ramsey scored against Man. United (photos from FIFA.COM)

It was probably Arsenal's best performance since they beat Barcelona 2-1. Even without Cesc Fabregas, Arsenal was dominating the game, defending well, even in the final 20 minutes they were always under pressure. They controlled the game well, giving constant pressure and created several good chances, even they failed to scored on the first half. It was just about time before they could score. They should've got a penalty when Nemanja Vidic handballed Walcott's cross, but the referee only gave Arsenal a corner kick.

Aaron Ramsey scored his first goal since his comeback, and proved his quality. His composure, placing the ball to the far post, showing his maturity. Arsenal continued their pressure and almost added some goals, but they didn't. Last 20 minutes, it was Arsenal's defence to be tested. Szczesny put couples of good saves, while Koscielny, Djourou, and Squillaci shows their strength on defence.

Arsenal reduced their gap with Manchester United, now 3 points from Chelsea and 6 points away from the top of the table, but with only 3 games remaining, it's only a miracle which could make Arsenal lift the EPL trophy this season

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Second El Classico Review

It is number two from five El Classico this season. Barca was the happier side on the first El Classico, thrashing Madrid with 5 goals without conceding any. Madrid didn't want to repeat the same mistake by playing, so they started the game with three defensive midfielder, benching Mezut Oezil, playing centre-back Pepe on the defensive midfielder role. Both teams started the game carefully, didn't want to concede any early goal.

Barca took the control on the beginning of twenty five minutes, but hardly created any good chance. However, in later minutes, Madrid had more chances scoring goal as they had more corner. Cristiano Ronaldo's header just over the bar. While Sergio Ramos' close range header was just cleared off the line by Adriano Correira. Barca also had couple chances, but Iker Casillas was ready to save it. Barca should have got a penalty after Casillas brought David Villa on the penalty area, but the referee only gave Real Madrid a goal kick.

First half ended with 0-0.

On second half, Madrid was the one who had chance to score earlier, Cristiano Ronaldo's freekick just hit the post. But, few minutes later, it was Barcelona who took the lead. Raul Albiol unperfectly controlled the ball, then David Villa stealed it, and Albiol fouled him. The referee gave Albiol an early bath, as well as penalty for Barcelona. Lionel Messi succesfully converted it, 0-1 for Barcelona. It was the first goal for Lionel Messi scored against the team managed by Jose Mourinho.

Madrid replaced Xabi Alonso with Mezut Oezil to add some attacking force. Adebayor is also brought in. Both players had good influence on the pitch, and should have played from the beginning

Both teams had plenty of chances to add some goal. David Villa got easy chance, but his shot was easily handled by Casillas. Xavi also had a chance from a shot outside the penalty area, but it just over the bar. On the other side, Sami Khedira's shot saved by Valdes, and Pepe's clear chance was just wide.

With only few minutes remaining, Real Madrid got penalty after Marcelo brought down by another Brazilian, Daniel Alves. Alves, who had recieved a yellow card before, luckily wasn't given the second yellow card. Cristiano Ronaldo succesfully converted it and breaked his bad record against Barcelona, never scoring against Barca before.

On the remaining time, both teams failed to score despite many scoring chances. With this draw result, Barcelona remained 8 points ahead of Real Madrid, and heading to another La Liga crown this season

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A night to remember..

Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1
It's the final scoreline on Emirates Stadium, February 16th 2011, when Arsenal meets Barcelona. Arsenal overcame a 0-1 deficit, to win 2-1. Barcelona themself didn't play poorly, they even played well, but Arsenal's outstanding play made them lost.

First half was Barcelona's, they controlled the game well, even Arsenal was dominant in the first 10 minutes. Barca kept the possesion well, distributed, and could score a goal, from David Villa, by Lionel Messi's assist. They almost scored the second, but Szczesny keep the scoreline 0-1.

Second half, and Arsenal played differently. They dominated the game, being sharper than the first 45 minutes. Wenger played Arshavin to replace Alex Song, which is a gamble. They played without any defensive midfield, but they needed to change situation, as they were behind. It was a very risky decision. Barca could've scored another goal, if they had succesfully exploited Arsenal's offensive formation.
After few chances, their work finally paid off, although more than 30 minutes is needed, when Gael Clichy chipped the ball through Barca's defence, and Van Persie smashed the ball into the net, when Victor Valdes slightly out of his position. 1-1. And sice that goal, momentum winds blows for Arsenal. 5 minutes later, Arsenal fast counter attack from Samir Nasri brilliantly finished by supersub Andrey Arshavin.

Barca was awaken from their sleep, and they tried to equalize, but 7 minutes plus 2 minutes of injury time was not enough to score a goal. So the final score, Arsenal 2 Barcelona 1

Arsenal showed that they CAN beat Barca without playing naive, defensive. They still play with their original style, and more importantly still winning. It is a match to remember, as both teams showed passing ability, techniques, and also beautiful football. And it's a night to remember for the Gooners, as they beat what everyone considers as the best football club in this universe! Next leg will be held on Camp Nou, and Arsenal holding a one goal lead, but there's still 90 minutes to play. Everything still could hapeen, so Arsenal shouldn't been complacent by this aggregate.

Just hope for another great game in the second leg..!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Bad Game, but Still Win

Arsenal scraped 2-1 victory over Huddersfield town, but it's not something arsenal should have been proud of. It was clearly a bad game, Arsenal was under constant threat from Huddersfield Town, and if Huddersfield had had more luck, Arsenal would've been easily suffered their third home defeat this season.

Arsenal which rested Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie didn't have their best first half, even they lead 1-0 by Bendtner's deflected goal. Huddersfield had some chances to equalize, which fortunately they failed to do any shot on goal. Huddersfield could got a penalty if the referee had seen Kieran Gibbs handballed in penalty area. Arsenal even had to play with ten men after newly-back-from-injury Sebastian Squillaci did a professional foul on 40th minutes. Any other bad news is Samir Nasri, the captain in this match, got an injury, and has to be replaced by Tomas Rosicky

Second half was Huddersfield's until they continuously threatened Manuel Almunia's goal, and they could equalize from Alan Lee's header from corner kick. Shocked, Arsene Wenger introduced the captain Cesc Fabregas to replace Abou Diaby. Arsenal started to dominating the game again. Finally, Nicklas Bendtner is brought down, and Arsenal got the penalty, which succesfully converted by the substitute Cesc. 2-1 for Arsenal. Huddersfield tried to find an equalizer but the score remained 2-1. Arsenal are through to next round..