Liverpool next – can Arsenal show their form?

Arsenal Palace

After a hard fought 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, now it is time for Arsenal to take on Liverpool this weekend. With two wins out of two, Brendan Rodgers’ team look good value for a top four spot this year. Benteke is proving to be dangerous and continues to prove why he is one of Europe’s best strikers. On the other hand, Arsenal’s defence has been weak so far this season despite the sterling efforts of Laurent Koscielny against Palace last week. If we are to reproduce the success of last season against Liverpool, we are going to need to be powerful going forward and strong at the back.

There’s not much news on the transfer market so far, you have to feel that with the signing of Petr Cech, Arsenal are pretty happy with their current squad of players. Arsene Wenger had been expected to spend big this season but with Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil expected to do big things this year, you feel our boss won’t be spending much left for the remainder of the window, which finishes at the end of August.

The Telegraph says that we’ve had a bid for Karim Benzema accepted by Real Madrid, but I hear that there’s no truth in the rumours and Arsene has given up on his fellow countryman.

Meanwhile, Joel Campbell had been set for a move to Palermo, but it appears Arsene Wenger is looking for at least 7 million euros before he sells the Costa Rican striker.

That’s all for now, have a good one!

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All good things must come to an end…

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Arsenal were playing the same squad for the longest consecutive period of games in a row since 1994 and slumped to their first defeat in 11 league games. All good things must indeed come to an end.

What has been most refreshing about Arsenal’s recent upturn in form is the way that Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have finally established a starting 11 that can push us on to title success next season.
Chelsea, are of course the Champions, and it is now possible that we don’t finish second. But it has been a great second half of the season for us regardless.

The Gunners have allowed the trio of David Ospina, Francis Coquelin and Hector Bellerin to rescue our season and it has paid off handsomely. We’re heading to the FA Cup Final and although yesterday’s defeat to Swansea City leaves a bitter taste in the mouth, we’ve a lot to look forward to for 2015/16.

In terms of the game itself, Arsenal were of course dominant throughout but Swansea City and their manager Garry Monk outsmarted us. That six man midfield proved a problem for us for the entire evening. I indeed hope that Tim Sherwood doesn’t learn anything from that performance by the Swans.

Arsenal need to now regroup and finish on the best possible note for the last two league games of the season. Wenger will need to rotate to keep his freshest legs fresh for the FA Cup Final.

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FA Cup Final

Theo Walcott

Aston Villa at Wembley in the FA Cup Final. It really couldn’t have gone much better for us this year in the FA Cup. Since we’ve beaten Manchester United, our league form has picked up and we then got a bit of luck against Reading (even though we hit the post three times!) and now Villa awaits at Wembley.

For us to win the FA Cup two years in a row would be a major achievement for Arsene Wenger. It would also mean that Arsenal have won more FA Cup’s than any other team in English football history, with 12, 1 better than Man Utd on 11.

Chelsea have had the luck of the Irish in recent weeks, with them picking up 6 points in two games having only had two shots on goal in their previous two games. I think it is fair to say they have probably won the league, but we can certainly scare them a bit with our next Premier League game if we can get a win at the Emirates. It’s time for Arsene Wenger to show he has crafted a team that is capable of beating Chelsea and put us in a good position for next season.

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Arsenal into the FA Cup semi with win over MUFC

Welbeck FA Cup

What a win that was. Arsenal have struggled to show their very best on visits to Old Trafford in recent years, but that all changed after a stunning 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Monday night.
We put out a strong looking team, as did United, but on the day we were considerably better. Arsene Wenger elected to play Danny Welbeck ahead of Olivier Giroud, with the England international taking on his former club, what a masterstroke that was. Welbeck ended up scoring the winning goal as well, I love the way that he celebrated after that went in; he’s fast becoming a favourite player for me. Nacho Monreal scored the opening goal for us before Wayne Rooney pulled a goal back. I have to say that the refereeing performance was one of the best I have seen in recent seasons. Under pressure he made the right decision time and time again, bravo to that man.
So now we head into the FA Cup semi final draw and it’s going to be against either Bradford City or Reading. A very favourable draw indeed, considering Blackburn and Liverpool are still to play off, so Brendan Rodgers’ team could still make it through into the next round.
For us, it’s West Ham in the league next. That’ll be another big three points if we can win – especially as it is at home and we’re really starting to show our good form now. We’re on our way to Wembley. Let’s keep it up!

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Gunners scrape past Palace

ArsenalPalace

That was close. We really are making a habit of not closing off games at the end and Arsene needs to sort this out before some major upcoming games. Luckily, we did control most of the game and got two goals courtesy of a Santi penalty and a Giroud finish. However, Murray pulled a goal back towards the end and then Palace almost grabbed a point after they hit the post in the last minute.
Overall, the performance as good enough. Ozil looked decent in the middle yet again. Koscielny performed well at the back. Giroud is on form. Welbeck continues to struggle for goals but has shown he will be a useful player for the future.
Now all effort must go into preparations for the Monaco game in the Champions League. We struck gold with the draw for this competition but the French side are having a bit of good form these days.
Elsewhere, results did go our way a bit this week. Tottenham slipped up to West Ham, Man Utd to Swansea City, Chelsea to Burnley. Can’t ask for more than that. We’re well in the race for the top four and we just need to keep this good form up for the last 12 games.

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No Sanchez, no problem

Hector Bellerin

On the stream that I watched from FOX news last night, one of the pundits suggested that Aston Villa might get a result out of this game; this from a team who hasn’t scored a goal in 9 and a half hours.
The result was indeed just what we needed, with Arsenal winning 5-0 against a very poor Aston Villa team. Olivier Giroud opened the scoring with a neat chip over Brad Guzan having ran on to a stunning through ball from Mesut Ozil. The German himself then made it 2-0 with a little pearler in at the far post. Further goals from Santi Cazorla from the penalty spot, Theo Walcott with a Thierry-Henry-esque finish and then a late one for the impressive Hector Bellerin.
What I liked most about the team yesterday is that Giroud looked comfortable in front of goal, Ozil looks like the player that we forked out all that money for, Bellerin is clearly better than Chambers at full back and we need to consider putting Chambers more centrally for the future and that Coquelin is just what we need in at defensive midfield. Overall, it was a brilliant performance.
The transfer window comes to an end today and Arsene Wenger admits it is likely his business is done already. Gabriel Paulista didn’t get a start yesterday and didn’t come off the bench and it is likely he won’t play against Tottenham in next weekend’s game either, unless we’re looking to protect a lead.
What does this all mean? Well, Chelsea have decided to move for Cuadrado as a replacement for Schurrle and Salah, which is a good bit of business. Man United are probably going to be in the market for someone and Liverpool could sell Lambert now that Sturridge is back from injury. Expect the transfer deadline day to mainly involve the bottom of the table clubs today (and that includes Tottenham).
Who, speaking of which, are our next opponents on February 2nd at White Hart Lane. I am looking forward to this North London derby just because our form is coming through at the right time. We’re looking strong all over the park and I think we have found a line up which can do serious problems to most top teams. We’ve got Monaco this month in the Champions League and I fancy us to get a win against them. We’ve got a nice game against Boro at home in the FA Cup. We’re only 11 points off the pace in the Premier League. Dare I say it, we’re looking quite good at the moment?
That’s all for now!

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Next up Aston Villa, Sanchez out

Theo Walcott

Morning everyone,
The transfer window will head into its final crazy few days and it appears that Arsenal are finished with their business. That’s not stopped the press from linking us with 238 defensive midfielders, but I am sure we are done for this month.
Gabriel Paulista is a good signing for us and Arsene Wenger has claimed that Paulista ticked all the right boxes and also hinted that the Gunners statisticians spotted Paulista before he did. Bielik probably isn’t one for the first team for some time, but it is good to see us already thinking about the future with that one.
If I were to predict who will be busiest over the next couple of days, it is Hull, Tottenham and probably United. Chelsea will sign Cuadrado and probably sell either Schurrle or Salah. Liverpool also desperately need a forward but the returning Sturridge will ease the burden.
In to our next game, today at Aston Villa, it’s likely Ozil will start and Walcott might also get a chance. Alexis Sanchez is missing with a hamstring injury and Paulista could also make an appearance, depending on the score at the end of the game.
I can see us getting a big win this afternoon and as I said before, we’re on a good run which I see us going all the way to the end of the season with. Was good to see City and Chelsea drop points yesterday as well.
Enjoy the game and see you in the comments!

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Arsenal victory over Man City the start of a revolution?

Coquelin

I had a funny feeling we would get something out of the Man City game, but I didn’t expect us to ever play quite that well. For me, Santi Cazorla was out of this world, but the real difference was made by Francis Coquelin. What a reversal of fortunes for him. One minute you’re out on loan at Charlton Athletic, the next you’re putting in a match winning performance against the champions of England. I really hope he keeps this form up. I can’t see him being dislodged from the first team until the end of the campaign now. I heard that Flamini and Diaby are free to leave the Emirates and I think the emergence of Coquelin ensures that.

Next up we have a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup. I think this is a tricky game for us. It’s imperative that we keep up our good form in the cup competitions but I expect to see Walcott, Flamini, Ozil and Campbell all get some playing time. We should beat them even with a rotated squad.

Elsewhere, we’ve signed our first player of the January transfer window, that Bielik chap from Poland – I don’t know anything about him but I think it’s a typical Wenger addition. Young with bags of potential. Hopefully he can push for a first team place in the next couple of years.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy revelling in the victory!

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Alexis Sanchez does it again

alexis

Well, well, well! Morning Gooners, how was yesterday for you? I was really impressed by the way we played against Stoke City and none more so than the performance of Alexis Sanchez. He really is one special player. If you didn’t see the game yet, Sanchez made an assist for our first goal, for Laurent Koscielny, he then scored a wonder goal having beaten three defenders and tucking in the ball at the front post of Asmir Begovic, then finishing up with a free kick under the wall. The game could’ve easily been 8-0, not 3-0, but for the excellent shot stopping of Begovic. That’s one keeper I wish we’d have signed a few years back….

So, I said yesterday that I think our run and our season starts here. I truly believe that. Yes I know we have Man City coming up, but with the returning Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Mesut Ozil; we’ve got a decent squad to choose from. The downside of yesterday was yet another injury to Mathieu Debuchy. He’ll be out for a month or longer with dislocated shoulder. But to be honest, I think we have cover for him in Calum Chambers and Hector Bellerin. Who would I go for? Bellerin… of course. He looks the part and deserves playing time.

The other impressive performance from yesterday was that of Coquelin. Out of nowhere he’s come back to Arsenal after a few spells on loan and is now an important member of the first team. Just goes to show you….

Anyway, we now need to focus all of our efforts on a big win against Man City next weekend. I believe we can do it – do you?

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Stoke City game – the start of a special run?

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Morning folks,

Not much to report today, other than that we’re still in the race for a 17-year-old Polish midfielder and we’re rumoured to have made a bid for Edinson Cavani. Forgive me, but think our priorities are certainly wrong. We should be signing a defender and a defensive midfielder this January – none of the above.

However, I think this weekend’s Stoke City game will be the reverse of our poor form. I actually fancy us to go on to win or draw every game until the end of the season.

The return of Mesut Ozil is massive for us. I know he must be ramped up after missing three months of the season and eager to get back on the pitch.

Elsewhere, most are concerned about the fitness of our star man Alexis Sanchez. I have to agree that he needs a rest, but I don’t think the Stoke City game is the right place to rest the Chilean. Stoke City are tough opponents and we need Sanchez as Giroud’s missing due to suspension.

That’s all for now – let’s hope we get a good result this weekend
-Sensei

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