Category Archives: olivier giroud

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!

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.

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!

Olivier Giroud injury means Arsenal must buy forward

Olivier Giroud

It’s a story you get used to as an Arsenal fan. Your only recognised out and out first choice striker comes off the bench, scores an all important goal and then sustains an injury. In this case, Olivier Giroud’s injury leaves him out of action until December and comes at a critical time. Having just edged our way past Besiktas in the Champions League last night, it was painfully obvious that the Gunners need to sign a striker before the transfer window closes on August 31st. However, Arsene Wenger seems to be happy with his current selection of forwards. This is where we could be undone this season.

Yaya Sanogo, bless him, he’s got a lot of potential but he looks uncomfortable out on the pitch and with the ball at his feet at the best of times. I’ve no idea how he bagged a hat-trick in that pre-season friendly.

Joel Campbell appears to be a good option for us in the years to come but clearly Arsene Wenger isn’t convinced by his talents yet. No idea why that might be, in the World Cup, Campbell looked absolutely class. It also appears obvious to me that Wenger sees Campbell as more of a winger as opposed to a striker.

Then of course we have Lukas Podolski, who I think very nearly joined another club yesterday but Giroud’s injury means he’ll stay until January. Again, he’s not the right man to play as a lone striker.

We also have the Alexis Sanchez option, but he’s no out and out striker.

What does this all mean? We need to spend money to bring in a forward before the transfer window shuts. If we don’t, we’re missing that extra talent needed to win a Premier League title. We need to be ambitious – we need to stay in the Champions League and push for that competition as well.

This is a huge moment for Arsene Wenger. He’s finally opened his cheque book in recent summers but Arsenal fans want to see him spend even more. This is the time where he should be looking to bring in someone, anyone.

How about Fernando Torres? He wont get a game at Chelsea and is ready to leave on loan. Sign him up.

What about Fabio Borini? He did an OK job at Sunderland and seems to be lingering around at Liverpool, grab him on a loan deal until January.

There’s options out there, but will Wenger take them? We just have to wait and see.

Riproaring Gunners celebrate Community Shield success

Arsenal Community Shield

I was wondering whether or not Arsenal would continue to show the progress made at the end of last season and follow on with a win in the Community Shield and to be honest, I was skeptical, but yesterday’s brilliant 3-0 win over Manchester City could be the boost we need to show we can win a Premier League title.

Goals from Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey and a stunning Olivier Giroud effort ensured we won the trophy.

We were excellent yesterday. Efficient all over the park. Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are beginning to become one of Arsenal’s best ever central midfield duo and if they can keep up the performances shown in yesterday’s game, we can win the league with these two as our midfielders alongside Mesut Ozil.

I was impressed with the defence as well. Calum Chambers looks to be a steal and capable of playing in central defence despite being a full back (strange move I thought at first but well done Arsene), while Alexis Sanchez at times showed why he is going to be a great asset for us. He’s World Class. He needs to be on the ball at all times because this guy can run at any defender. Can you imagine Sanchez against John Terry next season? I love the idea of seeing Terry on his arse!

So, it’s an important victory for us. Not because the trophy is really that important, but more because it is a blow to City’s preparations and a boost to ours. We now need to prepare for the first game against Crystal Palace now and I look forward to seeing who Arsene Wenger starts in that game!

Come on you gunners!

Rampant Arsenal take down Sunderland

Per Mertesacker Laurent Koscielny

A convincing display by Arsenal ensured that we stay near the top of the table and continue our good form and stay in touch with league leaders Chelsea. Apart from our win, Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd and Liverpool all picked up wins, with only Tottenham dropping points in a 1-0 defeat to Norwich. For bragging rights, that feels pretty good, but in terms of the title chase it really is still going down to the wire with just 11 games remaining.

So I read yesterday that we have another international game coming up for England, with a game against Denmark on the radar. It’s such a frustrating time for an international game as the focus should remain on domestic as opposed to pointless national side games.

In terms of the Sunderland game, overall, a pretty good performance. Giroud grabbed a brace whilst Koscielny and Rosicky also scored. Despite winning 4-1, you can’t help but feel the Black Cats have one eye on their upcoming League Cup final with Chelsea and so didn’t put on the most ferocious of displays. Despite that, I thought we were pretty good. Dynamic and up for the challenge all over the park. Giaccherini grabbed a late consolation and so we did not get the clean sheet unfortunately. For me, Rosicky was the man of the match. He was all over the park and getting stuck in. I think he has to play against Bayern if we are to have any chance of qualification. Mesut Ozil was left out and I think that would do him some good. He is under immense pressure and struggling for form; it’s better to leave him to get his head together and come back to his best.

Up next on the 1st of March is a tricky away visit to Stoke City, so I’m sure Arsene will be getting his boys ready for that crucial tie.

Have a good week!

Mesut Ozil takes the blame as Gunners slump to 2-0 Bayern defeat

Mesut Ozil

Arsenal were, quite frankly, beaten by a much better team last night. Much will be said at the end of this campaign about how we had so much potential and opportunity to lift some big silverware this year, but one trophy that we will almost certainly not have a chance winning now is the Champions League after a 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich last night.

The Gunners were pretty disappointing on the whole. Whilst the referee did us no favours sending off Szcz for a debatable challenge in the box, then giving Bayern a penalty as well, we still looked off the ball and really lacked the final impetus in the final third.

What really hurt the most though, was the performance of record signing Mesut Ozil. Something’s not quite right with the German since the end of December and it is starting to show. He was brought down in the box and then stepped up to take the penalty and with that shot he pumped it straight at German keeper Manuel Neuer. One of the most disappointing penalties I have seen for some time – but regardless of that we need to get behind the German because there is no doubt he is a massive talent.

We move on to a game against Sunderland this weekend which is an absolute must win if we want to stay in the title race. I have a sneaky feeling we will be getting 3 points out of it but Gus Poyet is doing a tremendous job with the Black Cats so we need to be at our best.

Yaya Sanogo seems to be pushing for a first team spot at the moment, I actually liked his performance against Bayern – I suggest keep him there for a bit and give Olivier Giroud an extended spell on the bench.

That’s all for now. Have a good day Gooners.

Onward we march – Arsenal prepare for tricky Everton tie

Roberto Martinez Arsene Wenger

It’s the weekend and that can only be one thing, time for the Arsenal! Having beaten Hull City in midweek (courtesy of a very rare Nicklas Bendtner goal and a stunning Mesut Ozil performance), we’re four points clear at the top of the league and all is looking very rosy. Next up is the visit of Everton to the Emirates. The Toffees are in pretty good form right now, having just beaten Manchester United at Old Trafford for the first time in 21 years. I have to say, one of the most amazing stories coming out of that tale is the fact that David Moyes never managed to achieve that and Roberto Martinez did it on his first effort. I really like Martinez, he seems to have tactical wisdom whilst also focusing on good quality football. Should the day come that Arsene Wenger decides to step down, Martinez would be a quality addition. This weekend’s game should see the return of Olivier Giroud back into the first team and I think you might even see Theo Walcott make his first start since returning from injury. Mesut Ozil will need a rest soon and I challenge Wenger to give him the first 60 minutes on the bench. Will be very interesting to see how we line up. If we do win, we should keep our four point lead ahead of Chelsea at the top of the league. Chelsea have a pretty tricky looking visit to Stoke City on Saturday, I wouldn’t expect there to be too many goals in that game, so fingers crossed the likes of Robert Huth and Scowcross can do us a favour and keep a cleansheet. City travel to Southampton and I wouldn’t expect Pellegrini’s side to drop points there, Southampton’s early season form appears to be waning and Victor Wanyama also is out of this game.

I’d like to see Ozil rested, Walcott playing alongside Giroud up front and in the middle, Ramsey, Wilshere, Rosicky, Cazorla and Arteta. The rest given to Sagna and Gibbs should mean they are called up to the squad as well.

Elsewhere, it appears that Arsene Wenger has been offered a new three year deal and that he is very close to accepting it. Fingers crossed on this one. I’ve been worried that Arsene has been delaying for far too long to put pen to paper but it appears he’s been persuaded to stay by the board and his focus on signing young players and watching them grow up appears to be the catalyst for keeping him at the club. With a new deal for Wenger, you have to always be thinking ahead for the next few years and what might be possible with this cracking set of young players. He’s had his ups and downs, but he actually might well be on the verge of something special this season.

Also, the World Cup draw has been completed – another farce from FIFA as always. How on earth is Switzerland seeded?! In one group you have the mighty Greeks, Japan, Colombia and the Ivory Coast; in another, Germany, Portugal, USA and Ghana. This to me is an absolute farce. What is the point of having seeding if the same old boys are the ones deciding who gets seeded? Any chance that the fact FIFA are based in Switzerland has anything to do with it? Or the fact that Mr. Blatter is Swiss?! Regardless, England have been drawn Costa Rica, Italy and Uruguay. That is a tough group. But as many have already said, to be the best you need to beat the best. Oh well, we’re not the best – so at least we won’t have to face the agony of another penalty shoot out.

Anyway, that’s all from the Sensei for now – enjoy the game and come on you rip roaring Gooners!!!!

Mesut Ozil to take a rest vs. England, The Ox has injury setback?

THE OX

Happy Mondays guys

So not much of note this morning to talk about, but Mesut Ozil has been told he will be rested for the game against England. This is good news for Arsenal indeed, and Joachim Loew has laughed off speculation that he is not taking this game seriously because he’s fielding reserves. Who gives a monkeys? If Ozil is rested this is good news for our championship push as the player hasn’t had enough rest since joining us.

In other news, Theo Walcott is all set to make his long awaited return to the first team against his former club Southampton at the weekend. That means we could even decide to rest Giroud, depending on how long he plays against Ukraine this week. I know everyone wants Arsenal to sign a new striker but I don’t think we need to. We’ve got Walcott who wants to play more as an out and out striker and Podolski can do a job as a backup for Giroud. We don’t need to sign a striker even though it would be very nice to have.

In other news, it appears Alex Oxlade Chamberlain has had a major setback in his recovery from injury. That’s truly bad news and it seems that he won’t be back in the first team until New Year at the very earliest. The England international will be eager to get back up and playing against top opposition, especially with the World Cup coming up.

With Laurent Koscielny suspended for the France-Ukraine game, that’s a nice bit of news for Arsenal fans as well. He will need a break too.

So our major concerns will be Per Mertesacker, who is likely to play some part in the game against England, whilst Olivier Giroud has to be our biggest concern. He has been absolutely knackered in the games I’ve seen him this year and you have to wonder if France slump out of the qualifiers how that will make a difference to the striker mentally.

Fingers crossed he doesn’t play and they decide to play Karim Benzema instead. I was very surprised with Deschamps’ choice of players against Ukraine anyway and they will need all the goals they can get, so it might even work for them to play both Benzema and Giroud. Regardless of what happens, let’s hope he doesn’t get an injury too… we’ve so far escaped relatively unscathed.

Until tomorrow!
The Sensei