Category Archives: santi cazorla

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!

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!

Arsenal suffer embarrassing defeat to Stoke City

Arsenal Community Shield

Well, well, well. On the back of three straight wins, you kind of felt that we might be heading into a rich spell of form; but then Arsene Wenger’s not so mighty Arsenal slumped to a 3-2 defeat to Stoke City, in the most embarrassing of ways. After slipping to a 3-0 deficit before the half time whistle, we had to go all in for the second half. Aaron Ramsey and Santi Cazorla both grabbed goals but ultimately it wasn’t enough for us.
What’s most frustrating is that it’s clearly obvious we were missing Laurent Koscielny at the back. We don’t have a backup defender and the January transfer window is too late, we should have had backup for Vermaelen a long time ago. Also, the midfield does not have a solid defensive asset. Mathieu Flamini is done at the highest level. We need a better player than him.
I don’t like to say this, but it looks as if our chances of Champions League success are still on, but it’s not enough for us. We should be growing on the success of the FA Cup victory last season and building on it.
All that matters now is that we’ve got another game against Hull City in the FA Cup, that’s definitely one we can win again and we’ll be happy it’s a home draw. After that, we need to start reversing our dismal league form.
Tomorrow we take on Galatasaray in the Champions League. Arsene must use this chance to play his reserves as our squad is very short. I am curious to see what kind of team Wenger puts out, especially as we all know the benefit of a victory in the CL group stage, another 1 million pounds in the bank. So what is it Arsene, money over another injury crisis? We’ve all seen this before. After we take on Gala, we play Newcastle at home, a game we need to be winning. Arsenal have a decent record against the Toon Army at home and I fully expect for that to continue there.
For now, we’ve got to bounce back before it’s too late.

Lack of preparation undoes Arsenal; Chelsea win 2-0

Gibbs Ivanovic

Arsenal¬†yesterday slumped to a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea, to keep up Jose Mourinho’s impeccable run against Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman has still yet to win a game against a Mourinho side.

What was most disappointing about yesterday’s game, was the fact that when we had the ball, we seemed to just get lost in midfield everytime. Jack Wilshere was decent, but Ozil was weak and seemed to be confused as to how to play in this Arsenal side. Cazorla was equally as bad and I’m not sure why Wenger continues to play Ozil on the flank, in a less than favourite position.¬†Fair enough, Chelsea were playing well at the back, to their credit. But Arsenal were toothless in attack. Welbeck lost the ball far too often, but I do not blame him; he barely had anyone around him supporting.

At the back, I thought we did OK. The goals to concede were both disappointing, of course, but I thought Calum Chambers put in an assured performance and Koscielny and Mertesacker still played pretty well together. Gibbs did make some OK runs forward, but everytime he was tracked by the impressive Ivanovic.

So what to make out of this mess? Well it’s still clearly obvious Arsene Wenger isn’t getting something right. I heard rumours that every other top team is now using top of the range technology to analyse games and Arsenal still do this stuff manually. That’s just ridiculous in my opinion. If we need to copy what the best are doing to win games, we just need to do it. Let’s get the people in to monitor and analyse performances.

Secondly, Wenger’s playing people out of position. When Cazorla came to Arsenal I thought he was a winger, and when Ozil came I thought he was a central midfielder. Why are we playing them both in each other’s positions? Similarly in the case of Chambers, why has he had a spell playing at centre back; we should have just played him in his preferred full back position. By the way, he’s had a call up to England to replace Stones, well done to him.

So, now we have a bit of a better run of games. Hull City at home next which is a good chance to fight back. We might be 9 points off the pace but it’s a long season and I’m still sure we can make something out of the 2014/15 title race.

 

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!

FA Cup winners 2014 – come on you Gooners

FA Cup Winners 2014

So, that’s the end to another long and hard season. What a wonderful finish it was indeed – and our 9 year long spell without a trophy ends.

The game itself was a cracker and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one shitting themselves after Hull went 2-0 up after just 10 minutes. It was the same kind of goal that has haunted us for many years, but not so much this season. A ball in from a corner or free kick and one of the centre backs getting a head on it. We seemed to have got that out of our game over the past few seasons but in the FA Cup final of all games, it came back to haunt us.

What came next was a rapid fire response from Santi Cazorla. He’s been a crucial player for us over the past two seasons and he proved it yet again with a stunning free kick from range to put us back in the game in the 21st minute. From there onwards, Hull were never able to really get back into the tie.

The 71st minute then saw us find our equaliser, as Laurent Koscielny got himself in the right place at the right time to spank the ball home past McGregor in the Hull goal. Game on.

Kieran Gibbs missed an absolute pearl of a chance as he hoofed the ball over the bar in the 87th with the goal at his mercy… finally the game ended and went into extra time.

From there, we finally found the winner as our hero of the season, Aaron Ramsey, scored the winner with the outside of his boot. Our barren run would be over!

What a season it’s been.. now we must grow on this success. We need to improve the playing squad and find talent that is capable of building on this victory. As Lukas Podolski said, the monkey is off the back now.

Penalty win over Wigan takes us to FA Cup final

Lukas Fabianski

Arsenal fans will breathe a sigh of relief after Wigan very nearly dumped us out of the FA Cup last night in the semi-final… my word how close it was.

The normally steady Per Mertesacker tripped down Callum McManaman in the Arsenal box after 57 minutes and then Spaniard Jordi Gomez stepped up to fire home. Surely not… Wigan on course to celebrate a second final two years running… it looked like it was going to happen.

Arsenal were fired up for it and knew that this would be the best chance of major silverware in 10 years and finally, Mertesacker redeemed himself in the 82nd minute as he headed up an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike.

With extra time beckoning, Arsene Wenger looked very concerned on the touchline. After 30 rough and tiring minutes, the Gunners then knew a penalty shoot out would be on the way. We normally and surprisingly have a decent run in shoot outs and that would continue as the massive Lukas Fabianski saved two spot kicks and Santi Cazorla fired home the winning penalty.

Now we must get our focus back onto the league to ensure that we can indeed retain the all important Champions League football that has governed Arsene Wenger’s tenure over the past ten odd years. We also now take a massive step closer to silverware for the first time in ten years. Onward and upward, here we go Gooners, we’re on our way to Wembley!

SW

Does Man City draw end Arsenal title hopes?

Gael Clichy Tomas Rosicky

Morning Gooners – hope everyone’s having a pleasant weekend.

I’ll jump straight into the weekend’s events at Arsenal. On the back of Chelsea dropping points to Crystal Palace and ahead of a crucial showdown with Man City our hopes of catching up in the title race were well and truly on going into the game. Arsene Wenger put out a pretty solid side of which I think many were happy to see Mathieu Flamini retain his place in the side. Excluding him from the Chelsea drubbing was suicidal in the first place so the Frenchman getting a full game was nice to see.

Into the first ten minutes, City looked dominant. Nice free flowing passing and Yaya Toure was at the centre of most of their good play (I still can’t believe we missed out on the burly Ivorian!). From there on, I think Arsenal controlled most of the game. Of course, City would take the lead through David Silva having had a bit of luck after Edin Dzeko hit the post and the ball rolled out to David Silva. cue alarm bells and a thought back to last week’s 6-0 defeat – very concerning.

However, Arsenal fought back with real guile and really made an impression. Most of the day’s good play started through Santi Cazorla, who has really come in for some stick of late. Him and Flamini battled hard in the midfield. Mikel Arteta was a bit disappointing, on a few occasions he was caught out in possession and his pass was a bit wayward, we have to assess whether or not he is the right player to keep as our holding midfielder next season.

Finally, in the second half, Mathieu Flamini scored a delightful goal to set the scores up at 1-1. We were really going for it and looked impressive as we moved into the last ten. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get a Wenger. Arsene looked very disappointed on the touchline, and rightly so. I reckon this could be our title ambitions dead in the water. Liverpool will play Tottenham later today and you have to fancy the Reds to pick up 3 points against a pretty poor Tim Sherwood side.

For us, it’s to the drawing board. Will Wenger sign a new contract on the back of 2 points out of a possible 9? The FA Cup is looking increasingly more important… we have to just wait and see…