Category Archives: theo walcott

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!

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!

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?

Alexis Sanchez – fast becoming a hero at the Emirates

Alexis Sanchez

A hard fought 2-0 win over Sunderland last weekend was necessary to ensure a confidence boost for Arsenal. After scraping a 2-1 win over Anderlecht, we were lucky for three points there to almost certainly ensure qualification for the next round of the Champions League. We needed to get our league hopes back on track and thankfully the ever impressive Alexis Sanchez was on hand to grab two goals.
Sure, both were courtesy of suspect goalkeeping and defending, but who cares. You have to be class to fight for both of those goals and that’s exactly what the Chilean international did.

I was really happy to grab three points against Sunderland. Most importantly, we have a relatively nice few games ahead. We’ve got players returning from injury, most notably Aaron Ramsey and Theo Walcott. There’s lots to look forward to.

It was nice to see Chelsea also drop points in the last minute to Man Utd so that their lead at the top has been reduced.

We’ve got Burnley at home next. I hate these kinds of games, they’re always a potential banana skin. What we need to do is put out a very strong side and go into the game with confidence.

For now that’s all – good to be on track fellow Gooners!

Arise Sir Welbeck – Arsenal sign striker

dannywelbeck

Most fans would have thought that Arsene Wenger was up to his old parsimonious self on transfer deadline day when they heard that he was refereeing a charity game in Rome (which apparently the pope was playing in) but the Frenchman did us wrong again and left it until the very last minute to sign a replacement for the injured Olivier Giroud, bringing in Danny Welbeck for 16m.

What a great little bit of business that is for us. Not only have we nabbed one of the country’s best forwards, but we’ve tied a young player down for the next four to five years of his career. A Man United fan as a kid, he was never going to get a fair chance under Louis van Gaal and now he’s a Gooner. Welcome to Arsenal, Danny.

Elsewhere, we sold Ignasi Miquel to Norwich City for a fee of around 1 million, a good bit of business I think; and then Ryo Miyaichi joined FC Twente on loan until the end of the season. The Japanese winger hasn’t really got a chance forcing his way into Arsenal’s starting line up this year so it will be a nice bit of experience for him.

Falcao was the major talking point of the transfer window though, he joined Manchester United on a season long loan. Hull City were remarkably active, bringing in three good players in Hatem Ben Arfa, Mohamed Diame and Gaston Ramirez. Chelsea appear to have finished their business early though, Jose Mourinho was quiet on deadline day and left the others to do the panicking.

So now we have the international break but I am already excited about the league season after that. Welbeck will be an important player for us and it’s a great bit of business. What a fantastic young English squad we have now? Kieron Gibbs, Danny Welbeck, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere and Calum Chambers. Brilliant and sustainable.

Emirates Cup ends on sour note

Alexis Sanchez Arsenal

Hi everyone,

So the Emirates Cup is over and unfortunately we didn’t win, not that it is that important anyway. It would have been our first win in the cup in four years but a spirited performance from Monaco and some dodgy refereeing probably cost us a draw. Instead it was Radamel Falcao who scored the winning goal and Valencia went on to win the trophy. What we did learn from this tournament is the following things:

  • Calum Chambers could be playing as a centre back often this season
  • Aaron Ramsey is going to have an excellent season, he finished right where he left off
  • Joel Campbell is unlikely to be staying at Arsenal even though he’s quality – I really liked the way he linked up with Yaya Sanogo against Benfica
  • The players are some way off of full fitness, it will be a real test against Man City

Our next game takes us to the Community Shield at Wembley against Man City, which should be an interesting one. What we do know is that Bacary Sagna is playing for the opposition and I doubt there will be many negative feelings toward him, fair play to him for moving elsewhere after what he’s done. City are also probably a bit short on fitness having had so many players on international duty at the World Cup.

I really liked the look of Alexis Sanchez during the game against Monaco. He looked lively and ready to run with the ball, something Arsenal desperately need throughout the season. Someone who can go at the defence. Walcott can give it a go but for me he doesn’t have that little bit of skill to get past the last defender as much as Sanchez has.

Jack Wilshere was a bit off the pace as well – I know the guy gets a lot of stick for smoking and also for under performing, but this is a massive season for him. He needs to prove that he is a class act as Arsene Wenger has put so much faith in him.

In transfer rumours, there seems to be some noise from Portugal that we’re going to wrap up a deal for William Carvalho for 30 million euros. I will believe that when I see it. If we do get him, that could spell the end for Mikel Arteta (who has today been linked with a transfer to Athletic Bilbao as it goes)…

That’s all for now.

Final day victory for Gunners

MesutOzilNorwich

Well, what a season it’s been. Up and down that’s for sure… but I can’t help but feel most Arsenal fans will be thinking what could have been.

Arsene Wenger went out and spent big at the beginning of the season, at the last minute of course. Mesut Ozil was the player who came in for a big money fee. Initially, and for the first four months of the season, the German was first class. After January though, he looked to be tired and short of fitness. This, as has been in the past, was the story of Arsenal’s decade. A short squad, lacking the players needed to make a title challenge.

The first few months, in and around the Emirates, it felt like we supported a different team. The fans were more friendly, the atmosphere was buzzing; people felt like Arsenal could go on and win some trophies this season. We looked like we could do it and Wenger had finally got it right.

Then the injuries started coming, as they usually do. What we need to look at desperately is firstly our team of physios and also the training that Wenger is adopting. It seems to tire out our players and makes it easier for them to pick up injuries during the big games. Think about this, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was missing this year, Mesut Ozil for a lengthy spell, we lost Lukas Podolski for a while; Aaron Ramsey, Tomas Rosicky picked up an injury for a short time, Kieron Gibbs picked up his annual niggle too. There were many. Why does this happen to us at all important times of the season?

Into January, the injury to Theo Walcott against Tottenham was the final nail in the coffin. Even though we were top of the league then and flying high, we were short of pace on the flanks, all important in the modern game. Look at any other title chasing team, Liverpool have Raheem Sterling; Chelsea have Schurrle, Salah; Man City have David Silva and Jesus Navas. Arsenal did have Serge Gnabry on the bench, but he didn’t have a go, not really sure why Wenger didn’t put much faith in him. I expect to see Gnabry play a more important role at Arsenal next year. If he’s not guaranteed a chance, then please send him out on loan somewhere Arsene.

Then, everything went downhill into the last 10 games of the season. Psychologically, Arsenal took a battering with the 6-0 defeat against Chelsea. That’s when it was all over. We still continue to show that we can’t compete against the best top teams, that really does hurt. We need to change that if we’re going to compete next year, that means we need a class defensive midfielder, someone like Fernandinho; also a good replacement for Bacary Sagna. We also need to keep Lukas Podolski and think about bringing in yet another striker. We don’t have enough forwards to challenge for the title. I wonder if some of our promising wonderkid’s will have a go next season?

As for the final day for Arsenal, it was a victory and a comfortable one as well. Aaron Ramsey scored a wonderful goal, Marco van Basten-esque in fact. Then Carl Jenkinson also got on the scoresheet as well with an impressive goal. Finding some room in front of goal and spanking home in decent fashion. I wonder if he’ll be brought in to replace Bacary Sagna next year as a straight swap? So very ironic that his first goal for the club comes in Sagna’s last game…

So it’s on to the FA Cup Final against Hull City next week and then it’s job done and on to the World Cup for the majority of our players. We have had a brilliant little spell of form recently, it’s just a shame we couldn’t hold up against the top teams this season and it might’ve been different indeed.

We’ve also got the all important and expected contract signing of Mr. Wenger coming up soon. When will that be announced? How long will he sign for? Is he doing a Sir Alex and will he retire at the end of the season unannounced? Very unlikely, but it is peculiar that Arsene is keeping his cards close to his chest. I expect he’ll sign a two year contract and that he’ll not be spending much money at all this summer. He really doesn’t think he needs to. What he should be doing though is bringing in some experienced heads to join his coaching team. Dennis Bergkamp is doing a wonderful job at Ajax as Frank De Boer’s assistant, how about bringing him onto the coaching team? What about the medical team? Can we bring in some experience from a rival club there? How about the backroom team? In the age of big data, do we have quality people who are analysing our opponents? Can we add some knowledge here… I’m sure most of our rivals do.

Anyway, it’s a final day win and congratulations to Man City. To be honest, of all the teams at the top I was personally happier that City won the league… can you imagine if Liverpool won with that average squad? What about Jose Mourinho with his negatron tactics?

Let’s learn from this season, lift the FA Cup and spend big in the summer. It’s been a mixed season indeed… onward and upward.

Theo Walcott injury means Arsene must buy new striker

2-0 Theo Walcott

So, the good news is that Spurs and Man Utd are both out of the FA Cup. That obviously is a massive boost for Arsenal’s chances of winning the cup, leaving the other likely two as our biggest rivals for the cup (City and Chelsea).

The best part of the Arsenal – Tottenham game was the atmosphere. The fans are really coming together of late and being at the emirates at the game reminded me of years gone by when we’ve had successful campaigns. The fans are hugging and kissing each other and there’s a general positive vibe going around the stadium.

The bad news from the game was the injury to Theo Walcott, which will be a blow to our plans and England’s as well. He’s out for six months with a knee ligament issue, which means we need to really strongly consider a move into the transfer market. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, if we don’t buy a forward this is going to damage our chances of success on all fronts. I would love to see us sign Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa, and with a reported 40m release clause, that’s not a bad bit of business. On the other hand, if we can’t afford that, what about signing Rickie Lambert? He’s an international striker, he is 31 years of age and experienced and he needs to show the England manager ahead of Brazil next year exactly what he can do at the top level. Will Southampton sell him? I expect yes. How much do we think we can get him for? Maybe about 6m. A bargain.

Elsewhere this morning, there’s not much news regarding Arsenal. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will be returning to training this week, which is great news for us indeed. What we need to do is make sure we integrate him straight into the first team and he will be competing with Serge Gnabry for a place on the flanks in the coming weeks. I think Gnabry is going to be a star for our club and I hope Wenger uses this kid well in the coming few months, March will be a big month and players as fresh as Gnabry will be vital for that period.

We’re still being linked with a loan deal for Alvaro Morata. I suspect that one is dead in the water already though, so it will be interesting to see what Wenger does in the market now.

That’s all for now – have a good day.

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!!!!