Tag Archives: laurent koscielny

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!

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.

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!

After the international break Arsenal need to pick up where they left off

LaurentKoscielnyredcard

Happy Sunday folks – so the international results this week have been very interesting indeed. The most interesting of all has to be France slumping to 2-0 defeat to Ukraine in the World Cup qualification playoff. In my opinion, this could be one of the biggest upsets in qualification history… it’s going to be difficult for the French to come back. I was having a look at their team and I was very surprised by Didier Deschamps’ starting lineup choices. For example, how can you leave out Bacary Sagna and play Mathieu Debuchy instead? Even stranger, why on earth would you pull in an out of form Nasri ahead of someone like Valbuena? Very interesting. Anyway, we expect changes for the next leg. I’d not doubt France coming back into the tie, and Ukraine need to make sure that they defend strong for the whole game otherwise they could find themselves well out of the picture.

As for other games, well not much to say really. Chile absolutely spanked England at Wembley and even more proof that Roy Hodgson is just not the man to carry this team forward for the future. I was immediately surprised just how bad England were, but then again if you persist in your team selection that includes the likes of Frank Lampard then you’re destined for trouble. Expect a very rapid exit from the tournament in Brazil, don’t forget England are not even seeded.

As for Arsenal news, not much in the way of gossip today actually. Blaise Matuidi’s contract at PSG is expiring next summer and it seems that Chelsea and City are leading the way. I’d actually not discount us from the race to sign the midfielder. Mathieu Flamini is a great player but can we expect another season of quality out of him? Hard to say. Matuidi is what we need. He has drive, power and an excellent stopper of the ball… and he’s French. I’d say we’re in the race.

Elsewhere, Bendtner has been bleating on about his future again. I’d expect to see the Great Dane disappear out the exit door come January as we pursue our next striking transfer target.

In other news, we’ve also been linked with a transfer for Kurt Zouma again. This really excites me. He’s the best defender in Ligue 1 and he’s young, let’s say we actually do let Vermaelen leave you aren’t going to find a better backup for Mertescielny. Speaking of which, Laurent Koscielny also picked up a red card in the international game, which rules him out for the return leg in France . The centre back loves to get a red card or four every season, can’t doubt his commitment. At least he’s got another one for the national side and not domestic and that means one less player that won’t be on the injury table after the international period.

Anyway – have an excellent weekend guys and thanks for reading!

Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Liverpool puts Gunners 5 points clear

SantiCazorla2013ARSENAL

What. a. result. I don’t know about you but the Liverpool win was probably one of my favourite Arsenal moments in the last 5-6 years. From start to finish we were simply outstanding. Up front, you had Giroud who was bouncing around all over the pitch, picking up the ball in the air and bringing others into play. In the middle, Santi Cazorla was outstanding, picking up the ball and driving forward. Rosicky was sublime. I love the way the 33 year old is coming back as an important player even though he’s into his mid 30′s, long may it continue. Ozil had a quiet game but made all the difference with an assist. Aaron Ramsey. Absolute class. Mikel Arteta, one of his best games for the club…. then finally the entire defence: BEAUTIFUL!

This was one of the best Arsenal performances I’ve seen for a long time and puts us in good track for the Borussia Dortmund game on Wednesday.

We started off the game in great fashion, this was as Mesut Ozil put on Twitter ‘Formula 1 football’. The first goal by Cazorla was great. A cross from Bacary Sagna met the head of the Spaniard, which bounced back off the post, only to fall back into his own path to spank the ball into the roof of the net. 1-0

Aaron Ramsey is having the season of his life and took his tally to 10 when he spanked home a glorious volley over the head of Simon Mignolet and into the top of the net – 2-0.

What more can you say? That defence held their own for the whole game. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are simply a superb duo. All that needs to happen is for Per to clear the last bits of dodginess in his game whilst Koscielny needs to stop giving away bad penalties and we can really make a go of it this year.

So, onto Germany we go. If we can get a win that would be simply outstanding and go a long way to guaranteeing qualification for the next round.

I hate the interlull! Fingers crossed there’s no injuries

England

When you’re on good form, there’s nothing worse than an international break. There’s three reasons why it’s annoying, firstly we don’t get to see our beloved Arsenal in action in the first place. Secondly, we’re actually having a decent season so far – if there’s one club where you get back less players from duty than you actually sent, it’s Arsenal. Thirdly, it’s the injuries.

I read this morning that Cashley Cole has pulled out of the England squad for the games against Ukraine and Poland and Kieran Gibbs has gone to replace him. Sincerely hope that Gibbs comes back in one piece, he has been a rock at the back so far this year and the last thing we need is a defensive crisis to go with our midfield and attacking ones.

In terms of the England game itself, I really have less and less interest in the performance of the team every game that goes by. In my opinion, qualification should have been wrapped up already. When you rely on two wins against the mighty Montenegro and Poland, you know you’ve not done the job well enough already. Still, it’s in England’s hands, which isn’t all a bad thing. Until of course they fuck it up on the day.

Some positives of course is that for the players are that already injured, there will be more time to rest and heal. A couple of players that we expect to return after the international break include Santi Cazorla. I’m already frothing at the mouth thinking about the combination of Santi and Ozil in the same team. That’s true championship winning class.

So, at the weekend the famous 12th win in a row didn’t happen which was a bit of a bummer. But I liked the look and fight of the Arsenal side at the weekend. We gave it all we had despite having a patched up squad. Again Aaron Ramsey on the wing just doesn’t work. He needs to be playing through the middle. Jack Wilshere, despite smokegate, seemed to put in a decent enough performance even though he lost the ball far too often. For me, our best player was Mertesacker. Cool, calm and composed in the centre of defence. When the crosses come in I love knowing that the BFG is there in the middle of the box. Granted, their goal did come from a setpiece in typical Arsenal defensive fashion, but on the whole the German can be happy with his display. Laurent Koscielny was strangely anonymous for most of the game. I think that Flamini didn’t do so well covering, this is partially because WBA seemed to be playing a very attacking formation, Berahino and Anelka proved to be a constant threat. We were lucky to come away with the point, Anelka really should have put away that shot after all.

Elsewhere, not much else to report on in the world of Arsenal. We’ve been linked with a move for Alexander Milosevic¬†who is seemingly being tracked by every single Premier League club going. I don’t know much about him but having some more defensive cover would be nice.

That’s all for now, have a decent day Gooners!

A Swansea win could prove Arsenal’s title credentials

Laurent Koscielny

Good morning folks, it’s Saturday which means it’s finally time for Arsenal to play again! This weekend we’re traveling to Wales to take on the mighty Swansea. A lot has been made already about Arsenal’s good start to the season, but we have yet to really be tested apart from that 3-1 home defeat to Villa. A visit to Swansea is traditionally quite a tricky test and I truly believe a win at the Liberty will prove our title credentials this year.

In the early kick off today, Tottenham battled out a 1-1 draw against Chelsea. I couldn’t think of a better result, even if Chelsea would probably be happier with the result, getting a point away at a potential title rival.

That being said, the Arsenal players will be well aware of the result earlier today and will be firing on all cylinders when it comes to kick off time this afternoon.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’d like to see Arsenal play something of a defensive formation. I’d put Flamini behind Wilshere and Arteta, with both Ozil and Ramsey having the freedom to roam behind Giroud up front. It’s not a particularly defensive look but as you well know Ramsey nor Ozil are wingers, so we should fill up the centre of the park to block any potential attacks from the Swans.

One thing about this game is it sees us take on Michu. He’s a lively striker and I read somewhere this morning that linked us with a move for the Spaniard in the January transfer window again. I also read another blogger mention that if we signed Michu we would definitely be challenging for the title come the end of the year. He really has been one of the all time bargains of the Premier League. He’s quick, mobile, good in the air, good at finishing and still has a fair few years left before he reaches his prime. He wouldn’t be a bad signing for Arsenal at all. For now though, the focus should be on crowding him out. With Koscielny and Mertesacker at the back I’m more than confident we can drown out any Swansea attacks.

If we are going to be realistic challengers this season, we simply have to beat them.

My prediction is that the boys should grab a 2-0 win today and I’ll be crossing my fingers, toes, chopsticks and everything else hoping for that result. Enjoy the game!