Archive for November, 2005

Another win, as RvP comes to the fore…

123 comments November 27th, 2005

First it was a 1-0 win over Thun, where his dazzling feet and searing pace got us a penalty and one of their men sent off.

Yesterday, he came on with just ten minutes to go, and produced a goal of such brilliance that his emergence as a genuine star can no longer be doubted.

Robin van Persie has arrived, and with Dennis Bergkamp on his last legs, just in time.

His goals were preceded by a curled effort from Cesc Fabregas, another prodigious talent, and a neat finish from Thierry Henry – the frenchman’s 100th Highbury goal.

3-0 was a flattering scoreline, especially with Jens Lehmann being forced into several superb saves by Craig Bellamy & co.

Still, no-one here’s complaining.

Roll on Reading and another starring performance from Rockin’ Robin.

On-Song Arsenal see off plucky Wigan

5 comments November 21st, 2005

It was one of the best first halves you’ll ever see, finishing up at 3-2 to us, and remaining that way until the final whistle.

Wigan were all hussle and energy, causing mayhem amidst our makeshift back four, with Pascal Cygan particularly exposed by goalscorer Jimmy Bullard’s energetic running.

However, our attacking class was what told – a somewhat lucky van Persie strike being added to by two Henry goals. The first: a smart finish after a through ball from the superb Fabregas. The second: a stunning free-kick from all of 30 yards. Fit to win any match, even this topsy-turvy encounter.

Tomorrow, it’s FC Thun away in the Champions League. After four wins, we’re already qualified, so Arsene Wenger will hand a chance to 17 year old midfielder, Alex Song. He’s likely to be joined in the team by Jose Reyes, Manuel Almunia, Mathieu Flamini, and Emmanuel Eboue.

A win would give confidence to the under-studies ahead of Blackburn on Saturday.

Transfer Fun

166 comments November 12th, 2005

We’ve signed someone.

Carlos Vela, under-17 World Cup winner and the highest goal scorer in Peru 2005, has joined Arsenal on a 5 year deal.

Unfortunately, he can’t get a permit to play in England until his 18th birthday in March 2007, so until then we’re sending him on loan to Spain, most likely with Valencia.

He really is a huge prospect on the Cesc Fabregas scale. Fabregas himself did in fact win the same golden boot award a couple of years back. It will be sometime before we see Vela pull on an Arsenal shirt, but I’m assured that when we do, it will have been worth the wait.

However, in the short-term, it seems we’re looking for a striker. Arsene went to Holland to watch Dirk Kuyt, whilst chief scout Steve Rowley was in Spain eyeing up Fernando Torres.

My conclusion? The players are not dissimiliar, but Torres is undoubtedly of the higher calibre. He himself seems keen: “Arsenal are in the Champions League every season and I want to play against the best teams and challenge for biggest titles.

I admire English football and Iâ??ve spoken to Reyes about how life is in London and playing for Arsenal. The experience has made him a better player and it is something I would like to do in the future if I get the chance.”

However, Athletico Madrid are hardly welcoming our interest, saying “Torres is, and will continue to be our ‘crack’ (star player)”. Kuyt, therefore, would appear to be a somewhat riskier, cheaper back-up.

I’d like either.

Or both, maybe.

Oh, and thank God for this:

Happy Monday

569 comments November 7th, 2005

Well, it is, isn’t it?

We won, at a canter, and Chelsea lost.

I always knew that Darren Fletcher was the world’s best player.

Just look at his face:

Admittedly, I genuinely despise Manchester United. But for the sake of the title race, Sunday’s result might just make it the tiniest bit interesting. To a large extent it depends on how Chelsea react to the defeat. Will they, like us, stumble and become rubbish? Or will they just keep on winning?

I suspect that, depressingly, it’ll be the latter, but hey ho.

On Saturday, we had beaten Sunderland 3-1. Robin van Persie lived up to his billing by blasting us infront, before linking up with Lauren to give Thierry a simple tap in.

In the 75th minute, Alan Stubbs toe-poked Sunderland back into the game, until late on a Cesc Fabregas through ball allowed Henry to skip through and finish to kill the game.

It was, by all accounts, an excellent performance, with a vibrant Van Persie at the heart of everything.

A break now before we face high-flying Wigan, who later this season will become the last visiting side to Highbury.

What a day that’ll be.

Rockin’ Robin to be unleashed on Black Cats…

Add comment November 5th, 2005

A 3-0 victory over Sparta Prague was just the boost we needed returning to Premiership action today, against struggling Sunderland.

There were a few nervous moments thanks to the erratic kicking of Manuel Almunia, deputising for an injured Jens Lehmann. But nerves were settled when, midway through the first half, the returning Thierry Henry sent a curling side-footer past a stranded goalkeeper from 25 yards.

Henry put in an impressive performance, but was withdrawn on the hour for a rest. His replacement, Robin van Persie, made sure we barely noted a difference, blasting two excellent goals in the last ten minutes to produce a far more flattering scoreline.

Van Persie’s form at the moment is scintillating, and has led Arsene to remark, “I bought him not to put on the bench but to develop and bring into the side. He is making huge progress at the moment.

Throughout van Persie’s short career, there has been much debate over what his best starting position might be. He arrived as a flamboyant winger, who could also play in a Bergkamp-esque second striker role. But Arsene thinks differently.

He is a kind of guy who can play centre-forward and knows enough football to play a little deeper as well,” said his manager. “But at the moment, I see him more in front as the first striker.

With Dennis Bergkamp having played the full 90 on Wednesday, RvP could today get a real opportunity to show that he might just be the answer to Arsenal’s goalscoring needs.

Let’s hope so.

Come on Arsenal.

Ps. You may have noticed that I’ve failed to comment on the Mourinho/Wenger PR War. That is because I find it very, very dull.

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