0

Arsenal 1 Swansea 2

In yet another dismal showing, which has made the club look like also-rans and wannabes who are stuck in a rut, Arsenal lost away at Swansea 1-2. Once again defensive tactics were questioned and once again the midfield looks weak and porous. Swansea came from behind with two late goals to claim a memorable win over Arsenal at the Liberty Stadium. Arsenal took the lead when Alexis Sanchez finished from close range after an excellent run and pass from Danny Welbeck. It was the Chilean’s sixth goal in his last four league games as he continues his run of good form. But a stunning Gylfi Sigurdsson free-kick and a fine header from substitute Bafetimbi Gomis sealed Swansea’s victory. The win sees Garry Monk’s men leapfrog the Gunners into fifth place in the Premier League table.

For Arsene Wenger’s side, meanwhile, defeat caps a miserable week after their Champions League collapse against Anderlecht on Tuesday, in which they threw away a three-goal lead to draw 3-3. There were some nervy moments from the Gunners’ defenders, with Calum Chambers surviving a Swansea penalty appeal after appearing to shove Wilfried Bony to the ground inside the area. Clear scoring opportunities were at a premium in the first half as two slick but congested midfields cancelled each other out. Arsenal did not manage a shot on target until a minute before half time, as Welbeck combined well with Sanchez before his effort was palmed away by former Gunner Lukasz Fabianski. Arsenal seemed in control at this point but, within 15 minutes, the match was completely transformed. Swansea were awarded a free-kick 25 yards from goal after Kieran Gibbs was booked for fouling the hosts’ debutant Modou Barrow.

Sigurdsson then compounded Gibbs’ punishment as he curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Arsenal barely had time to register the blow of Sigurdsson’s leveller by the time Swansea took the lead less than three minutes later. Montero, who had given Chambers a torrid afternoon on Swansea’s left wing, floated in an inviting cross for Gomis, who nodded the ball beyond a static Szczesny and into the bottom corner. Defensive woes, defensive woes, defensive woes – the club looks like a facsimile of it’s old self and if Wenger continues in this manner, we will miss out on a Champions League spot. I hope then that the axe will fall.

0

Arsenal Blow 3-0 Lead To Draw Vs Anderlecht

In one of the worst displays of blowing a lead, Arsenal let slip a commanding 3-0 lead at home against Belgian champions Anderlecht  to draw 3-3. At the 60th minute the Gunners were looking dominant and their attack was glistening with power. Mikel Arteta’s penalty put the Gunners ahead after Danny Welbeck was fouled by Chancel Mbemba. Alexis Sanchez doubled the lead with a stunning 20-yard volley before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain added the third after a superb run in the second half. That should have been it. That was all that was needed but you know what a 4th goal would have been nice. But you know what? It all came tumbling down like a house of cards in a gust of wind.

Arsenal’s bane in recent memory has been their lack of defensive cover and the need for a strong defensive holding midfielder who can bulk up the middle. And yet again that was what cost us precious points. Anthony Vanden Borre, who was terrible defensively for his team, reduced the deficit from close range but was clearly offside. However this slipped both the linesman (he was right there, how the hell did he miss it?) and the referee’s attention. Then Monreal, who was praised for his last couple of performances substituting in central defence in the absence of Koscielny was the guilty party in conceding a penalty and Vanden Borre stepped up to score it. The lapses were showing. Wenger brought on Lukas Podolski & Tomas Rosicky in the 81st minute to add fresh legs and speed to press on and perhaps create a goal scoring chance or two but to no avail. Arsenal were still set to book their place in the knockout stages when the inevitable happned substitute Mitrovic headed Andy Najar’s 90th-minute cross past Wojciech Szczesny from close range. Per Mertesacker the guilty one here in not being able to do enough to throw the pesky one off track.

Though Vanden Borre was clearly offside when he scored his first goal, there can be no excuses for the lapses of concentration that allowed the Belgian champions to take a point. The Londoners still need one point from their two remaining games – at home to Borussia Dortmund on 26 November and at Galatasaray on 9 December – to advance. But with Dortmund five points clear, their hopes of finishing top of the group and heading into next month’s draw as one of the seeded teams are fading. Wenger was furious at the end but look no further than the reflection in your mirror Arsene. And he stated in the post-game press conference, when asked whether he planned to strengthen his defence in the January transfer window, “Honestly it’s not the worry tonight”. This guy has lost the plot!

0

Arsenal 3 Burnley 0

Arsenal recorded a second successive league win for the first time this season as Burnley’s woes continued. The Clarets frustrated Arsene Wenger’s side for 70 minutes before the excellent Alexis Sanchez struck with a close-range header. Calum Chambers then added his first senior goal from a corner as Burnley’s resistance crumbled. Sanchez fired in his second from Kieran Gibbs’s cross to leave Sean Dyche’s side rooted to the bottom of the table. The scoreline was harsh on Burnley, who defended manfully for much of the game, but once Arsenal discovered a cutting edge the visitors’ rearguard was left brutally exposed. Howeve Arsenal should have scored atleast 2 of the 4 or 5 other chances they had. Sanchez scores his ninth and 10th goals of the season.

Carzola was guilty of missing a great opportunity while Lukas Podolski had three great shots on goal – the first of which was a brilliantly taken volley save by Burnley’s keeper Tom Heaton but had he headed it, it would probably have been a goal for sure. The Gunners had been behind in each of their previous four home league games this season but a repeat of that scenario was never likely against a Burnley side who offered little going forward. The hosts dominated possession in the opening exchanges but initially struggled to fashion clear-cut chances. Sanchez was their liveliest attacking outlet and it was he who created their best opportunity of the first period. The Chilean played in Danny Welbeck, who skipped past two defenders and beat Heaton only to see his shot come back off Kieran Trippier.

The Clarets continued to hold firm after the interval to raise hopes of an unlikely point but Arsenal’s breakthrough eventually arrived through the irrepressible Sanchez. Chambers sent in a fine cross from the right and summer signing Sanchez got above Trippier to power in his ninth goal of the season. Burnley’s resistance was broken and Arsenal took just two minutes to add a second. The Clarets failed to defend a corner and Chambers bundled home after Heaton had saved from Welbeck. After Walcott was introduced, the Burnley keeper continued to impress, brilliantly denying Lukas Podolski. But he could do nothing about Sanchez’s second as the visitors slumped to a sixth league defeat. Theo Walcott came on as a substitute in the 80th minute to make his first appearance since the FA Cup third-round win over Tottenham on 4 January.

0

Sunderland 0 Arsenal 2

Alexis Sanchez capitalizes on 2 mistakes from Sunderland in each half (one by Wes Brown and one by Mannone) to score both goals in a 2-0 win for Arsenal. The Gunners were lacklustre and lethargic, making mistakes galore and lucky for them they were facing Sunderland. A better team like Chelsea, Man C or even Liverpool would have ripped us apart. Terribly & sloppy, sluggish play from Carzola especially and Wellbeck was off his game. Worse Gibbs is injured – AGAIN! What is this now, his 10th in 2-3 seasons?

Sunderland were unable to exorcise their embarrassment at Southampton as Arsenal won at the Stadium of Light. Alexis Sanchez capitalised on Wes Brown’s dreadful passback to clip Arsenal ahead after half an hour. And, despite performing with more resolve than in their 8-0 defeat at St Mary’s last Saturday, Sunderland lost another bad goal in stoppage time. Goalkeeper Vito Mannone dawdled with the ball at his feet, allowing Sanchez to steal in and secure the win. The late goal ensured that Arsenal would win this fixture for the fourth consecutive season but Arsene Wenger’s side were far from convincing.

I think Wenger will have to sell a couple of players from his large midfield squad – Carzola, Flamini, Chamberline, Arteta – and make room for a couple of solid players who can win the ball and also create a lot more chances for the strikers to finish. As of now they are losing possession terribly. And Gibbs getting injured is worrisome – hopefully it isn’t too serious.

0

Arsenal 2 Hull City 2

A stoppage-time Danny Welbeck goal denied Hull victory and ensured Arsenal avoided equalling their worst start to a league season under Arsene Wenger. Alexis Sanchez’s fierce low shot gave the hosts an early lead. But a disputed Mohamed Diame strike – the midfielder seemed to foul Mathieu Flamini – and an Abel Hernandez header secured the win for Steve Bruce’s side. However, Welbeck guided in a clever Sanchez pass in the first minute of stoppage time to rescue a point.

Until then, Wenger’s side looked as if they would equal their tally of 10 points from their opening eight league matches in 2011-12. But England striker Welbeck’s fifth goal in seven appearances since signing from Manchester United averted the ignominious loss of Arsenal’s 21-game unbeaten home league record. Still, the draw means Arsenal have won just one of their past seven league matches and lose more ground on leaders Chelsea. The bad news did not end there, either, with another injury to midfielder Jack Wilshere – this time to a knee – cancelling out Aaron Ramsey’s return.

Granted that Arsenal were fielding a makeshift defense with left back Nacho Monreal in central defence partnering Per Metzersacker and Hector Bellerin on right full back spot making his league debut as Debuchy is out injured and Chambers is suspended for a game, but Arsenal were wasting chances having dominated possession. Santi Carzola was especially wasteful and the groans could be heard all around the stadium. If things go like this, a 3rd or 4th place finish could well be out of our reach. Currently Arsenal are in 6th place but could well be in 9th or 10 spot once the other games are done by this weekend.

0

2014 Indian Super League Launches

This is it. This is the trophy for which 8 newly formed teams in the inaugural Indian Super League will be fighting for. October 12th 2014 sees the start of the Indian Super League, a top tier league in Indian which features some of the best Indian players along with international stars, most though in the twilight of their careers. The league will run from October to December, with a finals series determining the champion. The formation of the league is an effort to bring some big money sponsorship to the beautiful game in India, where it stays on the sidelines both in glamour, achievements and financial benefits to cricket.

Indian football hopes that the big names and the hype will inspire more Indian footballers to spring forth from academies across the nation and also bring foreign talent, investment and investment to the next generation of footballers for us. The kind of investment that cricket has seen and hogged the limelights for so long! Unlike the majority of football leagues around the world, the ISL will not use the promotion and relegation system. Instead, the ISL will use a franchise system in which eight teams will be created to participate in the league. During the regular season, each team will play each other twice on a home and away basis. The top four teams at the end of the season will qualify for the finals series. The semi-finals will be played in a two-legged format with the winners moving onto the one-legged final. The Indian Super League will also consist of controlled rosters. Each team must sign at least one marquee player while they must also sign seven other foreigners. Of these seven foreigners, only two can be signed directly by the club with the other five coming from the foreign player draft. Each team must also have 14 Indian domestic players, four of which being local players to the city.

Above are the logos of the 8 teams. Below are some details like stadium, cities and marquee players plus coaches. I just hope this won’t become a Bollywood production and a hyped up bauble of a shame gimmick. This is India after all and with a lot of focus and news print given to the celebrity owners and stuff! The players seem almost lost in the midst of all this.

0

Arsenal 0 Chelsea FC 2

In a match that saw both coaches threaten to steal the spotlight off the pitch, Diego Costa scored his ninth goal in six Premier League games to give Chelsea a comfortable win over Arsenal. Chelsea took the lead in the first half at the Stamford Bridge when Eden Hazard converted from the penalty spot after he been brought down Laurent Koscielny. Spain striker Costa added a second after the break when he latched on to long pass from Cesc Fabregas and lifted the ball over Wojciech Szczesny. Arsenal had a penalty appeal turned down, but otherwise rarely threatened.

Arsenal have only themselves to blame (and in particular Mezut Ozil) after failing to make something of the chances that they had, especially in the second half. Arsenal could have and should have scored atleast once yet they managed to falter yet again. Also the foolishness and mistakes are a plenty. The Gunners kept making rash challenges and bad passes at opportune moments and why the fuck did that moron Wenger not substitute Ozil is beyond me when he kept giving away the ball? Instead he took off Santi Carzola around the 70th minute to bring on Chamberlain.

Cahill should have walked for a late, ugly challenge on Sanchez, earning only a booking from Martin Atkinson. Wenger was enraged, marching over towards Mourinho, his tie flying up, his hackles equally raised and pushing Mourinho with both hands in the chest. Mourinho told Wenger where to go and pointed the way, indicating the away technical area that the Frenchman had vacated. Wenger & Mourinho were cautioned by the referee who pointed to the stands to indicate that he would send them off if they didn’t calm things down.

Arsenal now languish in 7th spot, 9 points behind Chelsea. Fire that Wenger!

0

Arsenal 4 Galatasaray 1

Watching last night’s win at home against Galatasaray was a mix of 80% pure joy and 20% anger at the sheer stupid & unnecessary act that left the Gunners with 10 men to defend almost 30 minutes of the game. Danny Welbeck scored his first professional hat-trick as 10-man Arsenal swept aside Galatasaray in the Champions League. The England striker, excellent throughout, stabbed in a first-half opener before side-footing in a second. Alexis Sanchez then curled home before Welbeck clipped in his third. Burak Yilmaz scored a penalty after Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for a foul, but it was to be nothing more than a consolation. The win was Arsenal’s first in this year’s Champions League and means they have three points in Group D.

It was also the perfect way for manager Arsene Wenger to mark 18 years to the day since he was appointed Arsenal boss, and the Frenchman certainly deserves credit for naming an attack-minded side. With Welbeck playing in his favoured central role and the former Manchester United striker ably supported by the pace and creativity of Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, the Gunners simply had too much for a Galatasaray side who have now failed to win in 10 visits to English sides. Unlike previous games where they have dominated possession but failed to convert the key difference in this game was they posed a greater threat going forward. They pulled apart the Galatasaray defence for the opener as Sanchez raced on to Kieran Gibbs’s pass down the left, cut inside and slid a clever ball for Welbeck, who got around Felipe Melo before poking a shot through the legs of Fernando Muslera. Galatasaray rarely ventured forward as they tried to contain the Arsenal front four, and their nervousness perhaps contributed to a poor defensive error that allowed Arsenal to score a second.

After the second goal a section of the Turkish fans lit flares in the stand and threw some onto the pitch causing a brief stoppage of play. But once the action resumed, so did Arsenal’s dominance and Sanchez effectively put the game beyond Galatasaray when he ran through the defence to chase Ozil’s ball before curling home from 15 yards. After the break the Turks increased pressure but Arsenal increased their lead further as Welbeck, now brimming with confidence after his first-half double, grabbed his third of the game, timing his run for Oxlade-Chamberlain’s pass to perfection before lifting the ball over Muslera. And now the stupidity – Szczesny took some of the shine off the victory when he was sent off on the hour, bringing down Y?lmaz and the striker picked himself up to send substitute keeper David Ospina the wrong way from the spot, but by then the damage was done.

0

Indian Goalie In Norwegian Top League

While the ISL seems ready to start with a blast later in the month and provide the hordes of football fans in the country with some much needed pride of having a glamourous league (albeit with foreign top players in the twilight of their career and the season only being 2 months long and only 8 teams) one Indian youth is creating a name for himself in a foreign land. He is the fifth Indian footballer to play in Europe after Mohammed Salim (Celtic), Bhaichung Bhutia (Bury FC), Sunil Chhetri (Sporting Lisbon ‘B’) and Subrata Pal (FC Vestsjaelland).

It was a proud day for Indian football on August 15th as 22-year-old goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu completed his signing with Norway-based club Stabaek Football. The Mohali-born youngster spent time on trial with the club before signing a three-year deal. Despite being the first Indian to sign for a top league club in Europe (granted that the Norwegian league is in no way comparable to the likes of the English, Spanish, German, Italian, Dutch or Belgian leagues and even the ones in Greece or Turkey) his achievement has been in the sidelines due to the pomp and sparkle of the ISL. Sandhu has arguably gone farther in Europe than any Indian ever has. While Baichung Bhutia spent time in England’s third tier and the likes of Sunil Chhetri and Subrata Paul have been limited to reserve team action, Sandhu has been on the bench for five consecutive Tippeligaen (Norway’s top tier) games for a 102-year-old club that has been a fixture in the Europa League in recent years.

He has started 6 reserve team games and the only thing standing between him and a starting berth is Sayouba Mande, who was part of Ivory Coast’s 2014 World Cup squad. The youngster does not expect to break into the starting eleven this season, but at 22, knows he has time on his side and believes his decision to choose Norway over the Indian Super League was right. Hope he goes on to nab the top spot for goalies and goes on to better things.

0

Arsenal 1 Tottenham Hotspurs 1

In a bizarre game filled with injuries to Arsenal players causing 3 substitutions based solely on the injury factor, Tottenham & the Gunners played out a 1-1 draw. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ensured honours were even as Arsenal and Tottenham fought out an entertaining north London derby at Emirates. Nacer Chadli’s fourth goal in five Premier League appearances this season gave Spurs the lead early in the second half, but Oxlade-Chamberlain hit back with 15 minutes to go.

Wenger says Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta will miss games against Galatasaray and Chelsea because of injury. Both were substituted during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, with Arteta, 32, suffering a calf problem and Ramsey, 23, a hamstring injury. The Gunners play Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday, before facing Chelsea in the Premier League four days later. Ramsey, who injured his ankle during Wales’ 2-1 Euro 2016 qualification win in Andorra on 9 September, was rested for Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at home by Southampton in the League Cup on Tuesday. Arteta has already had a couple of weeks out with injury.

Jack Wilshere, who took a knock to his ankle against Spurs and was substituted after 63 minutes, is doubtful for the visit of Galatasaray. Wenger said he was concerned by the number of injuries Arsenal have – with striker Olivier Giroud (broken tibia) and Mathieu Debuchy (ankle) out for a lengthy spell and Theo Walcott still a few weeks away from returning to training after sustaining a cruciate knee ligament injury in January.

0

Arsenal 1 Southampton 2

In a 3rd round game of the less prestigious Capital One cup Arsenal lost at home to the Saints by a score of 2-1. Arsenal may have been understrength but have only themselves to blame for a lukewarm performance. Sure they made 10 changes to the team that won 3-0 away at Aston Villa but they had the lead when Alexis Sanchez’s superb free-kick opened the scoring. But Southampton continued their fantastic start to the season by coming from behind to beat Arsenal. Southampton hit back soon after going behind as Dusan Tadic scored a penalty given for a foul on debutant Sadio Mane. A stunning strike from Nathaniel Clyne gave the Saints a deserved lead, which they protected in a lively second half.

Arsenal strove for an equaliser in the second half but they were unable to break down the visitors, who could easily have added to their lead but for some wayward shooting. While Alexis was superb most of the players Wenger drafted in did much to stake a claim for a first-team place. Rosicky covered ground but provided relatively little, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell were largely anonymous, while Abou Diaby, making his first start since March 2013, was understandably off the pace.

David Ospina in goal while Francis Coquelin, Héctor Bellerín, England under 21 defender Isaac Hayden & Callum Chambers started the match in defence. One good things Bellerin & Coquelin were good and with experience Hayden & Coquelin could become a staple at the club. And we really need more solid defensemen.

0

Arsenal 3 Aston Villa 0

Only Arsene Wenger can manage this – having brought in 4 good players in the summer, his squad now actually looks worse off than the side was last season! How is that possible? And this irrespective of the scoreline.

Aston Villa, a surprise team in the 2nd position (early days but still impressive for them) look like a very confident side and sharp on the counter attack.  They looked likely to score and the experts panels & commentators were expecting a draw. And it certainly looked like Aston Villa could score a few and win as Arsenal struggled to find any flair upfront. Villa could have & should taken the lead when Ciaran Clark’s header, assisted by Tom Cleverley with a cross from the right side of the six yard box, is saved in the bottom right corner by Szczesny.

And then…suddenly the goals poured in for Arsenal. First Ozil & then Welbeck who score his first goal in an Arsenal jersey. And then an own goal by Cissokho. 3-0 in about 3 minutes. Mesut Özil left footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal, assisted by Danny Welbeck with a through ball. Ozil returned the favour by assisting on Danny Welbeck’s first goal since being traded from Manchester United as he right footed shot from very close range to the high centre of the goal. And then the cross by Gibbs which was turned into his own goal by Cissokho; had he not put it The Ox was in fine position to slam home for a goal.

The second half was a stranger one as Arsenal seemed in no real urgency to increase that scoreline while dominating possession. Villa also didn’t want to embarrass themselves with a large score loss and hence it was a little sedate and less energetic. Arsenal wins 3-0 away at Villa Park and that should  give the Gunners, Ozil & Welbeck in particular, a lot of confidence.

0

Arsenal 0 Borussia Dortmund 2

Arsenal’s Champions League Group D campaign got off to a poor start as Borussia Dortmund scored either side of half-time to secure a deserved victory. Ciro Immobile opened the scoring after powering past Laurent Koscielny to beat Wojciech Szczesny with a low finish. Dortmund doubled their lead when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finished another fine breakaway. New signing Danny Wellbeck missed a good chance which proved to be costly in the end. The 23-year-old England forward – who signed from Manchester United earlier this month – fired wide after being put clean through when the Champions League game was goalless in Germany.

After the game manager Arsene Wenger refused to blame individuals for Arsenal’s poor display in Dortmund. “It’s very difficult to go into any individual assessment of any player because as a team we were not at the requested level,” added the Frenchman. Well Arsene, I blame you. What was very evident is that Arsenal are struggling defensively and it is going to take a lot to prevent this season from being a disastrous one. Once again I am amazed that this experienced & successful coach had let defender & ex-captain Tomas Vermalen leave the club before signing the replacements he needed. At that point we needed two more defenders. With the injuries happening this is even more critical. Missing defenders Nacho Monreal, Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers, Arsenal fielded 19-year-old full-back Hector Bellerin, whose only previous senior outing was a 26-minute substitute appearance in a League Cup tie.

Arsenal clearly lost the midfield game as well and the runs from the middle from Dortmund were scary for this Arsenal fan to watch. We need a strong defensive midfielder or two to be added and if they don’t come by January, you can kiss the season goodbye.  And sell the players who spend more time on the injury list than on the pitch – we have too many of those.

0

Arsenal 2 Manchester City 2

For a few minutes it looked like we were going to win and establish ourselves as title contenders with an emphatic victory at home over the defending champions. Well we managed a draw but were really lucky not to have lost the game to Manchester City even though Arsenal played well. Arsenal were denied victory by Martin Demichelis’s late equaliser as they fought out an entertaining draw with Manchester City at Emirates Stadium. England striker Danny Welbeck made his Arsenal debut after his £16m move from Manchester United – and should have celebrated with a goal only to strike a post when clean through early on.

Sergio Aguero made Arsenal pay for that miss by putting City ahead before half-time but goals from Jack Wilshire and Alexis Sanchez saw the Gunners in sight of a memorable victory. Their hopes were dashed when poor marking at a corner allowed Argentine defender Martin Demicelis to beat Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny to earn a point seven minutes from time. Sadly if Szczesny left it, Matheiu Flamini was in the perfect spot to head it away. In a frantic finish, Aleksandar Kolarov hit the post for Manchester City and Arsenal defender Laurent Koscielny cleared against his own post as the Premier League champions threatened to snatch the three points, which would have been very cruel on Arsene Wenger’s side. Then came that late flurry in which City almost won and Arsenal lost defender Mathieu Debuchy, taken off on a stretcher with an ankle injury, but a draw was a fair result.

Positives : Sanchez is paying off his high transfer cost and looks settled in the team. Wilshire was excellent today and hope he continues to find his form. Wellbeck looks strong and  in a few games could make some solid contributions.

Negatives : Defense, defense, defense! Arsenal will need to restock their defense as it seems easy for a speedy & pacy forward to slip past the current players. Also this is where that defensive midfielder would have come in handy. In January, Arsenal better buy defensively strong players. Ozil tends to look listless; why on earth didn’t Arsene bring on Chamberlain for him in the last 20 minutes or so where the Ox’s strength & pace would surely have given City some nightmares?

0

Arsenal At The Transfer Deadline

So my fellow Arsenal fans, how does it feel after the transfer deadline day has passed? Like a slap on the face? A knee in the crotch? Yep! To be fair the transfers this season has been good overall. Coming into the 2014-15 season Arsenal had brought in 4 fresh new signings in attacker Alexis Sanchez, second goalkeeper David Ospina, left back Mathieu Debuchy & versatile defender Callum Chambers. However we all knew that it wasn’t enough. Carl Jenkinson was sent out on loan, captain Thomas Vermalen was sold to Barcelona and we lost Baccary Sanga on a free transfer to Manchester City. And adding to the fact that Theo Walcott is not yet  back from his injury, we also lost Kieran Gibbs (again) to injury and then striker Oliver Giroud to an ankle injury that will keep him out till January and then captain Mikkel Arteta is also out for a couple of weeks.  Going into the final days of the transfer window, and having played 6 games, we all knew that we needed to strengthen the squad a lot more.

We needed at the bare minimum a top class striker, a good holding midfielder and 1 more solid full back to ensure that we don’t fall apart. This was all the talk in the last couple of weeks. There were rumours of Sami Khedia, William Carvalho, Edinson Cavani, Falcao, Agger, Sokratis, Manolos, Ron Vlaar, Toby Alderweireld, Marco Reus all being possible signings. And in the end we only got – Danny Wellbeck! Unwanted at Manchester United and considered surplus there. You gotta laugh at the joke! It’s so typical of Arsene Wenger’s rubbishness these past few years. I wonder if he is losing his mind in his advancing years. It’s like being shown a scrumptious lunch/dinner buffet of all the best dishes the world has to offer but being given stale bread on your plate to eat! Well when you’re hungry you will eat the stale bread! And as EPL managers with better squads are doing last minute deals to further strengthen, “Professor” Arsene Wenger boards a plane to Italy, for a bigger priority – i.e. officiating at some obscure soccer match!

I have been a critic of Arsene Wenger for a while now but this tops everything. Selling Vermalen before signing a replacement, not addressing the defensive woes and midfield woes and a striker when you really need one! Oh for fuck’s sake!

0

Arsenal 1 Leicester City 1

Alexis Sanchez scored his first goal in the English Premier League after joining Arsenal to give the Gunners the lead but it was neutralized quite quickly as hosts Lesicester City looked good enough for the 1-1 draw. In a match that saw a now somewhat typical Arsenal – strong in possession but awful in scoring for a top 4 club – waste plenty of opportunities yet again and also saw some sloppy defending at the back.

Arsenal lost centre-back Laurent Koscielny to an apparent head injury early during their Premier League clash with Leicester City, as the French international got the worse end of a clash with Jeffrey Schlupp. The experienced defender received extensive treatment on the pitch, but he didn’t look well at all. The treatment continued in the tunnel as Arsenal were hesitant to go for an immediate substitute, and Koscielny returned to the field wearing a protective wrap on his head. However, Koscielny was clearly out of sorts and lost his positioning when Leicester scored, prompting Arsene Wenger to bring on Calum Chambers.

Really awful performance by Arsenal. Where are the goals going to come from to balance our weak defense? Monreal in particular looks prone to sloppy defending although he does provide some width going forward. Merterzger Unfortunately we have a lot of “deliciate darlings” in the squad. Giggs, Walcott, Wilshire esp. With just a day left we still need at the least a holding midfielder – which scares me as with the exception of Oxalade-Chamberlain, the midfielders look fragile – another defender and yes a striker! Urgent! But can Arsene Wenger manage a trio of signings to sort out our shaky looking squad? I highly doubt it.

0

Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0

It was really scary watching Arsenal struggle to hold on to a narrow 1-0 win at home over Turkish side Besiktas last night to qualify for the Champions League group stages. Scary because we almost drew and had that happened we would not have qualified. Arsene Wenger must consider himself lucky to have won and if he doesn’t see that then he is an idiot. His squad is full of holes and a slightly stronger opponent would have drilled holes in our defense.  Alexis Sanchez’s first goal for Arsenal since his £35m move from Barcelona claimed the prize of a place in the Champions League group stage for the 17th successive season on a tense night at Emirates Stadium. The Chilean scored after some good work by Mesut Ozil & Jack Wilshere – who did play with some resolve. Those were positives. Also, once he scored Sanchez looked to have a weight lifted off his shoulders and seemed to gain more confidence. May this be the start of more goals for him.

Another positive is Carzola looked more dangerous as well as Alex Oxalade-Chamberlain but the Ox must learn to gain composure in front of goal. He charges like….well like an ox to the 3rd of the pitch but then makes a mess outta things. And that is Arsenal’s problem there. They are good at keeping and even retaining possession but the moment they sees the goal area the player does some funny stuff and the chance is gone. And Arsenal need to do something with their players constantly getting injured and out for months – with Giroud, Gibbs, Walcott out injured and I’m sure more will follow soon as the season progresses. The midfield needs shoring up and this is where a strong holding midfielder like Carvalho or Khedira is needed.

Defense is shaky as well. Where is the new defender we needed Wenger & co? How can you just let Vermalen leave for Barcelona without replacing him till now. We need 2 more solid full backs pronto! And a striker. Where are the goals going to come from? Giroud is out for 3 months, Sanogo is still finding his legs and Alexis is still settling in. Things do not look good for Arsenal! Which is why I’ve keep saying that Wenger should have been let go last season. Time for a fresh outlook for the club.

0

Arsenal 2 Everton 2

Last night’s game at Everton should be an eye-opener for Arsenal management. The squad is not yet complete. We need to make more changes before we can compete for the League on a regular basis and have a realistic chance of winning the EPL. Some players lack heart and at times it looks like they aren’t trying. Jack Wilshire, Nacho Monreal aren’t getting the job done. We need 1 or if possibly 2 solid defenders. Callum Chambers looks set to be a top defender in the league. Alexis Sanchez isn’t the great remedy….yet (2 games in so we’ll give him more time). Arsenal need another striker – badly. Aaron Ramsey is the heart of this team.

Two goals in the last seven minutes by Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud denied Everton as Arsenal fought back to maintain their unbeaten start to the season. It appeared that the Toffees were to give the Gunners’ title aspirations an early-season reality check as they took charge of the game with first half goals from Seamus Coleman and Steven Naismith. Just as on their last visit to Goodison Park, a 3-0 defeat in April, Arsenal were being out-fought and out-thought by Roberto Martinez’s side and looked set to suffer the consequences. However the second goal by Naismith was clearly offside and it was a error by the linesman to let that go. It looked like Arsenal were on their way to another defeat against a top 5 club.

But that changed when Olivier Giroud came off the bench at half-time, and gave Wenger’s side a platform up front to haul themselves back into the game and, eventually, salvage a draw. Ramsey gave them hope when he converted Santi Cazorla’s low cross and the much-criticised Giroud capped a fine display when he headed home Nacho Monreal’s cross in the final minute. With Everton dropping deeper Arsenal pushed more men forward and, after Ramsey pulled their first goal back after 83 minutes, got their reward right at the end of the 90 minutes. Monreal salvaged an over-hit cross and turned the ball back into the area where Giroud beat Distin and nodded home.

Now waiting for any deals to come through.