Tag Archives: Arsenal

Where were Arsenal?

Arsenal didn’t believe they could defeat Barcelona and so they didn’t turn up and deservedly crashed out of the Champions League losing 4-3 on aggregate.

Just because Arsenal had a one goal lead going into the return leg with Barcelona, didn’t mean that they had to play defensively, especially against the best team in the world. And Arsene Wenger has much to be blamed, using the wrong strategy.

Common sense and the law of averages will tell you that if all you are interested in is to defend, then sooner or later the other guy who is allowed to attack, attack and attack will put the ball into the goal. There is no such a thing as a full-proof defence. Just basic mathematics.

Arsenal have this fear about Barcelona that they seem unable to overcome. This is not a sign of a great team. And it is getting on one’s nerves to constantly hear Wenger saying that Arsenal can go out and beat Barcelona when in actual fact Arsenal do not have the mental strength to do so.

Against Barcelona, I think Arsenal have not recovered since their narrow 2-1 defeat to the Catalan team in the Champions League final in 2006?

Has Arsene Wenger lost his adventurous spirit and spank in terms of tactics and strategy? Has age caught up with him? He himself once admitted that perhaps he was getting old and might have difficulty in communicating with his young charges.

For now, Arsenal have just to lick their wounds and focus on the English premiership challenge. With Manchester United themselves slipping following  consecutive losses to Chelsea and Liverpool, this is the best opportunity yet for Arsenal to seriously do something to seize the initiative and not further squander the chance to catch up and maybe finally win something.

Otherwise, Arsenal will rue their profligacy.


A Worrying Crock List

With Van Persie confirmed as being out for 6 weeks following the knock to his knee from the Carling Cup encounter with Birmingham, and Walcott and Fabregas struggling to recover from their own injuries, Arsenal’s crock list is a worrying one.

It couldn’t have come at a more critical time, with the season winding up to a close and the premiership title at stake, not forgetting the FA Cup quarter-final with Manchester United and the Champions League return leg with Barcelona coming up.

In the absence of the injured players, what are Arsenal’s options to ensure that their challenge in the remaining fronts does not unravel and fizzle out like in the recent past years?

Arsenal will have to start thinking seriously now with the premiership match with Sunderland tonight. No less than a win will ensure that Asenal keep up their challenge with Manchester United. Anything less would mean that Arsenal have lost one too many opportunities to show that they deserve to win the premiership title and more.

A loss or even a draw may further dent any confidence Arsenal may still possess in their ablility to mount a serious or even a credible challenge in all the remaining fronts.

Marouane Chamakh has not played a full game for some time and he looks to have lost his touch. Bendtner plays with a smirk on his face. I am not too sure whether this is out of a sense of confidence or just bravado. It is true that he scored a hat-trick against Leyton Orient in the FA Cup replay .

But Bendtner is not in Van Persie’s class. He is often slow to react and loses the ball once too often when challenged.

Jack Wilshire should be allright. Even fact, he is the only one who is consistent and inspires confidence in the current team. In the absence of Fabregas, Van Persie and Walcott, Nasri would have to shoulder much of the responsibilty. He has to play at his best, perhaps taking on the defence in  one to one encounters and trying from a distance.

Everyone knows that Arsenal’s weakness is their inability to mix up their game with long shots and perhaps taking on defenders in one to one encounters instead of passing the ball to death.

If there rest of the team, especially the defence, can from now on play above themselves, on a consistent basis, Arsenal’s 2010/2011 season may yet have a golden lining.

Otherwise, it looks like adios once again for Arsenal.

The Way Is Open For Arsenal!

So, Chelsea have just defeated Manchester United 2-1!  This post is written at 5.40 a.m, Malaysian time, just after the Chelsea-MU game this morning.

This means that Arsenal can close the gap to one point in the premiership if they beat their next opponent Sunderland next weekend. But before that, Arsenal have the return match with Leyton Orient in the FA Cup fixture and the return match with Barcelona in the Champoins League to contend with. 

But first, Arsenal will have to overcome the psychological blow from losing to Birmingham in the Carling Cup. And their injured players Walcott, Fabregas and Van Persie have to recover quickly.

Will or can Arsenal seize the chance to close the gap to one point from MU and take it from there?. If they can, then Arsenal’s season may yet have a golden lining and this will be just reward to themselves and their long sufffering fans and supporters.

Whatever it is, Arsenal cannot hope for a better chance, and they cannot and should not take it lightly. It may perhaps be Arsenal’s last!

It is possible that Manchester United may become demoralised for losing a golden opportunity to put distance betweem themselves and Arsenal, their closest rival. However. knowing Manchester United, they are surely not going to make it easy for their challenger.

More importantly, Arsene Wenger may have to do some serious rethinking as to their predictable style of play. Arsenal have got to try scoring from long shots and maybe taking on their opponents directly instead of passing the ball to death, as they often do to their own woe, especially against opponents who pack their back in numbers. 

Do you agree?

Whereto Now Arsenal?

So, my reservations turned out justified! Arsenal failed to win the League Cup.

Even though I am an Arsenal supporter, I must say that they deserved to lose. They didn’t turn up in the game, and like I feared, they failed to mix it up with long ball attempts.

Obviously, the absence of Fabregas and Theo Walcott had a huge impact on Arsenal’s attempt to finally win a trophy in a long time since 2005.

Whereto now Arsenal?

Will Arsenal’s failure to lift the League Cup affect the rest of their season? There is still the FA Cup to play for, Champions League return leg with Barcelona on March 8 and of course the premiership title to fight for.

Unless Arsenal can quickly put aside their failure to win the League Cup behind them, I am afraid their season will quickly unravel for them from now on. 

Worse still, if Fabregas and Walcott do not recover from their injuries quickly enough to come back to play, Arsenal’s prospects do not look rosy. 

I love to be proven wrong, but for Arsenal to do well for the rest of their season, Wenger would have to do some rethinking. Arsenal have to mix up their game a little and try to score from long shots. And maybe Walcott should be told to run at defenders more often and go for goals himself, instead of passing the ball back to his colleagues once too often.

Arsenal’s game has become  very predictable. They don’t even know how to lop the ball, like how Barcelona players do so well.

I still have not given up on Arsenal, but for now they have to quickly cope with and get over the psychological scar of letting slip of the very good chance of finally bringing home a trophy after 6 long years.

Will and can Arsenal do it?

Will Arsenal Win The League Cup?

Arsenal will be facing Birmingham in the final of the League Cup tonight at the Wembley stadium. Will Arsenal win?

The League Cup is considered the least important of the honours to be won in English football. However, to Arsenal, who have not won anything since their 2005 FA Cup win, winning the League Cup this time holds more significance than ever before.

On paper, Arsenal look the better bet to lift the Cup. But with injuries to Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott which they picked up in the 1-0 win over Stoke City, it is anything but.

Both Fabregas and and Walcott are unlikely to play. According to manager Arsene Wenger, Walcott will likely be out for 2 weeks and they are hoping Fabregas can recover from the hamstring injury in time to face Barcelona in the Champions League return leg  on March 8.

So it looks like Arsenal will be without their influential captain and Theo Walcott.

Without Fabregas, Arsenal’s engine room may be jeopardised. Jack Wilshire is playing well no doubt, but the others would have to raise their performance a notch or two if they want to come away with something this time and not throw away a golden oportunity to reward themselves and their long suffering fans and supporters.

What is worrying me is whether Arsenal will play their usual fluid game the FULL 90 minutes. If not, I am not too confident Arsenal can come away the winner. Look at how Arsenal squandered a 4 goal lead against Newcastle!

Arshavin is another worrying factor. His work rate is not the probelm but lately, he has lost his penchant of scoring goals. What is worrying is that for all his running, Arshavin plays like a blind mice. Often he kicks the ball without knowing where the goal mouth is, and his passes often go astray.

If Arshavin can recover his old form, and the others play as a team for the FULL 90 minutes and Van Persie’s current scintillating form doen’t desert him when it is most indeeded, then Arsenal should come away the winner.

What do you think? Will Arsenal win the League Cup or will it be Birmingham’s day?

Welcome To My New Blog

I have a blog Life As An Ordinary Malaysian where I write on everything and anything under the sun that affect, concern, interest or impact on me living life as an ordinary Malaysian.

I wanted to start a new blog on sports only, but now I have decided to add pastimes and reflections, to spice things up. I can’t only write on sports. It will be too dry and dull.

I am an Arsenal fan, have been since 2003. That was the time when Arsenal were strutting their stuff, conquering all before them in the EPL with the likes of Thierry Henry, Berkamp and Robert Pires.

They even earned themselves the title of  “The Invincibles” in the  2003/20004 season, not losing a single game in the premiership in that season.

Ever since, Arsenal have won anything of note, except for the 2005 FA Cup. They did come close on a number of occasions to winning the premiership, but inconsistences and lack of confidence put paid to their efforts. 

Will Arsenal win the premiership this year? They are now only a single point behind leaders Manchester United after the recent 1-0 win over Stoke City. But MU have a game in hand.

However, Arsenal’s win over Stoke City has come at a cost, with injuries to Theo Walcott and Cesc Fabregas and this may impact on their chance with important games coming thick and fast as the season comes to a close.

One thing I find frustrating about Arsenal is that they pass the ball to death, instead of trying to mix it up with long ball atempts at goal which may be better in some situations.

What do you think. Have Arsenal the wherewithals to lift the premiership title this year? Your comments are welcome.