Archive for July, 2008

Vfb Stuttgart 1-3 Arsenal

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Last night saw Arsenal travel to Stuttgart to take on Jens Lehmann’s new team.
It was the first opportunity this season for Arsenal fans to see most of the first team players in action, as well as another chance to see the younger talent. With the exceptions of Toure and Fabregas, I think it is fair to say that almost all of Wenger’s first 11 for this season was on display during the match.

Here’s the line-up :

  • Manuel Almunia (Lukasz Fabianski 45)
  • Gael Clichy
  • Johan Djourou
  • William Gallas
  • Bacary Sagna (Gavin Hoyte 78)
  • Samir Nasri (Jack Wilshere 61)
  • Denilson (Henri Lansbury 85)
  • Emmanuel Eboue (Aaron Ramsey 61)
  • Theo Walcott (Mark Randall 78)
  • Robin Van Persie (Carlos Vela 45 > Jay Simpson 85)
  • Emmanuel Adebayor (Nicklas Bendtner 45)

I traveled to Stuttgart for the game last night and the hosts certainly put on a great welcome for the Gunners. As you can see from the team sheet, Arsenal started with a pretty strong team but worryingly, like so many frustrating matches last season, took a while to get going. The first half showed some promise but was ultimately a scrappy affair, most notably RvP had a good chance to beat Lehmann one on one but looped the ball gently to Mad Jens.

Adebayor, making his first appearance this season, really failed to show any menace in front of goal, displayed some poor touches on the ball and mostly just got himself caught offside. He’ll probably just be happy he didn’t get booed.

For a team that won the Bundesliga the year before last, Stuttgart did not show much in the way of opposition, however in the second half Arsenal were forced to respond when Bastürk scored for Stuttgart in the 51st minute. Happily the Gunners did respond well, putting on a much more promising display and got 3 goals, from Vela (58), Bendtner (65), and Wilshere (73).

Certainly a very positive note to take away from the second half was the excellent performances from players who are looking to establish themselves in the first team this season.
Bendtner had a good half, creating opportunities for teammates, and Vela looked sharp. Walcott and Nasri only shared the pitch for around 15 minutes but there were a few glimpses of great combination play between them.

Here’s some footage from the game :

Sorry it’s not anything exciting like a goal, but well, I was watching the game! :D If you’re looking for videos of the goals you can usually find them at arsenalist

In other happy news, the Telegraph are reporting [1] today that Arsenal picked up £7.5million from the David Bentley’s switch from Blackburn to Tottenham. I’m sure the fans will be sure to thank him for that when Spurs come to the grove :D

Gilberto calls out Hleb and Flamini

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Panathanaikos ex-gunner Gilberto spoke to the Daily Telegraph today about the departure from Arsenal of midfielders Hleb and Flamini.

“When you win things, you achieve more than anybody else. You get better contracts, and more money, anyway. I can’t blame a player who wants a good contract. But I believe if they stay at the club, they can earn good money and do a lot for the club and themselves. So if they win something, it means more and they are more appreciated by supporters.

“I don’t know what the reason is for them leaving [Flamini and Hleb] but they could have stayed. If it’s for money, I would think they’re wrong. Most of the players who leave miss the club for lots of reasons. The lifestyle at Arsenal is fantastic. You get so well looked after.”

Wenger makes new va va voom signing

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Hooray, what’s this great news in my inbox? Wenger has signed a new Frenchman, he is fast and has great strength on the ball, he will flatten defenders? Apparently he comes cheaper than Barry or Alonso too…
Oh. It’s a car.
So anyway, Citroen are apparently now the official car supplier to Arsenal FC, whatever that is supposed to mean. Maybe this will mean we will get to see Adebayor turn up to training in a 2CV!
Source seems to be marketing drivel but might be worth it to see Wenger smile for once.

Burgenland XI 2-10 Arsenal

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Aaron RamseyArsenal enjoyed a nice little run-out against a sub-sub-par Burgenland side in Austria yesterday evening. Ineptitude of the opposition aside, it was a good chance for the Gooners to get some confidence in-front of goal, Nicklas Bendtner getting 4 goals, Vela 3, Wilshere 2 and Theo Walcott knocking one in as well.
Still, 10 goals which lead Arsenal nicely into what perhaps will be the toughest test of the pre-season campaign so far, Wednesday’s match against Stuttgart. I’m actually going to be travelling to Stuttgart for the game so I hope we see at least a few first team players making an appearance.

Gallas admits remorse for Birmingham behaviour

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Gallas also talked to Arsenal TV. about the future of the team and the events of the Birmingham City game that saw him booting an advert board and having a nice long sit down at the end.

“You know I learned a lot, you want to be the best captain, give good advice to your players, but sometimes you can make mistakes as well so I think this season I know what I’m going to do and I know I am ready to change my way to speak to the players.”

Talking further about the team, he said :

“They are young, they are very shy but it won’t be difficult for them to settle in, the squad is fantastic, the atmosphere is very good so I think it will be fine for them. We have to win something because the trophies are more important at the end of the season. Everybody knows what they have to do, we are ready.”

Can’t really argue with that. I don’t really blame him for his behaviour in the Birmingham game, it was a emotional game for much of the team after Eduardo’s injury, and like the man said, everyone makes mistakes. I still think he is a good captain and hope he keeps his head and takes Arsenal to the title this season.

Fabregas denies Real rumours

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Cesc Fabregas has once again had to come out in the press to deny rumours of intention to leave Arsenal for Real Madrid. Pleasingly for Gooners, Fabregas was quoted by Arsenal.com saying :

“I am happy at Arsenal, my future is here and the priority is to achieve success and win trophies at Arsenal. I think that some people are just trying to make mischief but my intentions are very clear.”

Reports had surfaced in the Spanish press that Fabregas was frustated at Arsenal and would leave next summer if not this. However, Fabregas scotched those reports, adding

“I have not spoken to any media so it’s frustrating to read quotes that I have supposedly said about my future”

Amen to that, and don’t be going anywhere Cesc :mrgreen:
In other Cesc news, as evidenced in the picture above from Arsenal.com, Fabregas was back from his summer holiday and training with Arsenal today.

Arsenal maybe in for Inler?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2008

Goekhan Inler

I say maybe because the source is the Daily Mail, esteemed purveyors of scaremongering right-wing nonsense, mind-numbing celebrity minutiae, the flimsiest of rumours, and, well you get the picture. So anyway, the Gunners definitely maybe put in a £5million bid for Swiss Udinese midfielder Goekhan Inler, presumably as a possible replacement for Flamini. We’ll have to wait and see on this one.

Newcastle Bid £4million for Senderos

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

Senderos

Senderos

This morning brings the news [1] that Newcastle United have made a £4million approach for Philippe Senderos. Quite a few fans do not seem to rate Senderos as having enough composure in the pressure games against the biggest teams, he is sometimes now less than third choice after Toure and Gallas, with Song perhaps favoured for the future.

Senderos is bound to want to play first team football, he has had a lot of support from Wenger against his detractors in the past, and I think Wenger still believes that Senderos has the talent to become a first team player, while in the short term providing valuable defensive cover with Alexandre Song off to the Olympics. At the start of the transfer window Wenger said that he was not interested in signing a new central defender, further signifying his position to continue developing Senderos.

All this makes it somewhat surprising that the Arsenal board, while reported by the Daily Mail to be holding out for something closer to £6million, are considering the £4million Newcastle bid.

Do you think it is worrying times when Arsenal are draining talent without purchasing any tested replacements? How bad is the financial situation and can Song or Djourou step up this season?
Let us know what you think with a comment.

FA intervene to stop referees getting bullied

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Today there are reports[1,2] that the Football Association are considering taking action to stop the trend of players harassing and surrounding referees. Under the mooted new rules the referee will still be able to speak to all players, but only the captain from each team will be allowed to approach the referee.
Whilst it’s a shame that this needs to be enforced, it is necessary with the increase in this activity in the last few seasons leading to hostile environments for referees.
I never really understood why players so consistently do this, when it is clear that you will never be able to get the ref to change his mind. I thought that most people knew that refs only take orders from Fergie ;-)

Michael Johnson for the Gunners?

Arsenal have been linked [3] with another midfielder, 20 year old Michael Johnson of Manchester City. Johnson, having not much more than a year’s experience in the Premiership would be a purchase that would seem to fit in with the Wenger style of buying on potential. However it is easy to think that if Arsenal are to challenge for the title this season they will need to find someone to fill Flamini’s boots. Johnson surely isn’t ready yet and at a report price of £12m he sure is pricey. Personally I would really like to see Gareth Barry brought in to fill this role but at the time of writing it looks unlikely.

Nasri excited by Arsenal move, Missing his mum.

Speaking of midfielders, Samir Nasri has been speaking to French sports paper L’Equipe about Arsenal.

“I love the game, I’m passionate and Arsenal’s football culture made me dream,”

“I had a lot of fun watching all their games last season. To me, this culture and the way they play represent what football should be.”

“When you see how they play in England, it means I need to improve on the physical level and in the air, as well in terms of intensity and regularity,” he commented.

“The team plays in 4-4-2. I had a chat with Arsene Wenger and I’m going to play on a wing because that is where their playmakers are, splitting with the full backs.”

“My parents won’t be with me anymore so I’m going to have to cope with it and learn to be independent, In the meantime I have asked the club to have someone cooking for me and cleaning because I’m not used to being autonomous, I’ve always been living with my parents.”

I think he is certainly right about needing to improve his strength and physical presence, I have seen him in some Marseille games where he looked easily hassled. But of course he is still pretty young and as he becomes older he should not be so lightweight.

Arsenal Online…Is Online

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Hello and welcome to Arsenal Online.

At the time of writing I am busy creating a brand new Arsenal fan-site and blog here at Arsenal Online.

It seems a good time to be starting an Arsenal blog. We now only have a few weeks until the start of the brand new 2008/2009 season, there is just over a month until the end of a summer transfer window which has seen Arsenal acquire the services of Samir Nasri from Marseille, 17 year old Aaron Ramsey from Cardiff and Francis Coquelin from Stade Lavallois. Of course it is a transfer that has perhaps more notably seen Hleb (Barcelona), Flamini (AC Milan), Gilberto (Panathinaikos) and Lehmann (Stuttgart) leave the club.

Hopefully Mr Wenger might well bring in a signing or two before the end of the transfer window on September 1st.

As for the brand new site here, I’m working on getting a snazzy design made and I’m going to begin posting regular news updates, match reports and all that good stuff as of…well, now.

So, for now thanks for stopping by to check us out, why not introduce yourself in the comments? And you can of course bookmark us or subscribe to the RSS feed to get the latest updates in your feed reader.