The Five: Arsenal 2-2 Manchester City

Arsenal let an 84th minute Demichelis header deny them of 3 sweet points at the Emirates against Manchester City. The Citizens had gone ahead in the 28th minutes thanks to Aguero but Jack Wilshere levelled up in the 64th minutes before Sanchez put the Gunners ahead 10 minutes later.

Full Match Report. Wenger’s Comment. Player Rating via Gunnersphere

The Five Observations

1. 25 minutes per half.

Arsenal seemed to have started the game like a house on fire in the very early stages of the game. They were tireless in attack, confident with the passes, stubborn in loosing the ball and combed every blade of grass on the Emirates’ turf. How the gunners failed to make the 1st 25 minutes of the game count remains a mystery for Zeus and his Olympus generals to decipher. With Wilshere and Ramsey in the middle, the gunners threatened going forward. Joe Hart saved from Sanchez and had the post to thank after Welbeck’s chip hit the post. 28th minutes of the game and the gunners had to concede from a counter attack. preventable?

In the 2nd half, the red attack continued just like the 1st 25 minutes of the 1st half. In the 64th minute, Ramsey laid up Wilshere who went past Clichy and chipped the ball into Hart’s net with the England number one sitting on the emirates turf like a high priest in the sub Sahara. Debuchy hit the side net but the gunners took the lead thanks to Alexis Sanchez.

The gunners played well in the opening 25 minutes of both halves but seem to just sit back after that.

2. Bring Back Our Clean Sheet, Take Away the Cheap Goals

Szczesny won the golden glove last season with 16 clean sheets in the league. The gunners are yet to keep a clean sheet in 4 games of this season. The gunners conceded to Crystal Palace on the opening day, before conceding twice at Goodison park. The leaking net continued in Leicester and the defense could do nothing as we conceded twice to City. When will Arsenal get a clean sheet this season in the premier league? We need those clean sheets.

Wojciech Szczesny Of Arsenal is beaten by Martin Demichelis Of Manchester City as the Argentinian defender levels the score after 83 minutes

Our clean sheet record is relative to the type of goal we concede. Two seasons ago, the gunners were at the receiving end of aerial goals. Steve Bould came in last season and the aerial goals conceded were reduced. But in every game the gunners have conceded a goal this season, including pre-season, the goal was most likely an aerial goal. At the King Power Stadium, Arsenal conceded from a cross. Against City, Demichelis goal was preventable. 4 blue shirts amongst 11 gunners? and Demichilis still scored? What is wrong? is the zonal marking or the application. It hurts to concede such cheap goals especially if it denies you of 3 points

3. Welbeck Well Play.

Danny Welbeck made his debut for Arsenal and even kicked Sanago out the starting lineup and the bench. The England international almost opened his fairytale account with Arsenal when he chipped Joe Hart only to see his chip hit the post and roll out. In all Wenger was happy with his debut game.

Joe Hart looks on helplessly as Danny Welbeck comes agonsingly close to breaking the deadlock as his chipped shot rebounds off the base of the post

He did well. I believe that he needs to develop his link play with our players but that is a bit normal. It’s sad that he couldn’t take his chance but overall every time he had an opportunity to find some space he looked dangerous. There are some things to work on with him to integrate him well into our game but I’m happy with his first game. – Wenger.

4. Jack Steps Up

In recent times, Jack Wilshere seem to have stagnated like a flat plateau with no rise especially after returning from his injury lay off. The England international scored a chip of a goal to cap up a wonder display at the Emirates. Wilshere was at the helm of affairs, bossing the midfield, holding up play with his silky runs and fearless tackles. With Cazorla benched, the England youngster made maximum opportunity to re-affirm Wenger’s believe in him. Arsenal’s poster boy wants to be the winning boy.

Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere beat Joe Hart from an acute angle to finish off a fantastic team move in the second half

5. Injury Continua

The injury crisis continues in the gunners dressing room as Debuchy was carried off the pitch before the end of the games. The French international landed awkwardly as he tried to control a ball. Debuchy is reported to be out for 2 months. The gunners failure to add a center back in the transfer window leaves them short of defensive cover. Calum Chambers, seen as a dual backup to both the Center Back and the right back did replace Debuchy. With Walcott yet to be fit to return and Giroud’s return expected in January, Arsene Wenger will look forward to having an injury free squad especially at the back. Monreal may have featured at center back in the preseason but this is business time. The gunners are just a suspension or flu away from crisis at the back. When will the injury gods free Arsenal? A tour to Africa may help.

Mathieu Debuchy of Arsenal was carried off on stretcher after suffering what appeared to be a serious leg injury late in the second half

With Chelsea flying on Eagles wings at the top if the table, the Gunners must get their acts together if they are to mount a challenge this season. 2 goals conceded, 2 points lost.

Well, Liverpool lost at home to Aston Villa, Manchester United finally remembered the joy of victory.

Let us travel to Germany, it is time for Champions League.

Follow on twitter @soccergunz

The International Break, AFCON 2015 Qualifiers and Arsenal

Football seem to be measured using Europe as a standard of measurement. The English Premier League is widely televised and games like Stoke City’s away win at Etihad makes it the best soap opera on earth.

Nevertheless, every football player wants to dorn his nation’s jersey. Mikel Arteta will grab an opportunity to play for spain even at his age. So FIFA had to break the soap opera just after the transfer window to enable friendlies and qualifiers to be played.

So many games were played but I took interest in Nigeria’s qualification to Morocco 2015. Unfortunately, the Super Eagles were outplayed by Congo in Calabar as the visitors ran away 3-2 winners. Few days later, Nigeria could only get a draw in South Africa.

The results left the AFCON 2013 champions with just a point from 2 games, 5 points behind leaders Congo who defeated 2-0. Nigeria played woefully in the two games lacking direction. What do you expect from a disunited house? Will Nigeria qualifier?

In Cameroun, Cote D’Ivoire came, saw and were beaten black and blue by the young indomitable lions of Cameroun. Egypt lost at home to Tunisia while Angola and Togo are yet to record a point.

AFCON 2015 qualifiers result:

Group A
Sudan 0-3 South Africa
Nigeria 2-3 Congo
Congo 2-0 Sudan
South Africa 0-0 Nigeria

Group B

Mali 2-0 Malawi
Ethiopia 1-2 Algeria
Malawi 3-2 Ethiopia
Algeria 1-0 Mali

Group C
Gabon 1-0 Angola
Burkina Faso 2-0 Lesotho
Angola 0-3 Burkina Faso
Lesotho 1-1 Gabon

Group D

DR Congo 0-2 Cameroon
Cote d’Ivoire 2-1 Sierra Leone
Cameroon 4-1 Cote d’Ivoire
Sierra Leone 0-2 DR Congo

Group E

Ghana 1-1 Uganda
Guinea 2-1 Togo
Togo 2-3 Ghana
Uganda 2-0 Guinea

Group F
Niger 1-3 Cape Verde
Zambia 0-0 Mozambique
Cape Verde 2-0 Zambia
Mozambique 1-1 Niger

Group G

Senegal 2-0 Egypt
Tunisia 2-1 Botswana
Egypt 0-1 Tunisia
Botswana 0-2 Senegal

How much i wanted the break to end after seeing Nigeria’s performance. Time for Arsenal and her newbies to perform against Manchester City. Welbeck is poised to start unless Wenger gets some inspiration from his ancestors to keep faith with Yaya Sanogo. Ramsey should be fit to start and I do hope Rosicky gets his playing time. His acceleration is immensely needed.

Will Ozil continue on the left? Arteta should return to the starting line up. Will Wilshere join him? or will Wenger opt to have Flamini partner Arteta. Gibbs return is likely to relegate Monreal to the bench. Ospina may finally get his seat behind Bould. Any manner of 3 point will be appreciated.

The Gunners must be watchful of Sergio Arguero and Dzeko. I hope we get a clean sheet and atone for our humiliating losses at the hands of the Citizen. Our Community shield win weeks ago should boost our morale.

COYG.

Arsenal Premier League Squad for 2014/2015 Season

After the signing of Danny Welbeck from Manchester United which signalled the end of the transfer window, Arsenal submitted its official 25 man squad to the Premier League. The Squad must contain at least 8 home grown players.

A Home Grown Player means a player who, irrespective of his nationality or age, has been registered with any club affiliated to the Football Association or the Football Association of Wales for a period, continuous or not, of three entire seasons or 36 months prior to his 21st birthday (or the end of the season during which he turns 21).

Changes to the squad list of 25 may be made during the period of a transfer window. Under-21 players are eligible over and above the limit of 25 players per squad. For the 2014/15 campaign Under-21 players will have been born on or after 1 January 1993.

See below Arsenal’s squad.

25 squad players (*=Home grown)

Arteta Amatriain, Mikel
Campbell, Joel
Cazorla, Santiago
*Coquelin, Francis
Debuchy, Mathieu
Diaby, Vassiriki Abou
Flamini, Mathieu
*Gibbs, Kieran James Ricardo
Giroud, Olivier
Koscielny, Laurent
*Martinez, Damian Emiliano
Mertesacker, Per
Monreal, Ignacio
Ospina, David
Ozil, Mesut
Podolski, Lukas
*Ramsey, Aaron James
Rosicky, Tomas
Sanchez, Alexis
*Szczesny, Wojciech Tomasz
*Walcott, Theo James
*Welbeck, Daniel
*Wilshere, Jack Andrew

Under-21 players (Contract and Scholars)

Afobe, Benik
Ajayi, Oluwasemilogo Adesewo Ibidapo
Akpom, Chuba
Alves Da Silva, Wellington
Bellerin, Hector
Bola, Marc Joel
Chambers, Calum
Crowley, Daniel
Dobson, George David
Donovan, Harry
Eyoma, Aaron Jordan
Gnabry, Serge David
Hayden, Isaac Scot
Hinds, Kaylen Miles
Huddart, Ryan David
Iliev, Deyan
Iwobi, Alex
Jebb, Jack
Johnson, Chiori
Kamara, Glen
Lipman, Austin
Macey, Matthew Ryan
Maitland-Niles, Ainsley
Mavididi, Stephy Alvaro
Moore, Tafari Lalibela
O’Connor, Stefan Ramone Sewell
Olsson, Mats Kristoffer
Ormonde-Ottewill, Brandon
Oxlade-Chamberlain, Alexander Mark David
Pleguezuelo, Julio Jose
Ribeiro Centeno, Jonatas Ian
Robinson, Tyrell
Sanogo, Yaya
Sheaf, Ben
Smith, Renny Piers
Toral, Jon-Miquel
Vickers, Josh
Willock, Christopher
Wright, Elliot
Zelalem, Gedion

Click here to get the list for other teams

That is it for now, hope they make us proud.

Enjoy.

Arsenal UEFA Champions League Group Stage Squad 2014/2015 Season

The transfer window has ended at least till January and the business end of football is beginning to heat up. Arsenal have submitted their player lists to feature in the group stage of the 2014/2015 UEFA Champions League. The lists is divided into List A and List B. Olivier Giroud misses out due to injury.

Champions League Group D

Coach: Arsène Wenger (FRA)

List A

Goalkeepers: Wojciech Szczęsny, David Ospina, Damián Martínez

Defenders: Mathieu Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers

Midfielders: Tomáš Rosický, Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey, Santi Cazorla, Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby, Francis Coquelin, Gedion Zelalem

Forwards: Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Alexis Sánchez, Yaya Sanogo, Joel Campbell, Danny Welbeck.

Conditions for registration of List A: No club may have more than 25 players on List A during the season, two of whom must be goalkeepers. As a minimum, eight places are reserved exclusively for “locally trained players” and no club may have more than four “association-trained players” listed on these eight places on List A. List A must specify the players who qualify as being “locally trained”, as well as whether they are “club-trained” or “association-trained”

List B

Goalkeepers: Ryan Huddart, Josh Vickers

Defenders: Héctor Bellerín, Isaac Hayden, Tafari Moore, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill

Midfielders: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Serge Gnabry, Jack Jebb, Glen Kamara, Kristoffer Olsson

Forwards: Chuba Akpom, Alex Iwobi

Conditions for registration of List B:  Each club is entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season. The list must be submitted by no later than 24.00 CET on the day before the match in question.

A player may be registered on List B if he is born on or after 1 January 1993 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA. Players aged 16 may be registered on List B if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption.

Article 18 of the official competition regulations has full details of player eligibility, squad sizes and registration deadlines.

Click here to view other club’s list.

Enjoy

Follow on twitter: @soccergunz

 

Well, Well, Well… Welbeck… Welcome Danny

After being foxed at the King Power stadium to newly promoted Leicester City, all roads led to the transfer market as managers were frantically fighting for the available remains like a popular parallel night market in the suburb of Lagos. It was the last day of the long transfer window, Arsenal had long gotten 4 quick buys with the arrival of Sanchez, Debuchy, Ospina and Chambers. Bendtner, Sagna, Vermaleen, Fabianski, Park et al left for one of many reasons.

Nevertheless there were still holes in the team with many gooners expecting the arrival of more than one of a defender, a defensive midfielder and an full blown striker. The injury to Olivier Giroud, the alpha dog of Arsenal’s center forwards who joined Injury FC till January, left Wenger with only Sanogo. Wait a minute, am i forgetting the forward trio of Podolski, Sanchez and Campbell?

Twitter feeds were refreshed, websites reloaded, radios tuned, TVs on sport news, the F5 button on many PCs were crying for mercy as everyone expected an Ozil-ic miracle. Many sat on the edge of their sites, biting their fingers with suarez-like teeth waiting for that breaking news. Hot meals went cold, cold drinks became warm, the anxiety was growing. The rumour mills or wenger’s search flew from Germany to Spain, Italy to France, Bulgaria to Croatia, Scotland to Ireland only to arrive back at England.

Back to England? what is in England? is there any free striker there? We had been defeated in the battle for Remy despite our French connection and Loic’s loitering around Emirates late last season. How we couldn’t get him for £8m beats me and it freaks me more to see him on the blue side of West London with the likes of Costa and Drogba. We had flirted with him and failed to pull the trigger when we had all the chance in the world.

Well, well, well, what do we have in England: Danny Welbeck. A product of Manchester united? The only thing that came to my mind was Mikeal Silvestre. Is this a Fergie plot? but this is Van Gaal. I took my floss and cleaned my teeth as i digested the late night transfer. What has Arsenal become? How can we go for Manchester United’s reject? Reject? was he rejected? But Falcao just arrived. Why couldn’t we get Falcao-nic strikers that enforces the fear of god in opposition defences? limited finance? What of Huntelaar and the twitter lies?

I took a break from my questioning thought, fighting towards looking at the positives behind the arrival of welcome. Only one major positive came alight: I rate him higher than Sanogo. At least he won’t fluff 7 out of 7 chances in a game. His experience in the Premier League will help. Goonerdaily captured a lot of comments regarding Welbeck’s arrival and i trully hope he proves the doubters wrong. I am expecting a “10 things you need to know about Danny Welbeck”

Before the window shut, Ignasi Miquel permanently moved to Norwich and FC Twente took our Japanese prodigy, Ryo on loan. I wish Ryo really comes back smoky. I love his pace.

As for our newest signing, Danny Welbeck, I will give my full support. Welcome Danny, Sanogo can take his seat belt beside Martinez or Diaby. I hope Welbeck surpasses his United record because they were not rocket science. This is Arsenal, you will have the chance. You either take it or leave it.

We have laid our bed, it is time to lie on it. Could money buy success in the Premier League? Here is valuable information about every team’s spending in the Premier League over the last 5 years and looks at how much this has affected their overall league position. As well as this, it also contains a list of the best and worst signings from last season.

Enjoy.

 

The Five: Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal, Gunners Foxed.

Arsenal put up an average performance against newly promoted Leicester City to get a point from the King Power Stadium. Days after earning a very late point at Goodison Park, the Gunners failed to grab a win. Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring in the 20th minute but the foxes got back 3 minutes letter, thanks to a header from Ulloa.

Match Report. Wenger’s Comment. Players Rating.

The Five:

Sanogo needs a Loan, Arsenal needs a Striker.

Giroud’s injury a week ago at Goodison Park handed Sanogo another chance get his first competitive and first Premier League goal. The young french striker unfortunately did not get on the score sheet although he had 7 lame shots, including blocked shots. Sanogo does have a wonderful workrate but his first time touches have been horrible. 3 months without Giroud would spell disaster for the Gunners.

Relying on Sanogo would be bizarre. Sanogo needs to go sharpen his skills on loan, take off those rough edges and return a refined striker. For now, Arsenal should not breed him upfront at the expense of precious points. Arsenal need a point man as soon as possible. The transfer window will short within the next 24hrs, will Wenger get a new striker? or would he try out Chuba Akpom or Joel Campbell?

Wasted Chances, Tame Upfront.

Arsenal had a total of 24 shots, 6 on target, 5 off target and 13 blocked according to whoscored.com. Yaya Sanogo had 7 shots, including blocked shots but could not find the back of the net. Aaron Ramsey had a couple of shots off target. Cazorla’s free kicks and shots were lame. Ozil had no shot. It is high time the Gunners start taking all chances seriously.

Our game was not quick enough, not sharp enough, not simple enough. We had plenty of opportunities but didn’t look like we could finish the game off – Wenger

We just weren’t clinical enough in front of goal today to convert the chances into goals – Ramsey

In as much we pride ourselves as a side that creates chances, it is useless when these created chances are not converted to goals. 69% ball possession with just a point to show.The gunners must be clinical in front of goal if they are to make any title challenge.

Sanchez Ascendancy.

Alexis Sanchez has now scored a goal in each of his last two games. The South American is beginning to get his feet in Emirates. His work-rate is high but can tire him out with time. The defenders in the Premier League are more physical than those in the La Liga. Nevertheless, the signs show that he would score more goals for the red and white half of North London. He is on the ascendancy and his team mates must ascend with him.

Romance with Injury.

Can Arsenal play a game this season without getting one or two players injured? Gibbs, Arteta, Giroud got injured consecutively in the first 3 games of the season. And now, three players didn’t finish the game as they started it.

We had Ozil with an ankle and Oxlade-Chamberlain with a calf. Of course Koscielny as well.

We still could have won the game if we had not conceded the goal after the injury to Koscielny. If he wasn’t injured we would not have conceded the goal.- Wenger.

Koscienly had a head injury which may have caused the conceded goal. Ozil injured his ankle just after Wenger had finished his 3 subs and Chamberlain, one of the subs had a problem with his calf late on. All this had a share of Arsenal’s problems at the King Power stadium. We may need to appease the gods somewhere to free the gunners from this injury romance.

2 Points Lost, 4 Points Behind.

The Leicester City game can be summed up as two points lost. The gunners could not hold the 1-0 lead for up to 3 minutes and failed to score afterwards. The missed chances, coupled with injuries made the team look so lame and even vulnerable to concede.

We lost two points but we have to respect the performance of Leicester and be realistic – we could have lost the game in the end. – Wenger.

With Chelsea’s 6-3 bashing of Everton, the gunners are now 4 point behind the leaders. Swansea also have maximum points. Liverpool took Spurs to the cleaners.

So the international break comes up shortly but the transfer window closes within the next 24 hours. who else is coming in? Will anyone leave? Only Wenger knows.

Enjoy

Arsenal Drawn to Face Dortmund, Galatasary and Anderlecht in the UCL

After getting over Besiktas at the Emirates, Arsenal progressed to the UEFA Champions league group stage.

Seeded in pot 1 alongside the likes of Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, Arsenal will face Borussia Dortmund, Galatasary and Anderlecht in group D.

Fixtures:
Matchday 1
Borussia Dortmund v Arsenal FC
Tuesday 16th September 2014
Kick Off: 19.45 UK
Venue: Signal Iduna Park, Germany

Matchday 2
Arsenal FC v Galatasaray A.S.
Wednesday 1st October 2014
Kick Off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Matchday 3
R.S.C. Anderlecht v Arsenal FC
Wednesday 22nd October 2014
Kick Off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Constant Vanden Stock Stadion, Belgium

Matchday 4
Arsenal FC v R.S.C. Anderlecht
Tuesday 4th November 2014
Kick Off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Matchday 5
Arsenal FC v Borussia Dortmund
Wednesday 26th November 2014
Kick Off: 19:45 UK
Venue: Emirates Stadium

Matchday 6
Galatasaray A.S. v Arsenal FC
Tuesday 9th December 2014
Kick Off: 19:45 UK
To be played at Turk Telekom Arena, Turkey

So how will the gunners fare? A top place finish will be expected.

Other groups include:
Group A: Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Olympiakos, Malmo

Group B: Real Madrid, FC Basel, Liverpool, Ludogorets

Group C: SL Benfica, Zenit, Bayer Leverkusen, AS Monaco

Group D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderlecht

Group E: Bayern Munich, Manchester City, CSKA Moscow, AS Roma

Group F: FC Barcelona, PSG, Ajax, APOEL Nicosia

Group G: Chelsea, Schalke 04, Sporting Lisbon, Maribor

Group H: FC Porto, Shakhtar, Athletic Bilbao, BATE Borisov

In other news, Manchester United have hoping to be drawn in group I alongside MK Dons, Sunderland and Swansea but Van Gaal is not surprised.

None of business.

Enjoy

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