Archive for December 2011

Nice win to round up 2011, looking forward to a glorious 2012   Leave a comment

Arsenal ended 2011 in the top
four of the Premier League
thanks to a hard-fought 1-0
win over QPR at Emirates
Stadium on Saturday.
The crucial goal came on the hour
whenRobin van Persie swept
home a delightful through ball
fromAndrey Arshavin.
It was the Dutchman’s 35th
Premier League goal of the year –
one above the Arsenal record of
the watching Thierry Henry but
one short of Alan Shearer’s
competition best.
This afternoon, however, it was
enough.
Until Van Persie’s strike, this
looked like déjà vu all over again.
Like Wolves four days earlier,
QPR started well but they were
soon overrun by Arsenal, who
might have bagged the points by
half time.
They got their win but, in truth,
Wenger’s side were never
comfortable this afternoon
against another well-organised,
determined side fresh from the
Championship. However, while
Arsenal were seeing out this
vital, vital win, Chelsea were
letting in late goals to lose
against Aston Villa at Stamford
Bridge.
It all means Arsenal have a two-
point cushion in fourth.
A comfortable way to reach the
halfway point of the campaign.
There were three changes from
the side that was held to that
1-1 by Wolves.Theo Walcott had
recovered from illness while
Arshavin started his first
Premier League game for more
than a month.Gervinho and Yossi
Benayoun dropped to bench. The
other change saw Aaron Ramsey
return to central midfield at the
expense ofTomas Rosicky.
Due to injuries at full-back,
Arsenal had four centre halves
strung across their defence once
more. Just before kick-off, one
the Club’s greatest exponents in
that particular position – Tony
Adams – was presented to the
crowd. The former captain was
here to view the newly-unveiled
statue of him at the northern
end of the ground.
Adams had played in the last
fixture between the sides – a 6-0
Arsenal win at Loftus Road in the
FA Cup 10 years ago. QPR were
during well in the first foray into
the top-flight since then but
came into this game on a bad run.
Manchester United’s 3-2 defeat
at home to Blackburn had
finished around half an hour
before kick-off. It proved the
point Wenger had made pre-
match – that the Premier League
was in the middle of an
unpredictable spell.
And QPR fancied their chances in
the early exchanges this
afternoon. In the opening
minutes, Adel Taarabt prodded
Shaun Wright-Phillips through on
the left of the area.Wojciech
Szczesny raced out to make a
fine block. Before that the Pole
had saved a long-range effort
from Jay Bothroyd.
It took Arsenal a full 15 minutes
to muster an attacking
opportunity. Van Persie turned
Matthew Connolly inside out on
the right before flicking a shot
across goal. Radek Cerny
gathered with ease.
The keeper was more concerned
when the Dutchman met
Ramsey’s left-wing cross with a
backpeddling header shortly
afterwards. Unfortunately for
Arsenal, it drifted wide.
Djourou danced through a couple
of tackles in midfield before
finding Van Persie on the left of
the area. The captain muscled
past Luke Young, but in dinking
his effort over Cerny, he also
lifted the ball over the bar.
Arsenal had taken the tempo to
a different level now. Walcott
wastefully fired wide after
Laurent Koscielny won Van
Persie’s free-kick in the air.
Then, on the half-hour, the
Dutchman did wonderfully well to
get round the other side of
Connolly and collect Vermaelen’s
curling through ball. However, he
cracked his effort over the bar.
Arsenal had a claim for a penalty
when Koscielny met Van Persie’s
corner with a fierce drive. It
certainly cannoned off the arms
of the flying Young but it had
been hit with pace and the QPR
defender was only a couple of
yards away when the ball was
struck.
Three minutes from half–time,
Arteta was convinced his left-
wing cross had brushed the arm
of Barton en route to the box.
Given the QPR captain was much
further away than Young,
Arsenal probably had more of a
case.

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Posted December 31, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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Hard fought win: villa gave a good fight   Leave a comment

Arsenal’s first goal came against
the run of play. Theo Walcott had
turned Ciaran Clark to create
space inside Aston Villa’s penalty
but would still have needed to
produce an accurate cross to
create a clear chance. Yet Clark
could not resist trying to impede
his opponent and, when he
wrapped his arm around Walcott’s
chest, the penalty decision of
referee John Moss was as
inevitable as Van Persie’s
emphatic finish.
The overall pattern of the match
was unaffected by the goal,

Posted December 21, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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Wenger: ‘The team has madea lot of progress’Dear Arsenal supporter,I thought Sunday’s game couldhave gone either way.It was a very intense match withboth teams going for it and I feelthat we were a bit unlucky. JoeHart played well and we couldhave done without having toreshuffle our defence completelywhen Johan Djourou was injured.At half-time I felt that we couldwin the game if we remainedstable at the back.Despite the result, I thought wehad a very positive performance.We showed great spirit andquality, but we lacked accuracywith our final ball at times. Wefinished the game with fourstrikers and just Ramsey andArteta in midfield, so City weredangerous on the break. But wehad chances and I really thoughtThomas Vermaelen had scoredright at the end.There were a lot of positives onSunday. The team has made a lotof progress since August andthey can be proud of it. The teamhas a fantastic spirit, we haveshown that again, and let’s hopewe can continue our progressand get closer to City.Thanks for your support.Arsene Wenger’s signatureArsène Wenger   Leave a comment

Posted December 19, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

WENGER- a game we could have won   Leave a comment

Wenger: ‘The team has made
a lot of progress’
Dear Arsenal supporter,
I thought Sunday’s game could
have gone either way.
It was a very intense match with
both teams going for it and I feel
that we were a bit unlucky. Joe
Hart played well and we could
have done without having to
reshuffle our defence completely
when Johan Djourou was injured.
At half-time I felt that we could
win the game if we remained
stable at the back.
Despite the result, I thought we
had a very positive performance.
We showed great spirit and
quality, but we lacked accuracy
with our final ball at times. We
finished the game with four
strikers and just Ramsey and
Arteta in midfield, so City were
dangerous on the break. But we
had chances and I really thought
Thomas Vermaelen had scored
right at the end.
There were a lot of positives on
Sunday. The team has made a lot
of progress since August and
they can be proud of it. The team
has a fantastic spirit, we have
shown that again, and let’s hope
we can continue our progress
and get closer to City.
Thanks for your support.
Arsene Wenger’s signature
Arsène Wenger

Posted December 19, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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wenger speaks after Everton win   Leave a comment

Wenger: ‘I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline’

Dear Arsenal supporter,

Our Club celebrated its 125th birthday before the Everton game and I felt it was important that we played to the level of history at Arsenal.

In the end, we won it with an artistic goal from an artist and I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline when you think about it.

The victory put us in the ‘virtual’ top four because we know if Chelsea get a draw on Monday they will be in front of us.

However we started from so deep this season that nobody could have predicted that we would be where we are now at the beginning of December. We have to keep going though because, in my opinion, we are still far away.

Maybe the turning point was when Andrey Arshavin scored against Swansea because that was a game we absolutely had to win.

After that there was the victory against Chelsea – that helped confidence – and we did well in the Champions League too. In the qualifier, we played Udinese who have been top of the Italian League this season and then we finished top of our Group F. We never got credit because when people decide you are a bad team, you are a bad team. We just have to work slowly and let people talk.

For me, we are a bit more mature these days but we still want to improve and be faithful to our style. On Saturday, Everton looked very good in the middle of the park and stopped us from playing. They have very intelligent players so Robin van Persie’s winning goal was vital.

When you are 22 and you do not have the best of games, you rush your moments a little bit. When you are 28, like him, you keep focus and, if you get a chance, get it away.

It is difficult to take a ball over your shoulder like he did. The timing has to be right, you have to lean forward very quickly and your body shape has to be correct. Everybody who has played football understands that is the most technically difficult movement for a striker.

People will say we are ‘Van Persie dependent’. But on Saturday, he got us a goal which came at a moment of the game where we were struggling to create chances. He delivered something special and three important points.

Thanks for your support.

Arsène Wenger

Posted December 12, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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wenger speaks after everton win   Leave a comment

Wenger: ‘I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline’

Dear Arsenal supporter,

Our Club celebrated its 125th birthday before the Everton game and I felt it was important that we played to the level of history at Arsenal.

In the end, we won it with an artistic goal from an artist and I suppose that 1-0 is quite an historical scoreline when you think about it.

The victory put us in the ‘virtual’ top four because we know if Chelsea get a draw on Monday they will be in front of us.

However we started from so deep this season that nobody could have predicted that we would be where we are now at the beginning of December. We have to keep going though because, in my opinion, we are still far away.

Maybe the turning point was when Andrey Arshavin scored against Swansea because that was a game we absolutely had to win.

After that there was the victory against Chelsea – that helped confidence – and we did well in the Champions League too. In the qualifier, we played Udinese who have been top of the Italian League this season and then we finished top of our Group F. We never got credit because when people decide you are a bad team, you are a bad team. We just have to work slowly and let people talk.

For me, we are a bit more mature these days but we still want to improve and be faithful to our style. On Saturday, Everton looked very good in the middle of the park and stopped us from playing. They have very intelligent players so Robin van Persie’s winning goal was vital.

When you are 22 and you do not have the best of games, you rush your moments a little bit. When you are 28, like him, you keep focus and, if you get a chance, get it away.

It is difficult to take a ball over your shoulder like he did. The timing has to be right, you have to lean forward very quickly and your body shape has to be correct. Everybody who has played football understands that is the most technically difficult movement for a striker.

People will say we are ‘Van Persie dependent’. But on Saturday, he got us a goal which came at a moment of the game where we were struggling to create chances. He delivered something special and three important points.

Thanks for your support.

Arsène Wenger

Posted December 12, 2011 by arsenalwonder in everton, premiership, rvp, wenger

arsenal vs everton- match preview   Leave a comment

mikel

Arsenal will be without Andre Santos after the Brazil fullback suffered an ankle injury in the midweek Champions League defeat at Olympiacos.
Everton manager David Moyes will once again be without midfielder Jack Rodwell.
Goalkeepers Lukasz Fabianski (knee) and Vito Mannone (shoulder) also picked up injuries in Greece, so veteran Manuel Almunia will make a rare return to the first-team squad.

Szczesny

Djourou – Koscielny – Mertesacker – Vermaelen

Song – Arteta

Ramsey

Walcott – van Persie – Gervinho

Posted December 10, 2011 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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