Archive for February 2012

theo scores well in training   Leave a comment

Wojciech Szczesny has
backed Theo Walcott to
continue his goalscoring
exploits after the forward
bagged a brace against
Tottenham.
The England international
has been under scrutiny of
late, but responded with two
superb finishes in the North
London derby.
And Szczesny believes that
performance could spark an
upturn in form in front of
goal for Walcott.
“Theo scored two goals,
which is all you can ask for,”
Sczcesny said. “They were
both very good. He has come
under a little bit of stick for
his finishing but he took
those two very well and we
are very pleased for him.
“He’s a very good lad and he
is probably one of the best
trainers in the dressing room.
“He works very hard every
day, scores a lot of goals in
training and just needs to get
the goals in games. But we
are very pleased for him and
we hope he can do it all over
again in the games from
now.”

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Posted February 28, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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top players demand better pay   Leave a comment

The ability to analyse
performances objectively
and a remorseless inner drive
are the key characteristics of
an elite footballer, according
to Arsène Wenger.
The Arsenal manager
attended a Q&A in the
Diamond Club at Emirates
Stadium earlier this month
and, having managed
hundreds of professionals
during his career, Wenger
was asked what makes
certain players so special.
“I believe that any person in
top sport must win 7-1 like
we did [against Blackburn],
go home and think ‘what did
I do wrong today?’ That is
also the same when you lose
3-0,” he replied.
“I feel that the common
denominator of people who
are successful at the top
level is that they have a fair,
objective assessment of their
performance.
“They can be more personal,
detached, angry or happy but
if they are at the top they
analyse what they do well.
Top-level sportsmen are
even over-critical of
themselves.”
While Wenger admires the
dedication these elite
performers demonstrate, he
acknowledges that in certain
cases it can be problematic.
“Without motivation you go
nowhere,” he said. “There
are some very interesting
statistics that exist in top
sport.
“Every two years there is a
study made by psychologists
in Belgium. They ask top-
level athletes anonymously,
‘If we gave you a pill that
makes you win the next
Olympic Games or World
Championship, but five years
later you die, would you take
it?’
“At the top professional
level, there is a consistent
percentage of more than half
that say they would take it.
At amateur level it is two per
cent.
“That just shows you that at
that level it can be a
question of life or death. To
be a star, or be the best in
the world, some are ready to
give their lives. That is the
kind of motivation you face.”
Wenger believes that elite
performers also have a
tendency to show their
quality when it truly matters
most.
“Sir Steve Redgrave was
interviewed and he said that
the last gold medal he got [in
2000], with three minutes to
go he was absolutely dead,”
he said.
“His legs were gone, his
lungs were burning and he
thought he would never get
there. But he got there by
telling himself, ‘In three
minutes, the pain will go but
the gold medal will last
forever’. That got him over
the line.
“Sometimes you just have to
find certain resources at a
moment where you have to
push. The champions find
that.”

Posted February 28, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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stats from north london derby   Leave a comment

Sunday’s North London derby
was the 150th league
meeting between Arsenal
and Tottenham Hotspur, with
the Gunners recording their
61st victory in the fixture.
That’s 13 more wins than
Spurs have recorded, while
there have been 41 draws.
In all competitions the two
sides have met 168 times so
far, the record is: W70 D45
L53 F260 A227. Arsenal have
led the head-to-head battle
ever since December 26,
1983 when they pulled
ahead with a 4-2 win at
White Hart Lane, to make it
40 wins to 39.
Sunday’s 5-2 win was the
third time in the last three
seasons Arsenal had beaten
their local rivals by a three-
goal margin, and the fifth
time overall that they had
netted five goals in a game
against them (previously in
2004, 1978, 1935 and 1934).
It was only the seventh time
in the 168 matches that
seven or more goals have
been scored, and three of
those were recorded since
2004. It was the first ever 5-2
recorded in a North London
derby.
There has been an average
of 2.9 goals per game in
derby history, yet over the
past 16 fixtures (since 2007)
the average is 4.2 per game,
and only three clean sheets
have been kept in those 16
matches.
The first eight times the two
teams met were prior to
Arsenal’s move to Islington in
1913, so technically there
have been 160 North London
derbies, not 168. However,
honours were evenly shared
in those first eight games
(three wins each, and two
draws) so the overall figures
are not greatly affected.
Arsène Wenger’s own record
against Tottenham Hotspur is
particularly impressive.
Sunday’s victory was his 17th
in the North London derby –
in contrast Spurs have gone
through 14 different
managers over the course of
winning their last 17
matches in the fixture.
Wenger’s overall record is:
P38, W17, D16, L5, F74, A49,
with those 74 goals being
scored by 32 different
players (not including two
own goals). The most prolific
players are Robert Pires and
Emmanuel Adebayor, with
eight each, and they are also
our top scorers in the whole
history of the fixture.
Before Wenger took over,
Arsenal averaged 1.43 goals
a game against Spurs –
during his time in charge the
average is 1.95.
Five of Arsenal’s 14 biggest
derby wins (36 per cent)
have been recorded in the
past ten years.
Between March 19, 2000 and
January 22, 2008, Arsenal
went 21 games unbeaten
against Spurs, the longest
undefeated run for either
side – spanning 2,865 days.
The run included an FA Cup
Semi-Final win, a Carling Cup
Semi-Final triumph and, of
course, the title-clinching
draw in 2004 at White Hart
Lane.
Behind The Numbers
Behind The Numbers
Behind The Numbers
So does supremacy over our
neighbours in direct
confrontations relate into
superiority at the end of the
season?
Sunday’s win means that
Arsenal edge the head-to-
head record in the league
this season (6-4 on goal
difference after a win
apiece), and historically this
suggests that Arsenal have a
good chance of finishing
above Spurs in the league.
From the 32 previous seasons
that Arsenal have had the
better head-to-head record,
they have gone on to finish
higher than Spurs 26 times
(81 per cent).
When Spurs have the better
head-to-head record (28
seasons) they have finished
above Arsenal 16 times (57
per cent).
The 14 seasons in which the
head-to-head record was
identical resulted in Arsenal
finishing higher eight times,
and Tottenham six.
Overall, when both teams
have been in the same
division, Arsenal have
finished higher than Spurs in
46 seasons out of 74 (62 per
cent). In addition, it must be
remembered, Tottenham
spent a total of 16 years in a
lower division than Arsenal,
compared to just two
seasons at a higher level.
Looking purely at the
Premier League, where both
sides have been ever-
present since its foundation
in 1992/93, the trend has
noticeably escalated in
Arsenal’s favour.
The Gunners have been the
top north London team 17
seasons out of 19 during this
time (89 per cent), including
the last 16 in a row. On
average Arsenal finish 5.58
places above Tottenham
each Premier League season
and earn, on average, 19.05
more points per campaign.
The biggest gap between
the two sides in Premier
League history was 13
places, and 45 points, in the
2003/04 season.
The all-time aggregate score
in Premier League matches is
Arsenal 66, Tottenham 48.

sagna ahead of tottenham   Leave a comment

Bacary Sagna admits that Sunday’s North London derby has a special significance for him after breaking his leg at White Hart Lane in October.

The French right back spent four months on the sidelines after fracturing his fibula against Tottenham, and only made his comeback at the end of January.

Sagna appreciates how important the derby is for Arsenal fans, and says he is as keen as anyone to claim the three points on Sunday.

“The first game was a nightmare for me because I got injured and was four months out,” he told Arsenal Player.

“This match is a good opportunity to show that I am back and to be decisive even. I would like to win the game because it would be special to me.

“Every game is important but the derby is the killer one. This is one of the biggest games of the season and we know we have to win it. It will give us even more power to move forward.”

Despite recent disappointments in the Champions League and FA Cup, Sagna insists the squad must draw a line under things and move on.

“We can only look forward, we can only change things and this is the right time to do it,” he said.

“We play Tottenham, they are the enemy this weekend and we lost the first game [at White Hart Lane] and we want to bounce back from it. For the fans it is even more important because it is a derby and we can’t lose.”

Posted February 24, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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hummm   Leave a comment

On the pitch…
Arsenal suffered two disappointing defeats in the space of three days, losing 4-0 to AC Milan in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before going down 2-0 at Sunderland in the FA Cup. Steve Bould’s Under-18s are flying high after beating Fulham to go top of the Academy League, Arsenal loanee Ryo scored his first goal for Bolton Wanderers and goalkeeper Vito Mannone is also in form for his loan club, Hull City. Remember, you can catch up with the latest match highlights and exclusive reaction on Arsenal Player.

Off the pitch…
Everton’s involvement in the FA Cup sixth round means Arsenal’s scheduled trip to Goodison Park on March 17 has been postponed; a rearranged date will be confirmed soon on Arsenal.com. Elsewhere Swiss youth international Sead Hajrovic has extended his loan spell with League Two club Barnet, Alex Song and Martin Angha have received international call-ups for Cameroon and Switzerland respectively, and VIP tickets to the North London derby with Tottenham are up for grabs courtesy of Lucozade Sport.

Posted February 24, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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Wenger: ‘It is a luxury to have
Henry’
Dear Arsenal supporter,
Thierry Henry’s late winner
made the headlines at
Sunderland and you have to
say he finished a legend’s
story on his final day in the
Premier League.
Thierry secured us the three
points in a difficult game
where Sunderland were
resilient, well-organised and
tried to catch us on the break
every time. You could see that
they have a lot of spirit in their
side.
We also had to deal with a
difficult pitch and, although
we had a lot of the ball, we
couldn’t create a lot because
Sunderland made it hard to
get through their defence.
In the end though we were
spirited, intelligent, patient
and resilient and we had to be
all those things to get the
three points after going 1-0
down.
The Sunderland goal was a
double blow because we lost
Per Mertesacker to an injury as
well. Per told me that he felt a
pain in his ankle and couldn’t
move at all.
He went home on crutches
and appears to have done
some ligament damage, but
how bad that is we don’t yet
know. He will certainly miss
the Milan first leg.
Some will feel that play should
have stopped when Per went
down but you cannot demand
that. You do not know if a guy
has gone down through injury
or because he has slipped.
Fortunately we turned the
game around and Thierry’s
contribution at the end shows
you once more that these
players never lose it.
Exceptional talent survives.
You have that with Giggs and
Scholes at Manchester United
and Thierry here. It is just a
luxury to have a player like him
on the bench.
We are back in fourth place
even though two weeks ago
everybody said it was out of
reach for us.
We have to be cautious but we
are happy to be back in this
position. It is still very open for
everybody around there. You
have Newcastle, Chelsea,
Liverpool and us and it’s down
to consistency now.
Thanks for your support.
Arsene Wenger’s
signature
Arsène Wenger

Posted February 15, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized

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Posted February 15, 2012 by arsenalwonder in Uncategorized