Friday, April 18, 2014

Mikel Arteta - The Fallen Spaniard ?

Mikel Arteta Amatriain joined Arsenal F.C in the ill-fated summer of 2011. With the club reeling under the after-math of the 
debilitating loss (8-2)inflicted at the hands of Manchester United. Arsene Wenger was forced into making a wild dash in the transfer market which. Signed from Everton for a reported fee of 11 Mn. pounds, the Spaniard was dubbed as the poor man's Cesc Fabregas. 
However with the club in a desperate need of a player to fill their celebrated El-Captain's boots, the signing (at that time) seemed a wise one. After all the player was a star at Goodison Park voted as the Toffees best player for consecutive seasons in the previous years.
Upon departing Everton, Arteta said "I am 29 years old so I haven't got much time left to take a chance like this one. I have done by best for Everton." 
  Arteta's movement on the ball especially his ability to act as a bridge between the back four and the forwards was touted that coupled with his eye for making a complete pass and composure on the ball was hailed as second to none at the club And for that he was appointed as the club’s vice-captain in 2012. in the same position first along with Alex Song and then with the likes of Jack Wilshire, Matheiu Flamini allowing the other players to move forwards with his side-ways passing. His style of play as a ‘pivot’ which was said to bring a certain calmness to the teams play has been branded as 'slow' by the fans. 
      Also this season the  players natural position has come into threat with return of Matheiu Flamini, and with Arteta not getting any younger his performances have drastically suffered leading to many calling for the Spaniard to be benched in favour of the aggressive Frenchman

In light of his abyssal performances against Liverpool(A) and Chelsea(A), wherein the gunners shipped a mammoth 11 goals in these 2 games alone. Many at the Emirates feel the spaniard who’s contract runs out in the summer should not be offered a new deal. This coupled with the rise of a certain Frenchman and Aaron Ramsey’s ability to play in the defensive role as further strengthened the reasons for Arteta’s departure at the end of the season.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

We've got a Ox (Fox) in the box

2nd Feb'14, Arsenal hosted Crystal Palace at home, the game marked the onset of a daunting run of games which could prove decisive if the North London club were to harbour any hopes of ending their much maligned title draught.

The match against the eagles also saw 'Marouane Chamakh' home-coming at the Emirates after his switch the previous summer. Despite the strikers failure to establish himself due to a certain Dutchman. The home fans applauded for their previous hero.

Arsenal started neatly dominating possession in the first half with a massive 79%. However as they say that numbers don't always tell the complete story, the gunners managed to neatly move the ball around the oppositions 18 yard box without making any further progress. 

This was Tony Pulis's palace side, a Welshman with a previous history of frustrating the gunner's with his derided defensive and long-ball tactics. The night certainly headed for a draw but for one man. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, the Englishman made his first premier league start since the opening day of the season and took the chance quite well nipping in two beautiful goals and securing not only 3 points but a massive physiological boost ahead of a crucial fixture list.

Is Wenger playing a dangerous game?

August 18 ’2013, Arsenal were hammered 1-3 in their own backyard. The hosts took the lead courtesy a Giroud goal before falling prey to all too familiar awful defending at the back.
Not only were the Arsenal faithful embarrassed, but the loss signalled something greater than the humiliation inflicted by the villains.
The resentment in the eyes of those present in North London was for all to see. A chorus of jeers & ‘boos’ filled the stadium as the final whistle blew.
Much water has flown under the bridge since. 5 months later, Arsenal find themselves in a seemingly unfamiliar position perched at the top of the league in what has been an extremely scintillating season.
‘1-0 to the Arsenal’, sang the fans as the men in red & white famously beat Tottenham in the first leg of the North London Derby. Thousands of miles away Ivan Gazidiz the clubs much loathed chief sat in the exquisite board-room of the Bernabeu trying to prize away Real Madrid’s  and arguably Europe’s best play-maker to Ashburton Grove.
Mezul Ozil’s arrival sparked a frenzy across the globe as football fans were left in awe (Not if you’re a spurs fan) of what was being called the best transfer business done by one man ‘Arsene Wenger’.
Arsenal sits pretty at the summit with 48 points. However the team has not just Ozil to thank for this amazing transformation. From Ramsey’s resurgence to a newfound discipline at the back, fans watched with bated breadths as the revitalized team scrapped and (finally) learnt to win-ugly.
However amongst all the fan-fare one problem has not gone un-noticed, the absence of quality striker not only to support the over-worked French man but to spear-head the attack in his absence. Wenger’s recent comments bring a all too familiar feeling in the fans, as the manager has kept silent on any new talent coming in Jan despite many pundits and surprisingly even first team regulars calling for the club to sign another striker.
While Lukas Poldolski has returned from the side-lines after a long layoff which the saw the German miss the opening 5 months, ‘Sir Nickalas Bendtner’ is the only other recognized senior striker and he too has succumbed to an injury after scoring the crucial goal against Cardiff at home.
With the road-runner ‘Theo Walcott’ out after sustaining a calamitous ACL tear, the club is indeed acutely devoid of a quality striker.
Is Wenger indeed playing a dangerous game?, by toying with the prospect of  signing a new striker in what is undoubtedly the gunner’s best start to a league campaign since the invincible(s) I leave it to you to answer…