Welcome to another brilliant Monday, Gooners. It is that time of the week again, when your team has won on the weekend, and gives you that ‘on-top-of-the-world’ feeling.
Of course, it doesn’t top the feeling we had last Sunday, when we trounced Sp*rs, but certainly comparable, considering that all other results went our way elsewhere in the Premier League. Niklas Bendtner did us a bit of a favour, albeit his face-mask, as Sunderland, yes, those muggers, drew Newcastle in the Tyne-Wear derby. West Brom too put in a spirited display and beat a clueless Chelsea. And, though we hate Manchester United to every shred, they did us a favour by orchestrating a daylight robbery at Shit Fart Lane.
The biggest news from the weekend, apart from the Suarez dive, and the Henderson elbow is the sacking of yet another Chelsea manager. The victim this time was Andre Villas Boas, a young manager, who was tipped to be the top manager in the continent in few years’ time. It is but one in a long list of managerial casualties at Stamford Bridge, a list which has the likes of Mourinho, Grant, Scolari, Hiddink and Ancelotti. Roman Abrahamovich certainly has done another error there.
Jose Mourinho won them their first league title in 2005, after a hiatus of 50 years, and by 2006, they had another league title. Apart from that, he also won Chelsea the League Cup twice, and the FA Cup once, and for once it seemed that the era of Manchester United domination in the Premier League had come to an end. After a 2nd placed finish in 2006-2007, and a poor start to the 2007-08 campaign, Mourinho was sacked. It seemed a very poor decision at the time, and clearly, Abrahamovich’s insistence on playing players like Andriy Shevchenko, who clearly looked out of place in the Premier League, among other decisions, cost Mourinho his job. Replacing the charismatic Portugese was a dull Israeli, Avram Grant, who took the Blues to their first Champions League Final, which they eventually lost on penalties to Manchester United, who did the double that season.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was given the boot after 7 months in charge, which is hardly enough time to judge a manager’s tenure. Hiddink replaced him, and despite a quite good reign, he wasn’t offered a permanent contract. Instead, it was offered to Carlo Ancelotti, who won the double, i.e the Premier League and the FA Cup, in his first full season. On the way to the league title, they set the record for the highest goals in a season, at 103. One season later, Ancelotti was sacked, after he failed to win anything. And, now Villas Boas has suffered the same fate.
League Managers’ Association chief executive Richard Bevan, had this to say, on the Chelsea managerial saga.
What is for sure is that, despite unlimited wealth, they haven’t worked out how to build a successful football club,Looking for his [owner Roman Abramovich’s] eighth manager in nine years is a serious embarrassment.If a club has frequent managerial changes, you will have that sort of situation,When you take over a football club, you must ensure there are clear agreed objectives and goals right from the start. You must make sure that you manage expectations from the players, everyone at the club, the fans and even the media.Players need to know the manager’s strategy and job is not in question and there is a clear remit. You get success if you have time and stability comes from that, otherwise it’s very difficult for a manager like Andre to impose his philosophy and build a team.
Anyways, enough of the circus, that is named Chelsea, for now. The hero for Arsenal, right now, Robin van Persie won the man of the match champagne bottle, but he later handed it to Wojciech Szczesny, who saved a penalty, and made made numerous other saves, to win the game. He was also full of praise for Bacary Sagna, and Alex Song, both of who assisted the goals. Moreover, the moment of the game was surely van Persie kissing Song’s boots, after the Cameroonian’s delightful assist. It was a goal akin to the one RVP scored against Everton at home.
It was the same pass from the same guy, Alex, an unbelievable pass,This one I hit with the inside of my foot, but again it was an unbelievable pass.Alex is a really good player, he can see it and actually do it. And I have to thank Szczesny as well.
Arsene Wenger and Szczesny both admitted that Liverpool deserved to win the game, and that they killed us in the first half.
There were two men of the match today, Wojciech Szczesny and van Persie.It means a lot, to score at Anfield is big because Anfield is a massive ground,I’m proud of that, but even more proud of this win. I don’t think we really deserved it to be honest because Liverpool played better.I think we are 10 points ahead of Liverpool now and we can wait to see what Spurs do tomorrow (against Manchester United). It’s a big win, a massive win.
Arsenal’s Polish goalkeeper paid tribute to the manager, as well.
He made me the No 1 goalkeeper at Arsenal at 20 years of age. That gives you a lot of confidence and I am just trying to repay that faith with every single performance.I have had my ups and down, but the manager keeps believing in me and I hope that performances like this just prove him right.
Szczesny has come a long way since his debut at Old Trafford. The moment when he patted Koscielny after he scored a rather unfortunate own goal, takes us back to the bygone era of the famous Back Four. I do think Sagna, Koscielny, Vermaelen, Santos and Szczesny have the ability to become as great as Dixon, Adams, Bould, Winterburn and Seaman. Of course, they will take their time, and I hope they will be ready for it next season.
Meanwhile, Mikel Arteta recovered in time to leave for London, with the team bus, according to reports. It was a really nice gesture from Liverpool fans to applaud the former Everton midfielder. Arteta, later said,
I have suffered the biggest fear of my life, I only remember the fall by the blow and nothing after. It was terrifying but now I am better. Sincerely, I do not remember too much apart from the impact. I have heard people applauded me as I left the field and I am grateful for this reception.
While we are about injuries, Jack Wilshere is slated to return towards the end of the season, and hopefully in time for the European Championships. It has been a frustrating season for the young Englishman, who has seen his returning date being postponed several times. Arsene Wenger is remaining cautious in this case.
We have good news but Jack isn’t close to a comeback,The last scan was good and he can start to jog again so he is on the way back – but we have to be very cautious with him.I hope to have him back before the end of the season, but we go step by step.
One player who returned to action was Abou Diaby. He played about half-an-hour, replacing Arteta at Anfield, and looked lively during his time on the pitch. Unfortunately, or rather, as usual, he has suffered a setback. Another ‘tight hamstring’, means he is out of contention to play the Milan game tomorrow. Other doubts are Kieran Gibbs and Yossi Benayoun.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, in no way related to Roman Abrahamovich, recently revealed in an interview that one of the proudest moments of his career, was when he was given an Arsenal shirt, with his name behind it. He told he was made an offer by Arsenal, but declined it, instead, to join Ajax, citing the reason that Arsene Wenger didn’t want him enough. Rather than buy him out right, he was offered a trial at the club, which to him was demeaning. He says he had enough trust on his ability, and that Arsenal should have made a direct offer for him. How self-obsessed can one be? I hope, sooner or later, we extract revenge from this egoistic Swede, who thinks he is better than Pele.
Finally, ahead of the Milan game, Arsene Wenger says that the Gunners will give it their all, in the second leg, despite virtually being out.
We want to make the impossible possible. From the first leg it looks impossible but we have to have a real go, play with belief and think we can do it.You never know. Maybe I will change the structure of the team to go for it and see if we can put them under pressure and score some goals.We have nothing to lose. For us to find the right balance between having to completely go forward and not concede a goal will be the difficulty for us because they have talented players.We have a lot to answer for and to respond to in the second leg. Everyone expects us to be out, but we are not yet, we are still in there.We look decimated after the game. I don’t know who will be available on Tuesday night. Maybe I will play with six strikers as we have to score goals!
Seems highly unlikely, that we will knock Milan out, but as a Gunner fan for a long time, I am highly optimistic. Of course, Milan are no Blackburn or Sp*rs, but we have to believe in the team and its abilities.
Jai Arsenal 🙂