Hello Gooners. This is my first blog update from my new laptop, and it certainly is a fine one. After all the jump from an 8 year old PC, with 512 MB RAM, Pentium 4 Processor, 40 GB Hard Disk, to a laptop with 4 GB RAM, i5 2nd generation processor, and 1 TB Hard Disk, is quite massive. 🙂
Let’s start off on a legendary note. Thierry Henry paid homage to Arsene Wenger’s undying belief in the young squad.
He makes you believe in yourself. He will let you be what you want to be. And obviously at times he has to be hard. That’s him, he will make you aware of your abilities and make sure you take care of it and take advantage of it.He does now and then, but that’s often the way it has to be, kind of political. He loves them [his players] that much that sometimes … he’s not going to lose it like all managers.And that’s the beauty of him; he believes in his players so much, that sometimes, like you see recently, his players can turn around a situation just like that.In those four games, Arsenal were losing and they came back. He believes in the team.
It certainly has been quite a turnaround. We have spoken a lot about it in recent weeks, but still can’t stop. Of course, we have tough games, Manchester City and Chelsea at home, but then no game is easy these days.
Meanwhile, Alex Song, reportedly could be one of Arsenal’s best paid players. Wenger has managed to pen down contract extensions for the club’s top assets like Tomas and Thomas, Rosicky and Vermaelen, and that brother of calamity, Johan Djourou. Alex Song, has been absolutely brilliant in midfield this season. He has polished his game, and is now the league’s most foremost defensive midfielders. And what’s more, he has the eye for that killer pass too. That Messi moment against Dortmund, and fantastic long balls against Everton, Liverpool and more recently, Aston Villa.
In other news, Le Prof revealed that Laurent Koscielny suffered tendinitis, and is expected to be back for Saturday’s clash against QPR at Loftus Road.
Koscielny had tendinitis in his knee when he woke up this morning. I don’t know what position he slept in but he could not walk properly. He tried in the warm-up but could not play,We decided in the morning when he woke up. He came to see me and said he was not sure that he could play with that pain.So we called somebody up and pushed him in the warm-up. Straight away after the first run he said he could not even move. How bad it is we have to assess.
Hopefully, Koscielny will be back. QPR, didn’t play too particularly well against Liverpool, but managed to beat the Reds 3-2. Moving on, Robin van Persie has hailed the special talent, Alex Oxlade Chamberlain.
He can have a big impact,He’s shown that already in a couple of games. He has pace, he is clever, he knows when to pass, he knows to dribble and he has good technique.Basically he has everything to become a great player. I’m sure that he’ll have a bright future with Arsenal and England.I agree. Definitely. I rate Rooney highly; he’s a big player, a very good player and an all-round player. He can score goals, he can provide assists, he can make nice actions, good crosses, passes. He has a bit of everything.Chamberlain does play in a bit of a different position, either on the left or the right wing although that could change in the future, you never know where you’ll end up. They’re both very all-round [players] definitely.
Another player, who is doing hard to impress in his first season at Arsenal is Gervinho. He feels he is getting back to his best, after the Africa Cup of Nations debacle.
I spoke to the coach when I came back [from the Africa Cup of Nations]. He knew I was tired and I needed a bit of time to recover and to get back to my best. Now, I feel good again.I want to finish the season well and be a key part of the team in the last games of the season and help the team to finish in the top three.
I am still not too sure what Gervinho can actually offer to the team. He is not an out and out striker, nor he is a winger, who sets the flank ablaze. What he can do well is dribble, and has real good ball control. However, he has been erratic in front of goal, missing a few sitters along the way. Let’s hope Wenger can work his magic on him.
Mikel Arteta has been influential this season, and his passing stats are second to none, and more importantly, on par with the aliens from Barcelona. He has hailed the spirit within the squad, to fight it out for results, recently.
“To be honest I was really surprised with the spirit when I came here – even when we were down it was so good,It is something you rely on because if you start blaming each other and shouting at each other it is not good. This group has always been positive, the manager has always been positive with the players and we have kept at it. We have the talent, we know we have the ability to win games and sometimes it is just about the balance in confidence. We have it all together now.
On his screamer, against Aston Villa,
I don’t know, I was just confident, I had my family here as well and I wanted to score for them.Robin takes them really well too and he takes a lot of the free-kicks. When you come to a new club it is not easy. When I was at Everton I used to take all of them and score many goals from free-kicks. But it was nice to score against Villa in that way. When you are winning, life is good and you can see that the fans are enjoying it at the moment. They deserve it as well because they were behind us when things weren’t going right. Hopefully we can finish the season strongly because we have a group of players and staff who really mean business.
Finally, Arsenal legend Nigel Winterburn spoke about how confidence makes the difference to see out games, and he also spoke about Arsenal being potential challengers for the title next season.
Confidence plays a big part when you are on a good run of form,You just never think you are going to lose, even when you go a goal behind. You always have the belief that you will come back and that the minimum you will get is a draw.I think it is sometimes hard for the supporters to understand how big a part confidence plays in a player. You need great mental strength as well and I think the team has showed that.After AC Milan the players were low and they would have had to dig deep because they had some severe criticism. But recently they have shown great desire to get back into that top four and put a run of results together.Some supporters were angry earlier in the season because they want this great club to be challenging for trophies. But now the team is on a terrific run and what they need to do now is keep that going until the end of the season, make sure Champions League football is secured and then get ready to challenge next season.
They have a good core of talent and if they can add one or two to it then I think they will be even stronger next season,I expect them to be back up there at least challenging. If you put yourself in that position then that is all you can ask. Eventually you get yourself over the line first and hopefully that will be sooner rather than later for Arsenal.I have looked at the years gone by when people talk about how long it has been, but I can count at least two seasons where they were in a position to have won it,They have also been close in cup finals and have been to semi-finals as well so I think the divide line between success and failure is very close.If they can continue their recent revival until the end of the season and then start off again next year, hopefully they will put themselves in a position to challenge for the Premier League. That is what everybody wants.
Finally, an interesting article, comparing Yossi Benayoun and $amir Ca$hri, on Arsenal Arsenal. A good read. Have a good day.
Jai Arsenal 🙂