News From The Grove

Gallas No Longer Arsenal Captain

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on November 21, 2008

gallas1William Gallas is no longer the captain of Arsenal Football Club.  After questioning his teammates commitment in an interview, he was relieved off his duties by Arsene Wenger. Although no official comments have been made by the club yet, it is understood that the choice is between Kolo Toure and Gael Clichy to replace Gallas. An announcement from the club is expected soon.

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Platini Gets Scolded By His Father, Clichy And Silvestre Ready

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 26, 2008

Tomorrow we play Hull City, who have done quite well for themselves so far. Eight points from five games for a team that is playing in the Premier League for the very first time, it is a remarkable achievement. They are a good side and in Phil Brown, they have a very good manager. However, given our form of late, the game shouldn’t be too tough for us. The Tigers will come with a different strategy to the Grove and try and crowd the midfield and hurry on to our players in order to give them less time to play the passing game. We should be able to take care of that, however, we must ensure that we don’t concede first. Easy as it may seem, but I have a feeling that if we concede first, they are going to make it very very difficult for us. The boss thinks that our defence has been very good so far. It is true that we have conceded just 3 goals so far, against Fulham, Bolton and Dynamo Kyiv, But I feel that we have been lucky. Kevin Davies was winning the long balls ahead of Gallas and Toure in the game against Bolton and that is where we are the most vulnerable. Credit to Almunia for keeping the clean sheets because many a times the Toure-Gallas wall was breached. Lesser sides couldn’t capitalise maybe, but the top teams will definitely punish us, make no mistake about it. The good thing is that our attack has improved tremendously. Last season there weren’t many goals coming from the midfield, except for Fabregas. This season, we already have 3 from Adebayor, 3 from Robin van Persie, 2 from Denilson, and 1 each from Bendtner, Eboue and Nasri. Which means, we are not too dependent on any single player to get us the goals. Which is good news.

Moving on, Gael Clichy is fit to face Hull, after recovering from that sick tackle by Davies. However, Samir Nasri is not available, as he has failed to recover from the knee problem. Also ready for the first time is Silvestre. Song should be available as well, as there were reports that he has recovered from his hip injury. Given the awesome partnership displayed by Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner, there is a possibility that the boss might start with the same pairing upfront. Nicklas Bendtner, who was one of the older players to play in that match against Sheffield United, says that there is more to come from him. He says:

“This season I want to push on, to play more regularly and show people what I really can do, because so far what people have seen is far from everything.”

I have said before that I like this guy’s confidence, which sometimes people mistake as arrogance. He is very sure about his own abilities and says that openly. If he thinks he is better than you, he will tell you straight on your face. It’s this confidence that the boss likes in him. Bendtner, when he was a reserve player, once went up to Wenger and told him that he is good enough to play in the first team and if he doesn’t get to start, he should at least be amongst the substitutes. Walking up to Arsene Wenger and telling him that, no matter who you are, takes courage. And this fellow has lots of it, along with a steady head on his shoulders.

Another young but very mature fellow is Cesc Fabregas. Following the drubbing of Sheffied Utd by a very young Arsenal team, Fabregas said that it was a warning for him, and he cannot afford to take his place in Arsenal’s midfield for granted. That, coming from a player who is considered one of the best midfielders in the world, tells you two things. One, the quality of our reserve team and two, Fabregas never gets ahead of himself. He says:

“Sometimes when the players are so young you can feel your place is too secure and so it’s fantastic to have some kind of competition, that they wake you up a little and they can make you a better player.”

How very true. If you have competition, someone constantly breathing down your neck, then you work that extra bid, go that extra mile, which in turn shows in your performance on the pitch. And it’s that kind of a performance that we hope from the team when we take on Hull tomorrow. Hoping for a goal fest. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Before ending today’s post, here is a funny story. Yesterday I told you about Platini’s comments, where he said that Wenger is more concerned about the business side of football than helping develop the game. Wenger wasn’t happy with his comments, nor was the LMA. Now, Platini’s father has scolded him, saying that what he said was stupid and that he should get his head checked. My advise to Platini is that he should seriously listen to his father and take his friend Bald Blatter to see a shrink. Before it is too late.

More tomorrow..

Walcott’s Hattrick, England’s Revenge

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on September 10, 2008

Theo Walcott has announced his arrival into the international scene. With a superb performance, the 19-year-old decimated Croatia in the World Cup 2010 qualifier match in Zagreb, thus making England the first country ever to win a competitive match in Croatia. First selected as a 16-year-old for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, where he didn’t get to play a single game, he has come a long way. On a night when England had to do well after their lacklustre performance against lowly Andorra, Walcott took the number 7 and the right midfield from David Beckham. And did he perform or what!!

26th minute: Croatia fail to clear their line following an English attack. Ball falls to Walcott and he drives a low shot into the net.

59th minute: Rooney plays one-two with Heskey before passing it to Walcott. Walcott drills another into the net.

82nd minute: Rooney plays a through ball. Walcott sprints forward and calmly beats the goalkeeper

This will give the young man a lot of confidence and he will be able to play with more freedom. The other teams better watch out because Theo Walcott has arrived.

Since I’m not a fan of England’s football team and the only other game on TV was France against Serbia, I decided to watch that. Surprisingly, Gallas partnered Abidal in central defence, with Clichy and Sagna playing as fullbacks. Henry as usual got his customary goal and Anelka got the other in the 2-1 win for the French. Samir Nasri didn’t feature and Mathieu Flamini came on for the last 3 seconds and didn’t get a touch of the ball. Among Arsenal interests, I thought Sagna was excellent. His forward runs were awesome and on couple of occasions he easily took on Nemanja Vidic.

Well, nothing else happening as far as Arsenal are concerned. No developments yet on the Appiah issue as well. So that’s all for now. More Tomorrow.

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Silence in the grove

Posted in Arsenal by Our Correspondent on May 18, 2008

Not much happening in the grove. The boss hasn’t revealed any signings yet. There were rumours sometime back that we are tracking Niko Kranjcar and Kranjcar senior came out saying that the boss admires his son’s style of play. He says that he will consider a move if a ‘big’ club comes calling. He will be a god addition as Hleb looks set to depart. There are also reports that we are tracking Diego. Spanish media is going crazy with reports that Real Madrid’s Robinho was spotted with an Arsenal scout and that he will move to the grove as he is not happy with life in Madrid. Robinho will not come cheap. He will be a great signing though.

French coach, Domenech the c*nt, has announced the squad for Euro 2008. It doesn’t feature Gael Clicy and Bakary Sagna. Only a thick headed bastard won’t select players who had a tremendous season in the world’s best football league. And Domenech is one such thick headed bastard. Hope the French lose.

Denilson and Gilberto Silva have been selected in the preliminary Olympic squad of Brazil. That squad has 74 men in it.

Be back with more tomorrow.

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