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Bigger tests lie ahead for Gunners in 2011

Gunners rise above pressure to achieve good home result

Just when most had written off Arsenal, they came back firing on all cylinders against Chelsea. Arsenal’s apparent lack of motivation and cutting edge in big games was nowhere to be seen, as the impressive 3-1 scoreline would suggest. Even staunch Arsenal supporters would admit that the Gunners were merely spectators during the first half at Old Trafford recently, and would have subsequently winced upon finding out that Barcelona lie ahead in the Champions League knockout stages. However, results like these inspire teams to get back to top form and push for silverware, something which has been absent from the trophy cabinet at the Emirates for a number of seasons now.

Arsenal are having a topsy-turvy season if truth be told. The Gunners have suffered a relatively high number of losses already, in a league where consistency and a winning mentality are of paramount importance. However, their inconsistency this season has been mimicked by the other so called ‘big five’. There is a much more even share of the spoils with regard to big clashes, an area where Arsenal have been poor recently. They have now claimed the scalps of Manchester City and Chelsea this season, proof that the formula is working to some degree. So often when watching Arsenal in big games, it is hard to see where the end product is coming from, in particular at old Trafford recently, where Arsenal deserved the win less than Wayne Rooney deserves his next anniversary present. However, when they are able to turn posession and passing into goals, they are devastating, a joy to watch, and a testament to the aesthetically pleasing football in Europe’s toughest and most physically demanding league.

If this is truly the result that injects the much needed life into Arsenal’s title hopes, then fans must sit back and take stock briefly. In truth, Chelsea were poor on Monday night. They lacked the physicality necessary to overcome Arsenal, and Ancelotti has also publically admitted that Chelsea switched off and made far too many mistakes. In a competition with the quality of the Premier League, mistakes do not go unpunished. To use a cliché or two, there is still a long way to go until May, and a lot can happen from now until then. I am optimistic about Arsenal’s chances, and I am a big supporter of the Wenger project. However, I will have my optimism served with a large side of caution, because there is still a massive degree of unpredictability associated with Arsenal nowadays; and if you are in any doubt, please note this season’s results against Shakhtar Donetsk.

I do not intend to take anything away from Arsenal; they achieved a fantastic result against Chelsea. However, I fear that they still lack the necessary strength and conviction in big away games. With Barcelona looming menacingly over the horizon, I fear that the upcoming trip to the Nou Camp could prove to be a massive headache for Wenger. I am sure that Mourinho will be at hand to recommend a decent brand of paracetamol.



  1. Pride habeeb

    December 28, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Happy celebration to all arsenal fan, more glory will still come to end the drougth of silverwere

  2. Pride habeeb

    December 28, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Happy celebration of boxing day with chelsea victory to all arsenal fan, more glory will still come to end the drougth of silverwere.

  3. Arsenal

    December 28, 2010 at 10:29 pm

    @ shaun_wares….Be optimistic and a real soccer know-how fans of Arsenal games is total proposition…..Your comments was naive, and speak of a jerk you are…….If Arsenal team hit the right form at the right time even Barcelona can be blown out of sight

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  5. nikkogunners

    December 28, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    I keep asking Myself. How come we keep struggling yet we have the greatest rate of goal creation. How come we suffer from to many spoiled chances. I think we need to reorganize our striking, How come we do not have 30 goal strikers? I suspect We need a really good run in the second half of the season to half the cups we need. My remedy is we can cash in on RvP and Bendtner, promote Walcott to central striking role (he is getting the goals, isn’t he?)And get two guys from the list below

    Here is my quick search for strikers in Bundesliga to show that cheap but effective 20-30 goal strikers do exist

    Theofanis Gekas

    With Panathinaikos, Gekas scored 23 goals in 41 appearances. In the season 2005–06 Gekas made his debut in the UEFA Champions League and came second in the Greek top goalscorers list.

    On 19 May 2010, it was confirmed that Gekas signed a 2 year contract with the German club Eintracht Frankfurt. Gekas has thus far scored 14 goals in 17 appearances to lead the Bundesliga scoring charts.

    He is retired from International football and thus no problems of International break injuries. He is not Cup tied.
    Pounds 3-5Million

    Pappis Cisse, 25 year Old Senegal has 13 goals in the Bundersliga and his team SC Freiburg are placed 6th in the league. He is not Cup tied and would love to play for Gunners. Has been in the Gunners radar before.
    Estimate Pounds 10Million

    Srđan Lakić (born 2 October 1983 in Dubrovnik) is a Croatian football striker who currently plays for FC Kaiserslautern in the German Bundesliga. He has 11 goals and his side is 12th in the league.
    Pounds 4 Million

    Edin Dzeko needs no introduction and has ten Goals in the Bundasliga for Wolfburg. He is damn expensive and may be cup tied.
    Valuation Pounds 26 Million

    André Schürrle (born 6 November 1990) is a German footballer who plays as a forward for Mainz in the Bundesliga. The German U21 international was born in Ludwigshafen. Has 9 goals in the Bundersliga and is not cup tied. Mainz are placed second and looking forward to champion league next season.
    Pounds 8 Million

    Hugo Miguel Pereira de Almeida (born 23 May 1984) is a Portuguese footballer who plays for SV Werder Bremen in the German Bundesliga, as a centre forward.
    After failing to establish himself at F.C. Porto, being loaned various times during his contract, he made a name for himself in Germany with Werder Bremen. Making his debut for the Portuguese national team in 2004, aged 20, he appeared at Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
    He is 6’3 and an added aerial threat
    Valuation Pounds 17Millon

    Lucas Ramón Barrios Cáceres (born 13 November 1984 in San Fernando, Buenos Aires) is an Argentine-born Paraguayan footballer. He currently plays as a striker for Borussia Dortmund in the German Bundesliga. Barrios is known for his effectiveness in the target area. This earned him his nickname, La Pantera which means The Panther.
    Barrios’ mother is Paraguayan, which made him eligible to receive Paraguay nationality at birth. He received his Paraguay nationality in March 2010.[1] (and renounce Argentine nationality as the nation did not recognize dual nationality).
    He is 6’2 and aerial opportunities can be taken advantage off.
    Valuation Pounds 12Million (Could be much more expensive as Borussia Dortmund are preparing for Champions league next season)

    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar born 12 August 1983 in Voor-Drempt, Gelderland), nicknamed The Hunter,[1] is a Dutch professional footballer who currently plays as a striker for Schalke 04 and internationally for the Dutch national team. Huntelaar is a prolific striker[2] with technique and athleticism[3] and has been compared in style to players such as Marco van Basten[4] and Ruud van Nistelrooy.[5]
    He has 13 appearances for Schalke and has scored 7 goals.
    Valuation Pounds 12Milion

    Edin Hazard – Lille 25Million – No Introduction

    Ola Toivonen (born 3 July 1986 in Degerfors, Örebro County) is a Swedishfootballer who plays for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven. He plays primarily as a strikerand can also play as a midfielder – 5Million. He is 6’3

    Jonas Gonçalves Oliveira, also known as Jonas (born April 1, 1984 in Bebedouro), is a Brazilian Forward. Jonas can also play as a Striker, Winger and a Attacking Midfielder. He currently plays for Grêmio. – 7M

    Björn Vleminckx (born 1 December 1985 in Boom, Antwerp) is a Belgian footballercurrently playing for Dutch Eredivisie side N.E.C. and the Belgian national team. 2M

    Moussa Sow (born January 19, 1986 in Mantes-la-Jolie, Yvelines), is a French-bornSenegalese football player who currently plays for French club Lille OSC in Ligue 1. Currently, Sow is the leading scorer in Ligue 1, with 13 goals in 16 matches
    Tim Matavž (born 13 January 1989 in Šempeter pri Gorici) is a Slovenian football player who plays as a striker for FC Groningen. Tim Matavž is continuing with scoring in the season 2010/2011. Up to know (26 December 2010) he has scored 10 goals. Although he is quite tall, he scored 9 out of 10 goals with his foot. On 9 October 2010 Matavž scored a hat-trick for Slovenia in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Faroe Islands.[6] At the age of 21, he is the youngest player ever to score three goals for his country. 2M
    Edinson Roberto Cavani Gómez[1] (born February 14, 1987 in Salto) is a Uruguayanfootball striker with Italian origins. He currently plays for S.S.C. Napoli. In July 2010 Cavani signed a contract for Palermo’s Serie A rivals Napoli, in a loan bid.[10] Cavani scored twice in his first start, as Napoli beatElfsborg in the Europa League as Napoli won 2-0 and qualified to the main tournament. He then started off his Napoli Serie A career in spectacular fashion, scoring a controversial goal on Fiorentina after just seven minutes, with replays showing the ball hardly crossing the line. Cavani also scored on his home debut against Bari, before adding a late winner against Sampdoria, which rendered he had scored in his first four competitive matches with Napoli. On the 26 September 2010, Cavani came in as a late replacement with 30 minutes left in a game against Cesena which Napoli were losing 1-0. After assisting the equalizing goal, he went on to scoring two more. The final score was 4-1. That meant Cavani shared the lead in the scoring charts of the entire series with Samuel Eto’o.[11] On 15 December 2010, Cavani netted a 90+2 minute goal against FC Steaua Bucureşti to help his team to a 1-0 win and enable it to progress beyond the group stage of the UEFA Europa League. On first match in Romania, he scored a equalizer goal in minute 90+7 5M
    Roberto Soldado Rillo (born 27 May 1985) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Valencia CF, as a striker. n early June 2010, after a successful year at Getafe – 16 league goals, and the club qualified for the UEFA Europa League – Soldado returned to his hometown and signed for Valencia for €10 million, replacing FC Barcelona-bound David Villa. In his first official game, on 14 September, for the Champions League group stage, he contributed one goal in the Che’s 4–0 win at Bursaspor; when the two teams met at the Estadio Mestalla in November, he netted two more, in a 6–1 success. Soldado represented Spain at all its youth levels, scoring a total of 26 goals.

    Fernando Llorente Torres (born February 26, 1985), nicknamed El Rey León (The Lion Kingin Spanish),[1] is a Spanish footballer who plays for Athletic Bilbao and the Spanish national team, as a striker.
    Llorente started his career with Athletic Bilbao, swiftly working his way through the various youth ranks, and becoming one of the most important offensive players for the club in the following decade, since making his first team debuts in 2005. Despite Athletic’s modest start to the season, he netted 14 league goals – a career-best – with another four in the Cup, helping his team reach the final against Barcelona (1–4 loss).
    In the 2009–10 season, Llorente again netted in double figures; additionally, he led all scorers in the Europa League for a lengthy period, with eight goals. He added 14 in the league as Athletic finished in eighth position.
    On 28 August 2010, Llorente scored the first goal of 2010–11, in a 1–0 win at Hércules CF. His form continued in the next ten league fixtures, as he found the net seven times.
    He is a giant at 6.5″. He has a buy out clause of 30M

    Who to sell?

    RvP (rumoured to be headed for Bayern or Inter (

    Rosicky, Denilson, Arshavin, Kocsiely, Scillachi, Clichy Almunia and if Fabrigas wants out to

    There will be about 100Million in sales and therefore 100Million can be used to buy.
    Hangarland, Chris Samba, either of the Borrusia pair of Neven Subotic or Marcel Schmelzer, would be great to have Vongorteng, Mascherano and Hazard midfield additions.
    Lloris in goal.

    My team
    Sagna, Subotic/Schmelzer, Samba, Vermerleen/Gibbs

    ———Mascherano/Vontgoten, Song

    ————Hazard, Walcott, Nasri,

    ———-Chamakh/(Almeida/Barrios/Pappis) – any of these three will be a strong addition to the front line.

    Vary the game by removing Song and bringing someone to assist upfront in striking and remove Chamakh and bring in the other striker. Walcott will get his role as second central striker. Of course we do not expect such changes in Arsenal FC under Monsieur Wenger, Certainly not this winter Tranfer!

  6. nikkogunners

    December 28, 2010 at 11:12 pm

  7. Pingback: Bigger tests lie ahead for Gunners in 2011 – Football Talk « All About Football

  8. Pingback: Chelsea transfer special: Gary Cahill, Lassana Diarra, Fernando Torres and the … – (blog) | Fernando Torres – Football Player

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