When Saturday Comes…

Morning Gooners,

So here we are on the verge of the new season, players brought in (some of high quality too), players have moved on but the hot topic at Arsenal is still about the future of our captain, RVP. Something’s never change and yet again it’s been less of the ‘will he won’t he’ but ‘when will he’.

The unthinkable is fast becoming the inevitable as RVP is closing on his move to ‘arch rivals’ Man Utd. Similar to Frank Stapleton, 31 years on, RVP has set his heart (and wallet) on a move to Old Trafford. Arsenal seem to be playing a game of hardball, albeit in a weakened position thanks to THAT public statement,  by demanding close to the £25m (ONO, full service history, one careful owner).

What does this move say about all parties involved?

RVP:

H’s clearly willing to turn his back on his ‘I’ll always be a Gunner’ sentiment at the close of the season to wear the shirt of a key rival. I guess he clearly thinks by leaving this current squad at Arsenal, he is taking a step towards achieving his career aims. I’d disagree but I’m an Arsenal fan so my view point will always be bias.

Interestingly, friends who are fans of other clubs feel RVP is making the wrong decision by leaving Arsenal and joining a United team that flattered to deceive last season. For reference, these same fans rightly said Arsenal would struggle post Cesc.

 

United:

Well they’ll feel like the cat that got the cream while Arsenal fans just hope they soon find that it’s just soured milk. United fans will be overjoyed that they’ve just bought the best player in the premiership last season, bar none. At c£20-25million and 29 years old, they have every right to be cautious. Personally, I believe United are making a big striker signing as a signal of intent to their City rivals rather than a practical signing against the requirements of their squad. United do not lack a goal scorer or few; they lack someone to put their foot on the ball and dictate play. They also lack a proper defensive midfielder who can effectively screen the defence, especially in Europe. United have already missed out on Moura and Hazard, RVP was not their priority.

Arsenal:

Selling another captain in the summer, letting the best player in England go to our rivals and yet again taking a step backwards after impressive signings so far this summer. I’m not going to dwell and recover the roads that led us here, I rather be pragmatic (or a d*ck as I was told yesterday) and look forward offering support to the players that will take to the pitch against Sunderland, and the remainder of the season. Cazorla is a fantastic player that will fill the creative void left by Cesc. Giroud a more complete target man than Chamakh and Podolski is a real winner who wants to show everyone in Germany he can cut it. I also don’t think the spending is over yet. It’s time to look forward and get ready for the new season, players come and go but the club will always remain.

There is an argument to say that that RVP moving on will allow the team to become more balanced as the focal point of the attack is removed and the goal scoring work load is then shared between the likes of Poldi, Theo, AOC, Gervinho, Cazorla and Giroud. This argument at this point would be seen as clutching at straws but who remembers when Henry left? The season after certain members of the team stepped up and took Arsenal to the closest they have been to a title since 2004.

 

Away from the RVP saga, the rumours about Song potentially leaving for Barcelona seem to be growing stronger. If Arsenal do choose to sell Song, it will be entirely that, their choice. Song has three years left on his contract; the choice to sell will be made by Wenger and I’d expect a replacement to come it. It would be a pity if we did sell Song, as infuriating as he can be at times, we would lose a player who has grown in stature and popularity and I would argue he is the one most improved players in Wenger’s reign.

After 3 months of housework, watching the Olympics and putting up with daily transfer bullsh*t, the football season is finally here. I can’t wait to make the journey to the Grove on Saturday for a 3pm kick off, the Tollington banter and the sight of the hallow turf for the first time. Remember it’s a marathon not a sprint and if the Olympics have taught us anything, the crowd can lift an athlete to achieve more than they ever believed possible. When Saturday come…

 

COME ON THE ARSENAL!!!

 

~ @Tottz82

 

 

 

 

They come, they go.

Morning Gooners,

Lack of real football news right now but who cares about football while the Olympics are on!! I’ve been to the table tennis and have become addicted to gymnastics, swimming and hockey. The athletics haven’t even started yet! It’s been thoroughly enjoyable so far and I really hope our worldwide readers are enjoying the show in London too.

Back to the Arsenal, 18 days before the season starts and there’s plenty to be sorted out. Are the players fit enough? With only one friendly left to play (in Cologne) , Wenger has indicated that Podolski and Giroud may not be fit enough to start the season and will been to be introduced gradually. Those of you that read my blog last week will know my thoughts on the actually practicalities of a Far East preseason tour.  Yes, we’ve raised our profile in the Far East and we’re now likely to receive favourable commercial offers from the region but we’ve also got a squad who aren’t ready to start the season as we require. Like I stated last week, we’re not the only ones on foreign shores, so are we all willing to sacrifice the good of the team in the short term for long term commercial gain?  Apparently so.

There are plenty of coming and goings still to sort out. I’ll stay true to my form and avoid getting involved in transfer tittle tattle but the goings seem to be focussed around Bendtner, Arshavin and Squillaci and the comings rumoured to potentially include Cazorla, Sahin and M’Vila (still clutching on to that!) . The comings are very dependent on the goings actually finally going.

One likely exit still to actually get going is the the departure of want a way RVP. Arsenal legend Henry had his say on the topic:

”We hope he stays and that’s the way it is,” the Frenchman told Sky Sports News.

”I don’t know exactly what is happening but as an Arsenal fan I want him to stay. ”He is still an Arsenal player and the boss has to deal with it.

”I just want Arsenal to do well. Robin will do what he will do and we’ll see.

”When I left, everybody cried, but then the year after they went on a run of being eight points ahead. Everyone comes and goes.”

Precisely, no one is bigger than the club.

Arsenal old boy Martin Keown has also been talking defenders:

“I think Koscielny is an outstanding player,” Keown told Arsenal.com. “He is very nimble on his feet and defensively in a one v one I think he is the best we have.

“Thomas Vermaelen is very powerful and attacks the ball brilliantly alongside him, so I think those two together look like a formidable pair.”

Throw Mertesacker in to the mix and we actually have 3 top level centre backs but the defensive organisation and collective mentality is out weakness. Sort that out and we’re a true threat.

With not much else going, that’s it from me.

Have a good one and enjoy the Olympics!

~@Tottz82

21st Century Pre-Season

Morning Gooners

The London Olympics are around the corner as is the new season and Arsenal kicked off their pre-season proper with a win against a Malaysia XI. I’ve only seen the briefest of highlights and while a win is always important, in pre-season it is more important to get everyone one of our players  match fit, sharp and most importantly at Arsenal, through to the first game of the season uninjured.

Arsenal had a couple of half chances in the first half through Santos and Chamakh but fell a goal behind on the stroke of half time with a great strike from ‘Muslim’. Arsenal took their sweet time but equalised on 86mins through great work by Yennaris and a finish by Eisfeld. Just when they thought it was all over, Chuks Aneke’s looping/deflected shot won the game for the Arsenal.

She's heard about his scoring record...

With no reported injuries, it seemed to be a very good work out in tough humid conditions and a Hackney marsh style of pitch. If anyone watched the game and tried to over analyse the performance as a team or of an individual, I feel sorry for you. It’s a pre-season friendly, it means nothing unless we pick up injuries. When I was younger (yes I just used that phrase!), you found out about your pre-season result in the column at the bottom of the newspaper the next morning. ‘Oh we won, that’s good… now who’s on page 3…’ would be my typical reaction.

Today’s pre-season games are part of money making worldwide tours designed to further the ‘brand’ name of the football club to increase commercial opportunities. Every manager would prefer to warming up for the season in a small training camp in North London or Austria. Arsenal are in the far east with Man City and United (I believe), while Liverpool, Chelsea and Sp*rs are all in the USA etc etc. The players gain no benefit from these locations; if anything their bodies are put under greater strain from travelling and ‘unusual’ conditions. To sum it up, Arsenal play Man City in Beijing in the Birds Nest stadium on Friday, what’s the point? Money.

Here are the highlights from yesterday:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-VVSsOLuFb4

 

In other news;

Emmanuel Frimpong has been charged by the FA for improper conduct on Twitter:

The FA released a statement today saying that Frimpong posted a comment “amounting to improper conduct and/or which brought the game into disrepute”.

The comment is believed to have “included a reference to ethnic origin, faith or race”.

The comments related back to a Tottnum fan who said ‘he’d pray’ for Frimpong to break all his legs and die, yet Frimmy gets charged. While Frimmy pleaded ignorance to his slur:

“Just wanna Say didn’t even no the word is offensive as u hear it all the time but u live and learn from ur mistakes Have a gd afternoon”

He like other ‘choc ice’ eating footballers need to learn to either grow up or delete their twitter accounts. I think Arseblogger sums it up brilliantly in this post:

http://news.arseblog.com/2012/07/twitter-guidelines-issued-as-frimpong-is-charged/

That’s actually about it if im staying away from Santi ‘the new Juan Mata transfer saga’ Cazorla and complete non story that is the RVP transfer saga.

Here’s to some good news soon on the transfer front, the quicker players are in and out, the better.

Have a good one Gooners.

~ @Tottz82

 

The Annual Summer Break-up.

Morning Gooners,

So who remembers how I ended last week’s blog…

‘…Here’s hoping for more news next week.’

Well later that afternoon my ‘wish’ came true as RVP dropped a bombshell on his own website by announcing he would not be signing a new contract. (Apologies if you’ve read all this before and I’m covering old ground but I wanted to say my two cents.)

‘I’ve thought long and hard about it, but I have decided not to extend my contract.’

First thoughts? Oh Sh*t but I’m not surprised. No news isn’t typically good news in this situation and the longer this dragged on, the more unlikely it became that we would see a positive outcome. It was only after hearing the conclusion of the statement that I started to pick out parts of the full statement.

I’m not going to pick out words and phrases to analyse it a week on but the general tone of the email shocked me then and still puzzles me now. In essence, RVP was questioning the clubs policy and set up. Some will argue he has every right to question the off pitch activity (or lack of it) if this is a concern to him but there is a way to express your concerns.

Ok fine, you’ve made the decision not to renew and you want to move, guess what? you’re not the first and I can guarantee you won’t be the last. Once you’ve told the club your final decision, allow them to hold a press conference or issue a public statement informing all. Through this process the club are able to maintain a strong bargaining hand when negotiating the transfer but more importantly RVP is able to keep the bond with the club and fans he has told us all about over the last few seasons. We’re not stupid, we understand players move on and want to continue their careers elsewhere. We would love to see RVP see out his career at the Arsenal and go down as one of the all time greats, why? Because we’re selfish passionate fans who only think of our one love, The Arsenal. Like with Henry and others before, he could have walked off under bit of a cloud but eventually welcomed back as part of the family.

Too late now. The statement was designed to create a stir and to make his position as club captain, lest we forget, untenable.  He/his advisors clearly acted without the clubs knowledge and wanted to ensure that they drew the first punch. That first punch floored the club who reacted with a statement shortly afterwards, but by then RVP’s camp had created the stir they wanted. Fans were furious at the lack of respect show by our captain toward the club and more importantly, his manager who had stuck by him for eight seasons and had even recently defended his ‘class’ after the Euros.

This situation could have been handled a lot better by RVP and his advisors, who were clearly behind this.  Bridges have been burnt.

There are plenty of questions that still remain unanswered for me and including the fact that RVP’s behaviour toward the end of the season did not match the tone of this statement.  My gut feel is that this isn’t over yet. That does not mean we’re about to see a Rooney/Gerrard style U-Turn but we may witness a battle between Arsenal and City over where RVP ends up. The fact regardless is simple, yet another summer of preparation messed up due to the sale of our star player.

So where do we go from here?

Questions about the club’s policy and direction will have to wait for another day, probably 2014, as nothing is going to change today. For those expecting £20m signings, dream on or buy a City shirt because that isn’t happening. The bottom line (typically the most important in the eyes of our directors) is that the Arsenal do not go out and sign superstars for big money. We never have. We’ve gone out,  found players with potential and imbeded them into the Arsenal way. While this policy has been championed by Mr Wenger, George Graham and others have also followed a similar way of buying. There are only a few signings I can think of that were true star players before they joined the club. Yes we signed some good players who were always destined to be good but we also took risks on players who just didn’t work out. This has always been the club’s policy regardless of the stadium or its debt.  Henry and Bergkamp, struggling in the Italian league but not stars; Arshavin, unproven out of Russia; Suker, passed his sell by date; etc. For those that may have forgotten, RVP was signed for £2.75m on his future potential.

I’m not naïve enough to think we don’t need new blood. I strongly believe our squad needs new blood to replace the players that haven’t worked out for us. RVP is now in the same camp as Bendtner, Arshavin, Chamakh, Park , Squillaci and Djourou. For one reason or another, their time at the club is probably up. It’s time to sell and build where needed again.

RVP if you are leaving, thank you for the good times and the amazing goals. The break up looks like is going to be messy one and it may take us a little while to look eye to eye but as long as you don’t back chat us after you’ve leave, I’m sure we return to a level of mutual respect.

Have a good day all, here’s for some positive news next week!!

~ @Tottz82

*Tumble Weed*

Morning Gooners,

With the end of season poll reviewed, I kind of hoped there would be plenty of factual Arsenal news for me to write about this week, how wrong I was. As Dev wrote yesterday, the summer can be an odd time to blog about The Arsenal, especially when you don’t really want to analyse the daily and often mundane transfer rumours.

So let’s stick to factual quotes around potential transfers. First off, the repeat summer saga over Bendtner’s move away from Arsenal to one of the many clubs lining up for his signature …or Sunderland.

“Nicklas is a top striker, who just proved himself at the Euros,”

“I’m certain that he is going to end up at a top club, but I’m not going to be drawn into speculation.”

Nicklas ‘Paddy Power’ Bendtner is a talented player, maybe not as good as he thinks he is but he can make a positive impact at many clubs. The key issue that prevented a move last summer, and may hinder progress again this summer, is the whopping £52k a week he is on currently at Arsenal. Clubs across Europe will baulk at that wage and be immediately put off regardless of his talent. That isn’t Bendtner’s fault though; this entirely is the fault of the club for mismanaging contracts to ‘unproven’ players. Another example similar to Bendtner is Denilson who is also struggling to secure a permanent move away from the club.

Summer Olympian, Aaron Ramsey has been talking about our chances next season and how making a good start is going to be key.

 

“I’m convinced we can do well in the new season,”

“The important thing is to get off to a better start than we did last year. If we do that and get ourselves into the mix, we can compete for trophies.

“We had a fantastic run from February onwards to get into that top three – even though a lot of people doubted us. We showed character to do that, we showed how determined we are to do well. This time we want to get off to a strong start and if we do we can have an exciting season.”

“I will miss out on the pre-season tour because I’ll be with the Olympic squad from Saturday,” he added.

“We had a great time in Asia last year and it’s nice to give something back to the fans over there. We had no idea how big the club was over there until we visited so I’m a bit gutted I won’t be going back. But I have a big challenge ahead of me with the Great Britain squad.

“They [the Olympics] will be competitive games right from the start so hopefully that will be beneficial for me at Arsenal because I will be up to speed ahead of the new season. I will be ready to go for Arsenal when the Olympics are over.”

Even though Rambo will miss the pre-season, I do believe the Olympics will be good for him and his confidence going into the new season. I still have faith in his talent regardless of his much debated form last season. He’s still a young player who is eager to demonstrate his talent.

Finally, another loanee Joel Campbell will head from Ligue 1 to La Liga, joining Real Betis on loan for a season. Should be a good experience for him as he continues his long road to the Arsenal

“It’s a great opportunity for me to grow,”

“I am going to the world’s best league, and I want to play. I want to show what I am capable of.”

 

That’s it from me, here’s hoping for more news next week.

Have a good day.

~ @Tottz82

 

Come in Giroud & The Final Part Of The Poll

Morning Gooners,

So the Giroud rumours were true then, as the French international’s signing was announced yesterday by the Arsenal, the fee a rumoured £12.1m. Word is that Giroud will wear the number 12 shirt, vacated by legendary Gooner Henry in February. I won’t pretend to know anything about Giroud but from what I’ve read we have a powerful target man with pace and a keen eye for goal. It would be easy and pretty lazy to compare Giroud to Chamakh. He seems a different style of player who deserves his own time to make his mark at the club. I can guarantee one thing though, I know the ladies are pretty damn happy!!

 

Rumours seem to contradict each other about M’Vila’s potential transfer. On one hand many feel it is a done deal to be announced sooner rather than later while others believe that Wenger has ended all interest given M’Vila’s brushes with the law and his part in the ‘disturbances’ behind the scenes in the French national squad. Time will tell.

On to the last part of the End of season poll and the subject to analyse is our wishes in the summer transfer window.

 

Player you’d like to sign (realistically):

As you’d expect the imagination of the fans ran pretty wild. It’s difficult to actually announce a winner but many seemed quite keen on attacking signings regardless of the teams defensive frailties. Names such as Kaka, Hulk, Torres and Ribery (which I really had to question!) were popular but the ‘winner’ was M’Vila. Now, I’m not entirely sure if the WOA readers are learned Ligue 1 viewers or if we believe everything we’ve read and consider him the best player since Vieira and Keane formed as one player to take on the evil powers of Stefan Freund. I’d like to think our learned readers understand that Song needs help in anchoring the midfield while Wilshere/Ramsey/ Rosicky act as the main creative catalyst.

My siging of the summer would most definitely be RVP. We need our captain on and off the pitch. Regardless of who else we buy, RVP signing a new contract would be a boost for all players and fans alike.

 

Player you would like sold:

No surprises here, infact many were more than happy to give a number of numbers. Arshavin, Squillaci, Ramsey (which upset me), Park and Djourou all amongst the names as expected. However, what did slightly surprise me was wish to sell on players who had been on loan all season and had not even kicked a ball for the club; Bendtner, Denilson and Vela. I agreed there is an element deadwood there but wanting to sell a player who didn’t even effect our season did make me laugh! Apparently there is plenty of work being done behind the scenes to move players on, expect announcements pretty soon.

 

What Tottnum player would you like to sign:

Maybe rightly so, a few people told me to do one, however many did recognise there were players there that could improve our squad (or reserve team!). The usually suspects of Van der Vaart, Walker and Bale made appearances, someone even had the warped mindset to type and then send Greedybayor, seriously?! The ‘winner’ was unsurprisingly Modric. A creative engine in midfield that the team lacked in the absence of Wilshere. However, if Wishere was fit, then the little rat boy that is Modric could have stayed where he is.

 

What United player would you like to sign:

A few years back you might have been quite spoilt for choice but the fact is the current United squad is not blessed with the talent of it’s predecessors instead relies on rugged work and luck to squeeze teams out. No one outright winner again here but Vidic, Hernandez, Valencia, Rooney and Wellbeck popular. Again, many told me to do one while the funniest shout came from Nirav who simply wrote, ‘Howard Webb’. Brilliant.

 

Yes or No, will RVP be an Arsenal player next season:

A few ‘I fear not’s’ along with a number of ‘hell yeah’s’. RVP is due back off his holiday’s next week. Is no news good news? Have the club just bought his replacement? Has RVP seen the activity in the transfer market that he needed to commit?

We’re going to find out pretty soon.

 

Have a great day Gooners, enjoy the rest of the Euro’s too.

 

~@Tottz82.

 

End of Season Poll… Part three.

Morning Gooners,

Firstly congratulations to England for topping the group ahead of France after beating Ukraine 1-0. Theo and Ox both came on as subs but created little. England will now play Italy, who I have been quite impressed with and France will play Spain. The Euro’s continues to be thoroughly entertaining, long may it continue.

Continuing with the moments of the season theme from last week, the next two categories are up.

First of all, the Funniest Moment of the Season.

Plenty of moments that made all of us chuckle last season:

Szcz and his double Cruff turn.

Ole!… Ole!

As you may have worked out and are probably sick of hearing, this happened right in front of me and while I laughed I also almost had a heart attack! Fans love a player with the confidence to back their talent and boy oh boy does Szcz have the confidence!

The guy has been a revelation this season. He does make the odd mistake, show me a keeper that doesn’t in our league; his kicking is a bit wayward but he’s got the potential to be our number one for well over a decade. I still can’t spell his name though!

Wenger hugging Pat Rice (vs West Brom)

Hold Me

This classic moment maybe the last memory of Pat Rice happened in the final moments of the crucial away game versus West Brom. As RVP broke into the box, he fired his shot well over the bar (it still may be up in the air!) and Wenger’s reaction to hug Pat Rice summed up how tense the final minutes of the season really were. The funniest part of that clip is watching Rice show no emotion at all and remain super calm about.

I’ve never seen an Arsenal bench without Pat Rice, he will be missed by all. However, Steve Bould was a defensive legend for Arsenal, he’s got a footballing mind and I’m genuinely excited about him being the new assistant manager. I strongly believe his presence will have a positive impact on the players during the game.

Our Start

I wasn’t to sure about this entry but in hindsight I guess we can sit back and laugh about the start we hand and the fact we finished 3rd. Our worst start in 58 years and some disgustingly horrific defeats to United, Blackburn, Liverpool and Spuds. Enter the fact that our noisy neighbours were bragging about their best start ever , finishing in third place was even more hilarious. Now add in the unique situation that developed with Chelsea finishing 6th yet winning the champions league; the poor old Spuds finished the season in virtual 5th place and out of the Champions League places. Best start ever? What a waste.

The moment voted funniest by our readers was…

She Fell Over

You just can’t help but laugh and then smile at what followed. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. John Terry, scum of the earth.

Lowest Moment of the season;

Unfortunately while there were some highs and some funny moments, there were some dark days. (I don’t really want to dwell on these!)

Blackburn 4-3 defeat.

This has to be one of the most surreal games in recent memory. Two Arsenal own goals in quick succession, the opposition scoring 4 goals but only having 3 shots on target and Arsenal missing a host of chances. A horrible embarrassing low to a team who were the joke of the entire premiership season and eventually relegated.

4-0 defeat to Milan.

This was a truly embarrassing moment with the whole of Europe watching on. We made Milan look so good through our own sloppiness and lack of game plan. This was my angriest moment of the season, how could Arsenal Football Club go away in a European game and collapse in the way they did? Knowing that this was the last time we’d see Henry in an Arsenal shirt too, a very low moment in our history let alone just our season.

2-0 defeat to Sunderland in the FA Cup.

All the talk of a reaction from the players after the Milan game and they delivered yet another limp performance that made it 7 years in a row without a trophy. *sigh*

The ‘winner’for the lowest point of the season was:

The 8-2 defeat to Man Utd.

Even typing that out was pretty painful. The game itself was  just torture. Most of us knew that it was going to be a tough day but the way it unfolded would have shocked even the most negative fan (and believe me there’s plenty of them about!). However, was this defeat the catalyst to the spending spree in the transfer market that allowed us to secure Arteta, Santos and Mertesacker? Maybe. Without those 3 signings the season would have been very different.

How the hell did we finish 3rd?!!!

Have a good one Gooners!

 

~ @Tottz82

End of Season Poll Results… Part 2

Morning Gooners,

Isn’t it lovely to have some football back on the TV?

I’ve enjoyed the Euro’s so far, cagey opening games are quite standard in an international tournament but many games have been exciting enough with both teams pushing for the win.

In terms of Arsenal interest, it hasn’t been a great tournament for our boys. Szczney sent off; RVP off form against Germany; Podolski quiet; Rosicky off injured and Mertesacker benched. However the man who has excited Gooners all season, is now the source of excitement for England. Oxlade-Chamberlain’s slightly surprising debut against France has resulted in glowing praise for the 18 year old from the manager and media. While he may not have had the performance he would have liked, he provided drive and intent every fan wants to see from a player either representing their country or club.

Moving on to part 2 of the end of season poll results:

Goal of the season:

Five goals made up the nominations for this category, four of them RVP goals! We’ve had some classic strikes this season and when your player of the season is RVP, you can expect a few wonder strikes along the way.

Two goals led the way:

RVP vs Everton & RVP vs Liverpool:

View the Wonder Goals here.

The winner for goal of the season, with 38% of the vote, was the wonder strike against Everton. A fitting goal on a day the Club chose to celebrate 125 years of the Arsenal.

My seat is in the corner of the ground where that goal was scored (right of the keeper). Thinking back to the goal, I can still see Song clipping the ball over the defence, my initial thought was ‘what’s the point of this’ and then I remember watch RVP watching the ball fly towards him while adjusting his body accordingly. By the time the ball had arrived to RVP his body was in line and he knew what he wanted to do; a crisp volley into the opposite corner. Howard just admired the strike with the rest of us. What a goal.

For those that thought it was a one off strike, RVP and Song repeated the trick at Anfield in the final minute. You can actually see me as the goal is scored as I was in the front row of the away fans, RVP’s body movement was exactly the same. I still believe Reina thought RVP would strike across goal similar to the Everton goal and had thus taken a small step to his left; instead RVP side footed the volley into the near post deceiving Reina. What a goal.

The moment of the season:

I have commented in a few of my blogs that this season has been like no other; as well as enduring a number of horrendous lows, we leave the season with a number of classic and heart warming moments.

Here are a few:

Beating Tottnum 5-2:

Wow, what a day that was. After being 2-0 down and 13points behind them at that very moment, our season pivoted on quick fire goals by Sagna and RVP. A second half wonder performance by Walcott finished off a truly unforgettable day.

Who can spot me in this???

Beating Chelsea 5-3:

At 3-3 you would have been forgiven for thinking we were about suffer another defeat but a beautiful slip from the scum of the earth, John Terry, allowed RVP in to put us 4-3. Before you had time to get nervous, Arsenal broke from a Chelski attack and RVP fired a beauty into the top corner past Cech. Cue pure screaming from every Gooner all over the world.

They think it’s all over…

 

The first half versus Milan.

After being thumped 4-0 away from home, many of the fans in the ground arrived to potentially watch the last champions league game maybe for a short while. What unfolded in the first half was nothing short of magical. Koscielny, Rosicky and then a RVP penalty suddenly made the impossible possible. The noise and atmosphere after that 3rd goal was unforgettable. The players were sung off the pitch as hero’s at half time, why? We recognised the effort, we loved the reaction and we believed. The dream didn’t pan out the way we would have liked but the effort at 4-0 down will never be forgotten.

 

The winner of moment of the season:

THIS!!!

What a f*cking moment. This one moment will always rank highly in my all time favourite Arsenal moments. Just re-watching that has given me goosebumps.

Henry returning was amazing enough, just seeing him back in the Red & White of Arsenal was special but scoring the winning goal from the bench in a Monday night FA Cup tie… shoot me now cause I must be in heaven.

 I’ve watched the clip above about 50 times before posting it; words  still can’t effectively describe what a special moment that was.

Next week I’ll continue the moments of the season, next up the lowest and the funniest moments.

Have a great week and lets hope for some goal scoring form from the Euro Gooners!

Have a good one.

 

~ @Tottz82

WOA End of Season Poll Results…Part 1

Morning all,

All is still pretty quiet in the World of Arsenal apart from much to do about nothing regarding RVP. The club and RVP have both agreed not to comment on the situation thus letting the former concentrate on the Euro’s. How kind our club is by letting a player concentrate on his international tournament rather than putting the minds of the paying public at rest, especially with season tickets being renewed. For those that believe in an old adage, ‘no news is good news’, I’m starting to think this might not be the case with RVP. Time will tell.

With speculation and random rumours giving me a daily headache, time to move on to the WOA end of season poll:

 

1)      Player of the Season (Without RVP):

1st – Mikel Arteta – 53%

2nd – Laurent Koscielny – 29%

3rd – Alex Song – 19%

 

The three players above were the only players nominated, showing that the majority of us were on a similar wavelength, but given the season we’ve had, hero’s were not plentiful.

Personally, I believe Arteta deserved the majority vote. Billed by the press as a panic buy; criticised early on by our own fans for not being a suitable ‘Cesc replacement’, those that had watched carefully just patiently waited for the others to catch up. Arteta was never bought to replace Cesc or even play that role; he was bought to play the role occupied by Wilshere the previous season.

Arteta’s role was simple but so effective for a team that relied on quick ball movement and high possession. Arteta’s positional presence allowed him to ‘collect’ the ball from the defence thus acting a pivot for the team’s attack. He’s not the quickest in the world but he instinctively knew what he was going to do before he received the ball.

The telling stat to why Arteta may have won this category: Arsenal only won one league game without Mikel, this was the 3-2 vs West Brom on the last day of the season. (That was also largely to Marton Fulop!)

During the run in and without Arteta, I noticed that Koscielny would always look to play a long ball, Vermaelen tried to occupy a space ahead of his natural position, Song was caught easily on the ball due to lack of options and Arsenal simply struggling to retain possession. I strongly believe Arteta’s absence played a factor in all the performance factors listed.

 

 

2)      Most improved player of the season:

1st – Laurent Koscielny – 38%

2nd – Tomas Rosicky – 23%

3rd – Alex Song – 10%

 

Back in February last season, Koscielny and Szcz collided in the last minute of the Carling Cup final to concede a goal that lost Arsenal the trophy moment we have craved for 7 years now.

From that moment it would have been very easy for Koscielny to become a scapegoat and take on a similar mantle as Senderos, the likeable yet clumsy fool. No chance, Koscielny dusted the dirt off his shoulder and has become the lynch pin of our defence. More interceptions than any player in the premiership, he reads the game fantastically and uses his pace & athleticism to kick start attacks. I’m a big Koscielny fan and I’m quite happy for him not to get the plaudits that Kompany and Vermaelen receive while he continues to develop. A fitting end for Kossy was scoring the final goal of the season to secure us third place.

I’ve got to say I was quite surprised so many of you voted for Rosicky. While he has a strong second half of the season he still is short of the form he graced us with when he first joined. His desire and effort for the 2nd half of the season should be praised never the less, vital in many games including that game against the Spuds in Feb.

Oh, no votes for RVP in most improved player of the season then???!!! Shocker!

 

 

3)      Most disappointing player of the season:

1st – Aaron Ramsey – 43%

2nd & 3rd – Andre Arshavin  & Johan Djourou– 15% each

I guess the vote doesn’t lie but the result of this category disappointed me. While Rambo didn’t have the best season, he never hid or put in a lack of effort for the cause. It’s easy to forget that this was Rambo’s first full season after his leg break. What didn’t help Rambo were the departures of Cesc and Nasri along with the season long absence of Wilshere. Rambo came into the first team with the huge weight of expectation on his young shoulders. He was now the main creative outlet for the first team. Rambo struggled to live up to this expectation. He was often found trying too hard; how many of us screamed at a flick or backheel at the wrong time? And quite often he would look tired and leggy. While I did expect more from Rambo, I portion a large part of the blame on Wenger for letting this situation develop.

A player who did however go hiding in games, showing a real lack of application or effort, was Andre Arshavin. I will always have time for someone who puts the effort in and comes out second best than someone who seems to hold the team back.

 

That concludes part one of the poll…

See you next week for the moments of the season.

Have a great day and thank you for all of your replies on the poll.

 

~ @Tottz82

Poll results…next week!

Morning Gooners,

Firstly those of you logging on this morning to find out the results of the readers poll will be disappointed, no thanks to Dev who’s set me up for quite a fall today!

I wanted to give the poll one more week and then collate, analyse and reflect question by question…hey I’ve got a summer of blogs to write and refuse to get involved in frustration of daily transfer b*llshit. Sorry!

Anyway moving on pretty swiftly! No massive Arsenal news as you’d probably expect. Some players are using twitter as vehicle to promote their next move and tell the world how great they are. Such players are ready to announce their transfers before any official announcement by the respective clubs involved, such players believe they are bigger than the club and demonstrate what is very wrong with some of the players in the modern game.

A player I can definitely relate to, Laurent Koscielny, has been taking about his increasingly impressive season:

“I feel better than last year. I know the league, my team and the club. I think I am better on and off the pitch so for a player, when you feel good with your team-mates, the club and his family, it is better.

“I feel very good to help my team and to qualify for the Champions League. I just wanted that for the end of this season.

“I know this league more than last year. In all my body I am better, not just physically, psychologically as well.

“It’s great for me, I work hard in training to be strong and the results have been in my game. I try to be strong and be the best defender I can in my team.”

I think this picture from the amazing Flickr page of @RasDamAFC proves his point!!

Show off!

 

Koscielny’s inclusion in the next generation of  the French national team is testament to the fantastic season he has had. He probably won’t be the critics favourite defender like say a Kompany or Vermaelen but he’s the kind of player the fans relate to and fall in love with. By the way, France are definitely worth a cheeky bet as the Euro 2012 dark horses, unbeaten in 19 internationals you know?

Another Frenchman, Sagna, who unfortunately won’t be at the Euro’s due to his leg break has been praising Theo Walcott:

“Theo Walcott had a lot of pressure on him from a young age. He had a lot of pressure on him when he joined up with the national team for the first time at the age of 17. I know it is not easy to deal with but he did quite well,” Sagna told reporters.

“Of course, he had to cope with a lot of criticism but he was younger then and he has a lot of maturity now. He was one of our main players this year along with Robin van Persie, scoring goals and creating assists and he can play a big, big part for the English national team this summer.”

“Theo and Alex can be the best players in the world because they have such an ability to play football. They are not scared to play and both started really young.”

 

That’s it from me today, below are the questions for the readers poll.. feel free to post your answers below if you haven’t already and I’ll collate for next week.

Have a great day.

~ @Tott82

 

  1. Player of the season (without RVP!)
  2. Most improved player of the season:
  3. Most Disappointing player of the season:
  1. Goal of the season:
  2. Your moment of the season:
  3. Funniest incident of the season:
  4. Lowest point of the season:
  1. Player you’d like to sign this season (be realistic!)
  2. Player you’d like to see sold this summer
  1. What Tottnum player would you like sign?
  2. What Man United Player would you like to sign?

Tottz’ WOA Questionnaire 2011/12

Morning all,

Apologies for the lateness of the blog this morning, it was a late night yesterday watching Jay-Z and Kanye West in action!

There’s not much news out there this morning for me to really report or discuss. Jack Wilshere has had another operation, this time on his knee, which will keep him out for 2-3 months but keeps him on course for a return at the start of next season. I presume this is the same ‘on course’ that he was on for a February, March, end of season return? I’m no medic but something doesn’t seem right about Jack’s on going injury issues. Time will tell I guess.

There’s no further comment or news on RVP so little point speculating of believing the press hacks who are trying to sell papers through fabrication.

Now it’s over to you…

I’d like to get your thoughts on the season gone. Below is a quickfire review of the season questionaire,have a ponder, haver a think but I’d really like to read some of your answers on what has been a testing season.  Please numercially bullet point your answers below and I’ll collate and review:

Enjoy! ~ @Tottz82

  1. Player of the season (without RVP!)
  2. Most improved player of the season:
  3. Most Disappointing player of the season:
  4. Goal of the season:
  5. Your moment of the season:
  6. Funniest incident of the season:
  7. Lowest point of the season:
  8. Player you’d like to sign this season (be realistic!)
  9. Player you’d like to see sold this summer
  10. What Tottnum player would you like sign?
  11. What Man United Player would you like to sign?
  12. Finally Yes or No, will RVP be an Arsenal player next season?