Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Arsene Wenger opted for a 4-5-1 formation in the Sukru Saracoglu stadium but the Gunners grabbed goals through Emmanuel Adebayor (10), Theo Walcott (11), Abou Diaby (21), Alexandre Song (49) and Aaron Ramsey (90), with Luis Aragones' hosts replying through Mikael Silvestre's own goal on 19 and Daniel Guiza's clever finish 12 minutes from time.
The victory put the Gunners on seven points from three group games, and Adebayor got the ball rolling after latching on to Cesc Fabregas' throughball and sidefooting past goalkeeper Volkan Demirel.
It was 2-0 a minute later when Fabregas this time played in Walcott, who waltzed past Demirel and netted clinically from a tight angle.
But the hosts got one back when Guiza's volley across the face of goal flew past skipper Manuel Almunia into the net off the unlucky Silvestre's boot.
In a pulsating start, a fourth goal arrived on 21 minutes when a long ball found Diaby, who outmuscled two defenders and fired home a left-footed strike.
Guiza had a volleyed goal ruled offside and fired wide of the upright before the break, but the visitors were 4-1 up four minutes after the interval when Song brilliantly volleyed home from 12 yards after some clumsy defending.
Guiza was denied a second goal by a brave Almunia block on 67, with Emmanuel Eboue clearing the follow-up shot off the goal-line.
But the Spain striker did the find net for a second time on 78 when he lifted the ball over Almunia with a cheeky chip.
It was the Gunners who had the last laugh, however, as sub Ramsey slammed a low 18-yard shot in off the post in stoppage time to cap a five-star display.
Monday, October 20, 2008
The 21-year-old reacted to a News of the World article which linked him with a move to Real Madrid and Barcelona, saying the reports were unfounded.
"A newspaper report suggesting that I have rejected a new contract is untrue," the Spaniard told the club's website.
Fabregas, who was shortlisted for the European Player of the Year award on Sunday, added that he was happy to stay in London.
"The article is just mischief-making. Everybody knows I have a long-term contract and that I am happy here. I'm focussed on doing my best for Arsenal."
Manager Fabio Capello has told The Mail on Sunday that Beckham will be dropped from England's squad for the international friendly against Spain in February. By then the season in the United States, where Beckham plays for LA Galaxy, will be over and Capello will ignore him if he is not playing competitive football.
Beckham, 33, is weighing up whatever options would allow him to play on during the winter and retain his place in Capello's squad. A spokesman for Beckham said: 'In the next few weeks we will have an idea what David is doing in January and February.'
Although Capello is happy to award Beckham his 108th cap against Germany next month, which would equal Moore's record for an outfield player, he insists that Beckham will be axed from the squad for the friendly against Spain in February.
Capello said: 'For the next game Beckham can play. Whether he will play, I don't know. But for the game against Spain he won't play. He will not be in the squad.' Beckham, who was revealed yesterday as one of the FA's ambassadors for their 2018 World Cup bid, is attempting to help LA Galaxy prolong their season beyond the end of this month by making the Major Soccer League play-offs.
But, after a disappointing campaign, that seems unlikely and Beckham's only scheduled competitive club football in the next four months would be tour matches in Australia and New Zealand.
Beckham, who will have to clear any moves back to Europe with LA Galaxy's owners, the Anschutz Entertainment Group, is likely to train with Arsenal, as he did last year. But training alone was not enough to earn Beckham a place in Capello's first squad in February and Premier League rules state that any loan period for a player from abroad has to run from the beginning of the transfer window until the opening of the next transfer window.
That effectively rules him out of playing on loan for Arsenal's first team as the transfer period would have to run from January until June, which LA Galaxy would not allow.
Beckham could play for Arsenal's reserves but Capello would be satisfied only by first-team action.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Arsenal kept themselves in the title hunt as they came from behind to win.
Leon Osman put Everton ahead when he exchanged passes with Steven Pienaar and converted at the near post.
Samir Nasri equalised with a low shot from 20 yards and Robin Van Persie headed Arsenal in front after Tim Howard had parried Cesc Fabregas’ shot.
With Arsenal then in the ascendancy, substitute Theo Walcott played a one-two with Abou Diaby before slotting in the third through Howard’s legs.
It was a remarkable turnaround for Arsenal, who had looked far from assured at the start - largely because of their untried defence, which included debutant Mikael Silvestre in the centre.
With William Gallas and Bacary Sagna out, Arsenal were hoping their emergency line-up would be enough to keep out an Everton side that had won only once in their last eight matches.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Arsenal suffered more than most during the international break with William Gallas (hamstring), Bacary Sagna (knee) and Nicklas Bendtner (ankle) all picking up injuries that will keep them out of the Gunners’ game against Everton.
It is unlikely that any of the three will be available for next Tuesday’s Champions League game with Fenerbahce.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said that the absence of the three players was “a heavy loss” but he was cheered by the news that Robin van Persie, Johan Djourou, Cesc Fabregas should all be available.
Wenger told Arsenal TV Online: "Unfortunately we have lost some players over the 10 days - William Gallas, Bacary Sagna and Nicklas Bendtner. These are heavy losses and we have to compensate them"
SO,what do you think Gooners? Can Arsene's army beat Everton and continue their title race?
Thursday, October 16, 2008
The 21-year-old managed to finish his country's 2-1 victory in Belgium, but medical staff confirmed the injury after the game.
Fabregas will now report back to Arsenal for further treatment, though it will be hoped he can play on regardless.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger will be desperate to make sure his prized midfielder is fit - as Fabregas himself has highlighted the club's small squad.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
"I think he is learning every year," he said. "Now he is a top quality player. He is one of the best.
"In the years to come he can be at the top."
And although Fabregas continues to be linked with a return to his boyhood club Barcelona, Vieira is convinced the 21-year-old can achieve all his ambitions with the Gunners.
"I think if the club matches the same desire as the player, then why not?" said Vieira.
Rosicky, 28, has been hit by a series of niggling injuries since his £7million move to Emirates Stadium from Borussia Dortmund in May 2006.
The midfielder limped out of the Premier League clash with Newcastle at the Emirates Stadium in January and has not featured since, also missing Euro 2008 because of the hamstring-related problem.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger admits it is very difficult to say just when the Czech winger will be fit for action again - but remains hopeful it will be before the end of the year.
However, reports the problems were more serious, even career-threatening, and required further direct medical treatments have been dismissed out of hand by the player's agent.
"What appeared about Tomas being hospitalised in London is complete nonsense," Rosicky's representative Pavel Paska told Czech newspaper Denik Sport.
"Tomas, as part of his recovery scheme, visits the hospital for various therapies and the same happened last time.
"A sudden setback in his health or some headaches, as I have read about somewhere, have not happened to Tomas.
"Everything is going according to the plan. Tomas' first comeback was rash, now we are treating the situation more carefully."
Paska added: "The recovery will be long-term.
"The team of specialists that cares for Tomas, has been enlarged by another specialist which means the player will be cared for at the best level."
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Although Wales boss John Toshack has decided not to promote the £5m signing from Cardiff from the under-21s for Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in Germany, he says Ramsey will be in his squad for November's game in Denmark.
Toshack has earmarked Ramsey and West Ham's Jack Collision for promotion to the senior squad.
He said: "We decided that we would wait until after the UEFA play-offs before moving them up to the seniors.
"That won't change. We have friendlies in November and February, and those two will be the next to step up. Brian Flynn will then start again building his next under-21 squad.
"We know all about Aaron. We are working on where we fit him in and how we compliment his talent. Arsene Wenger said something very similar a few weeks ago.
"They have both been in the squad, Jack had a couple of games as substitute. They both know they will be the next two youngsters to make the step up."
The Arsenal star was unavailable for his country’s 2-0 win over Iceland on Saturday, but he has told coach Bert van Marwijk that he is ready to start their next match.
"I'm available," he said.
“Now I will wait and see whether the coach needs me."