Sunday, November 28, 2010

Gunner's WAGS : Yulia Arshavin

Yulia Arshavin’s husband Andrei Arshavin has been playing for the Russian’s national Team since 2002, he is now the team’s captain and also since 2009 part of the English team Arsenal. Moving to England was not a such a great idea for Yulia, but she still followed her man and the father of her two young children.

Yulia, now 26 years old, used to be a radio presenter in Russia, she met her hubby in the summer of 2003 when he was playing for Zenit Saint Petersburg. They began to date some time after and their love grew in a way that they couldn’t be apart, although they are not married, they refer to each other as husband and wife.

Arsenal Romped Aston Villa 4-2

Arsenal got back their winning style after a dramatic week as the Gunners passed through Aston Villa 4-2 on Saturday at Villa Park.

Arsene Wenger's side avoided a third straight defeat and extended their incredible unbeaten record at Villa to 12 games to take over at the top of the Premier League ahead of Saturday's later matches.

After the misery of letting a two-goal lead slip in the north London derby against Tottenham and the subsequent embarrassment of losing to Braga in the Champions League, Arsenal were delighted to find sanctuary at Villa Park.

Their record of seven wins and five draws in their previous visits made it an ideal venue after losing four of their previous six games in all competitions.

The Gunners answered their critics, who believe they do not possess the mental strength to match their obvious talents, by overwhelming Villa in one of the most one-sided 45 minutes of Premier League action you could witness.

Thomas Rosicky, Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh were all guilty of missing a succession of chances, but Arshavin soothed the frustration of Wenger when he netted in the 39th minute after a dreadful mix-up between Luke Young and James Collins from Lukasz Fabianski's long clearance.

Both Villa defenders missed their attempted intervention leaving Arshavin free to weave his way into the penalty and his curling shot squeezed through the legs of the retreating Collins before beating Brad Friedel.

Villa had not beaten Arsenal in 23 league meetings and any hopes of improving on that dreadful record evaporated further when Samir Nasri doubled Arsenal's advantage on the stroke of half-time with a searing first-time shot from the corner of the penalty area, which took a slight deflection of Luke Young before finding the target.

These are worrying times for Villa boss Gerard Houllier. A host of injuries to key players has meant exposing youngsters who are clearly not up to the week-on-week demands and the emergency signing of 37-year-old Robert Pires, who, despite the added incentive of impressing against the club he served with such distinction for six years, looked hideously out of his depth.

Pires had to be withdrawn at half-time to spare him any further humiliation.

He was still getting changed when Ciaran Clark chested down Sebastien Squillaci's poor header and drove a powerful shot from the edge of the area beyond Lukasz Fabianski for his first senior goal.

Moroccan striker Chamakh re-gained their two-goal advantage, sliding the ball under Friedel after Thomas Rosicky's through ball.

Clark added a second with a clever back header with 20 minutes remaining, after Richard Dunne headed Ashley Young's header into the danger area, but Jack Wilshere rounded off an emphatic Arsenal performance.

Wilshere's first ever Premier League goal in stoppage time was an attractive way to round off a crucial win as started and finished a move involving Chamakh and substitute Denilson.

Houllier has won just twice in ten games since replacing Martin O'Neill and Villa are flirting dangerously with the relegation zone as they prepare to embark on a season-defining mini-run.

After their midweek League Cup quarter final against bitter rivals Birmingham City, they face visits to Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea, as well as hosting Tottenham.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Preview : Pires Get Ready for Gunner Reunion

Players often return to play against their former clubs, but Arsenal fans could certainly be forgiven for looking twice when they see Robert Pires running out against them at Villa Park. The 37-year-old has recently signed a deal until the end of the season at Villa and will almost certainly play some part against the Gunners as Gerard Houllier looks to bring some creativity to his midfield.

It is much needed, as Villa have won just one of their last eight games and have slipped to some very disappointing results of late: a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland and a 2-2 draw (after going up 2-0 with ten minutes to go) against Man Utd to name but two.

However, Villa can take solace from the fact that Arsenal are also a team in the midst of a crisis. Three defeats on the bounce - including a morale-sapping second half capitulation to Tottenham in the North London derby - and Arsene Wenger faces a tough task to get his side firing again.

The return of Robin van Persie could be a major boost as he returns from injury, but Cesc Fabregas' hamstring injury leaves the Gunners short in midfield. Now, more than ever, they need an inspirational player to get their title tilt back on track.

Aston Villa player to watch: Robert Pires. A hero at Arsenal, Pires returns to play against his former side after spending a few seasons in Spain with Villarreal. At his peak, his vision and dribbling skill was among the best in the world, but his powers have waned with age. Bought for his creativity, Pires will not get a full 90 minutes but can still thread a killer pass or deliver a telling cross that could very well turn the game. His intimate knowledge of Wenger's tactical plans could also come in handy.

Arsenal player to watch: Andrei Arshavin. The Russian has not fulfilled his potential since joining the Gunners last year and often drifts in and out of games. Plying his trade on the wings, Arshavin's goal threat has been missing this season as he has picked up just two Premier League goals, but he has the skills to turn a game and will be charged with providing the creativity alongside Samir Nasri in the Arsenal midfield. If he manages to get free, Arshavin will always be a danger, but the mental side of his game is a weakness at the moment and he could prove to be more of a hindrance than a help.

Prediction : A tough win for Arsenal. 2-1