It is fast becoming the Elephant in the room for Arsenal fans. Robin van Persie I mean. According to all the papers, the Dutchman is not happy at his new club Manchester United. He was happy when he picked up a Premier League medal last season, but the Moyes takeover and United’s struggle to obtain European football are the last things he thought would happen.
I wonder if Michael Owen has anything to say about Arsenal and Mesut Ozil today. Probably bot, because yesterday’s game did not fit his biased and narrow-minded view of the football world. Especially as the man he has the temerity to criticise for inconsistency (pots, kettles and black come to mind), was back with a really good performance.
Arsene Wenger was suitably impressed with his record signing, although to be fair to the Frenchman he never seemed to have any doubt. What was clear from yesterday was that Ozil has benefited from a break. He looked fresh and worked really hard, even doing the so-called dirty work of tracking back and defending. If he hadn’t, then Everton could have made it really sticky for the Gunners.
Spring is in the air, and with the promise of sunshine coming the Sunday papers are warming up towards the transfer window (commonly known as the Silly Season on Arsenal websites!).
Today’s offering comes from the ever-fanciful Sunday Sun, who are proposing the very unlikely story that Manchester United believe that they can get our very own captain Thomas Vermaelen to go to Old Trafford this summer.
I know Arsene Wenger has a habit of selling our captains, and even I could understand why Vermaelen may wish to leave after being sidelined for most of this season, but surely we won’t let him go to Man United?
I have to laugh. I just spent 10 minutes ranting at the wife about Arsenal’s bad luck. I had just seen the FA cup draw that said the Gunners will face Man City or Wigan. Oh that is just great, I thought! And to be honest it was what I was expecting. So basically, Arsenal got City which, after Tottenham, Everton and Liverpool confirmed suspicions that we were not going to get a crumb of luck this season.
The speculation about Alvaro Morata coming to join Arsenal has not gone away, even though the proposed loan move in January didn’t come off. The young Spanish striker has apparently accepted that he needs to move away from his boyhood club Real Madrid in order to play regularly and further his career, something he really should have known a month ago, but the £25 million price tag that his La Liga club have slapped on him means his destination probably won’t be the Emirates.
Like most Arsenal fans, I have no great love or affection for the former Manchester United hardman Roy Keane. But Patrick Vieira’s erstwhile foe is pretty entertaining as a TV pundit. He may say some of his comments to deliberately inflame the viewers, but he was spot on about Tottenham some weeks back when he said they will always let you down.
Surprisingly enough, that sentiment was echoed yesterday by the Tottenham manager, and Arsenal fan, Tim Sherwood. I have rarely seen a man so beaten down by the inadequacies of his players and he pulled no punches in his post-match interview. It was comedy gold for Arsenal fans, as Sherwood basically told the spuds fans to stop dreaming of a top four finish because it simply is not going to happen.
Some interesting news this morning is being reported that the Tottenham director Daniel Levy has gazumped Arsenal’s deal with Ian Broomfield, despite a verbal agreement with the Gunners having been confirmed.
The ex-Spurs and QPR head scout even released a statement a week ago saying: “The opportunity to work for Arsene Wenger at one of Europe’s top clubs, like Arsenal, was too good to turn down.
“I appreciated my time at QPR with Harry, but this is an exciting challenge which I’m looking forward to.”
For some reason that is yet to be explained, Arsene Wenger has chosen to leave Lukas Podolski out in the cold this season, despite the Arsenal Number 9 scoring six goals in just 8 starts for the club this season, and it looks like the 28 year-old will be leaving the Emirates this summer.
Well according to the Mirror, Wenger has already lined up the Frenchman Loic Remy to replace him at a cut-price of just £8million, which they report as his buy-out clause from Queens Park Rangers.
I may be getting carried away after a good result, but we are all guilty of doing the opposite, like last week after Stoke for example. But I have a feeling that this game will galvanise the Gunners to go on a similar run-in to last season.
The difference this time, however, is that we are not chasing the so-called Wenger trophy of 4th place. We are chasing, very seriously, in the two big English competitions and are still in with a shout of causing a major upset in Europe.
I do not blame the Arsenal fans for being a bit disappointed at times this season about the form of Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud. Put simply, both have not played well enough in some games. BUT let’s give credit where it is due, Gooners, both have been instrumental in helping Arsenal to their best season, so far, in a very long time.
And they were at it again today. If it wasn’t for those two much maligned Gunners, then we all might have been a lot less happy right now. If they can keep putting in shifts like that, then Arsenal really do have a chance of stopping Bore Bourinho and his cheating team of thugs from doing football a disservice. Anyone but them, please….
Arsenal vs Everton – Player Ratings By Twig
A perfect way to go into the game against Bayern. The score was a little flattering to how the game actually played, as until Arteta’s penalty, Everton was really in the game. Hopefully, the result will spur us beyond Chelsea, City and Liverpool in the title chase? A little bit hopeful maybe? So how did the players fare today?
Fabianski (6/10): Didn’t really have much to do today, as the Everton players were limited to bits and pieces.
Arsenal went into this crunch FA cup quarter-final on a run of poor form and desperately needing a confidence boost. Arsene Wenger also had the Jack Wilshere injury to cope with and he decided to go for the Arteta-Flamini partnership, with Oxlade-Chamberlain on the right. Yaya Sanogo got the nod again ahead of Olivier Giroud.
The first half was a real end to end battle and Arsenal fans and players got the early breakthrough we really needed. Cazorla showed his class to find Ozil and the German’s finish made all the talk about lack of form seem ridiculous. The Gunners had a few good chances to really take control of the tie but it didn’t quite come off.