Tottenham 0 – 1 Arsenal Player Ratings by KJ
Arsenal went in to this crucial north London derby knowing that they needed to win to stay level on points with Liverpool, who had easily beaten a very poor Man United earlier in the day. With injuries ravaging his squad, Arsene wenger started Podolski, Cazorla and Rosicky behind Giroud.
The Czech midfielder showed straight away why Paul Merson had said before the game that he should play every week, smashing a brilliant opening goal just a minute and 12 seconds after the kick off, the quickest ever against the spuds in the Premier League. Rosicky started and finished it after linking up with Chamberlain. Howitzer, Piledriver and rocket were the words that came to mind and the Gunners were off to the perfect start.
End of the road this summer for Vermaelen? by Ash
There has been a fair bit of controversy surrounding the future of Arsenal club captain Thomas Vermaelen this season with statements being made that he will be looking for a move away this summer. For the majority of the season he has maintained that he wants to stay and fight for his place at the club, but after the Bayern Munich result, Vermaelen was again questioned by the media regarding his position at Arsenal, and whether his stay would be extending further than the summer. But this time the talented 28 year old was unable to comment anything too positive, as reported by the Metro.
As if a Champions League game away to the current holders Bayern Munich was not a daunting enough task, Arsenal may have to attempt it without some key players. Arsene Wenger is already having to cope without Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey< kim Kallstrom and Jack Wilshere and now he could have a serious problem in defence.
With Nacho Monreal already having picked up a foot injury against Sunderland, the last thing Arsenal wanted was to lose Kieran Gibbs. According to Sky Sports, however, that is a very real prospect. The Englishman was replaced towards the end of the Everton game on Saturday after picking up a calf problem. He didn’t train today and I’m sure that Wenger won’t risk him if he is not right, especially with a massive derby coming up at Tottenham on Sunday.
It has been the story of the season for Arsenal; injuries, injuries and more injuries. And with a lot of the Gunners involved in international friendly games last night, there was always the possibility that Arsenal would be hit again.
As well as Jack Wilshere taking a painful whack to his foot, which could bruise, swell up or somehow put him out of Saturday’s game against Everton, Laurent Koscielny is also a worry. He didn’t play for France last night, but according to L’Equipe it was more of a precautionary measure after the defender felt a tweak in his hamstring during training. It can’t have been too bad because he was on the bench.
As you are probably already aware, Arsenal Football Club has agreed a new extension to the current contract of Per Mertesacker. The new three-and-a-half year deal will expire in 2017, meaning that our giant German international defender will have been with the Gunners for six years but will still only be 32-years old.
For a central defender in the modern world of football, especially one who does not rely on speed, that is nothing. And Per’s game is all about reading the game, taking control and organising the players around him. Obviously, his long legs and 6ft 6in frame are quite handy as well. What stands out for me is what a good captain he would make.
It was very worrying for Arsenal fans to see three more players added to the injury list in the last couple of games. The fact that two of them, Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal, were both left backs was even worse, especially as Thomas Vermaelen, who can play there as well as in the centre, was still unavailable. So of course the third player, Laurent Koscielny, had to be a defender as well.
I’m sure I don’t need to remind you that Arsenal have had one or two problems with players getting injured this season. So it was probably no surprise to see Kieran Gibbs have to be replaced early in the Champions League clash against Bayern Munich, and then his replacement Nacho Monreal went off at halftime against Sunderland, closely followed by Laurent Koscielny.
Arsenal 4 – 1 Sunderland Player Ratings by KJ
Arsenal were denied the chance to go back to the top of the Premier League by a late Chelsea goal which came from Ramires, who seems to get away with everything, conning a free kick out of the referee. But that did not mean beating Sunderland at home was any less important and the Gunners started well.
Unlike on Wednesday, Arsenal got the early reward they deserved with a brilliant flowing move seeing Wilshire burst into the box and set up Giroud for the Frenchman to calmly slot the ball past Mannone. We controlled the game after that and worked hard to stop Sunderland getting into the game.
Arsenal 0 – 2 Bayern Munich player ratings by KJ
Arsenal first-halves are a major problem by Gooneristic Truth
Is this an I-told-you-so moment or what? For many fans and pundits who have questioned Arsenal’s strength and depth only to be drowned and silenced by aggressive murmurs of disapproval and clicks of ‘dislike’, the Anfield shellacking feels like that long-awaited moment of vindication!
This does not, in any way, mean that the critical Gooners are glad that Arsenal lost the game for the sake of being proven right, but rather the result has rendered a voice to the worst fears they have tried to express. I, for one, felt it was a matter of time before we attained another such disgraceful result after the one against Man City.