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.
Derby day is here Arsenal fans, and this one could be the most important in many years. A win for Arsenal today against our fierce local rivals will all but guarantee a top four finish for the Gunners. Arsenal would then be nine points ahead of fifth placed spuds with a game in hand to boot.
If we don’t win, then Liverpool’s victory over Manchester United will give them the edge over us in the Premier League title race and with a trip to Chelsea and a home game against Man City coming up, you would have to say that we were out of the race unless a miracle occurred.
With as many as 10 players being unavailable for Sunday’s game at White Hart Lane, the Arsenal boss is facing a bit of a selection headache. One advantage that the Gunners do have is that Tottenham have two days fewer than us to recover and prepare.
However, they can also afford to make a few changes while Arsenal are missing some of their key performers. The worst case scenario for the Gunners is that neither Kieran Gibbs or Nacho Monreal will be ready, meaning club captain Thomas Vermaelen will play at left back. That could be a problem area with the likes of Lennon, Townsend and Walker running at him.
First of all, apart from slight concerns about Laurent Koscielny and Jack Wilshere, Arsenal have not lost any players to long-term injuries picked up on international duty. So with Aaron Ramsey due back very soon, Arsene Wenger will hopefully have an almost full squad for the rest of the season.
There may be a few of the Gunners returning a little disappointed because they did not get to play much, or at all. Santi Cazorla, Lukas Podolski, Bacary Sagna and Olivier Giroud all got less than 10 minutes at the end of their respective games, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain didn’t get much more. I am a little concerned about Giroud because he seems to need confidence to play well. The others should not be too worried but take it as a sign they need to play really well from now until the summer.
It seems that the Gunners have been working hard behind the scenes to sort out the future of some of the Arsenal squad who are coming to the end of their current contracts. And it appears that the club has been fairly successful as well. However, it is not all good news.
According to the Daily Mail, our long serving French international Bacary Sagna has not been given the deal that he wanted and is set to move on when his contract expires this summer. I am gutted about this, to be honest and think that Arsenal are making a big mistake.
Why Wenger has to take some of the blame for the result against Stoke by KJ
This weekend has been terrible if you’re an Arsenal fan. All of our rivals won their Premier league matches and we have now slipped down to 3rd (effectively 4th as Man City will most likely win their games in hand). The loss at Stoke has probably sealed our fate in the Premier league and the best we can hope for now is to beat Liverpool to third (which is inherently more difficult with their easier fixtures and lack of other competitions to play in) and try and win the FA cup.
Why Arsenal fans shouldn’t underestimate the value of experience by KJ
Recently, there has numerous reports about certain players getting or not getting a new contract and fans have naturally been reacting. Some believe we must pay whatever is required to keep valuable players at the club whilst others think that we shouldn’t be held ransom and should look to sell certain players and bring in younger ones for the future.
I’m more inclined to side with the people that are happy to pay what is required to keep experienced veteran Arsenal players with us until they require or until it becomes financially impossible.
Just how important is Rosicky to Arsenal? by Ash
As I am sure you will be aware by now, Arsenal have decided to offer experienced player Tomas Rosicky a new contract, which he has decided to accept. The news has been welcomed by Arsenal fans everywhere because, although his importance can be undervalued by some, it is certain that he has true quality.
The details of Rosicky’s new deal have not been publicly disclosed yet and from the majority of sources, the deal only seems to have received a verbal agreement from both parties as of this moment. However because of Rosicky’s age and passion for the club, it is unlikely he will turn around and reject the club now for pastures new.
The news broke in the last few days that Arsenal were on the verge of announcing a new deal for our little Mozart, Tomas Rosicky. His current contract runs out this summer and there have been rumours linking him to various clubs including a move to America and the MLS, but it looks like the 33-year old could be a Gunner until the end of his career.
And Rosicky is determined to finish that career with more medals to his name. He won the title at both of his previous clubs, Sparta Prague and Borussia Dortmund and he feels confident of doing the same with Arsenal. It would certainly be the wrong time for him to leave, with the financial restraints imposed by the building of a new stadium finally over.
If anyone involved with Arsenal Football Club was unsure of the wisdom of offering a new contract to a 33-year old midfielder, the performance of Tomas Rosicky against Sunderland on Saturday should have convinced them. Arsene Wenger and the Gunners hierarchy certainly have no doubts, because the new deal for Rosicky is set to be signed anytime now.
The Czech international was brilliant as he interchanged positions with Santi Cazorla and ran the Black Cat’s ragged. And his goal was a thing of beauty, with Rosicky involved in the mesmerising build up as well as providing the deft finish. So nobody was surprised when Wenger revealed, as reported by The Mirror, the agreement to extend his Arsenal career.
When Mikel Arteta decided to join Arsenal from Everton in August 2011, it was probably with the hope that he would add to the medals he won in Scotland as part of the Rangers team. Unfortunatley for the Spaniard, that has not happened yet, although he is closer this season than ever.
But there were other reasons as well, which have worked out for him. Champions League football, for instance, has been a regular for Arsenal’s vice-captain. Those big nights are what footballers dream of, but those dreams can soon turn to nightmare’s if you get heavily beaten every time.