Same old, same old.

As bitter as this sounds, I honestly do not think Robin is irreplaceable. As Arsene put it, “We depend on him offensively,” but even Chamakh, in his first six months at the club, filled the gap Robin left very well.

Yes, he went downhill from there, but he was more than capable replacement at the time. This time round we’ve got more than Chamakh. We have a player who’s earned 100 caps for Germany at the age of 27 and Ligue 1’s top scorer from last year. Hopefully we’ll see better performances from Gervinho after his one year “adaptation period” in the Prem.

We all saw how he did at the Euros, without Song and Theo around him. He will not receive the same kind of on-field service at any other club. Mark my words.

What hurts the most is that I honestly thought he was different. I really did. We all saw pictures of him in an Arsenal shirt even before he become a teenager, he spoke about money ruling football, and he fought for us on the pitch. I thought he was the first great captain we had since Vieira, but he turned out to be yet another back stabber.

It pains all Arsenal fans, but can you imagine what Arsene’s feeling? He stuck by Robin through 7 mediocre, injury-plagued seasons, finally gave him his chance to be the main man, converted him from an angry winger to a clinical number 10 and this is how Robin repays him?! Disgraceful to say the least.
Are we really expected to believe that a new contract and wages weren’t discussed? Not only that, it’s all fine and well for Robin to want the club to show some ambition but since when did he have a say in their future strategy? The club will always be bigger than you. His whole statement stinks of him trying to get the fans on his side, to make his decision seem acceptable to the fans but it really isn’t working. He’s undermined the club and lost everyone’s respect. He makes us seem desperate to sell him, which will obviously lower his value in the transfer market.

A lot of people are saying that keeping him for another season is the best we can do, but after a lot of thought, I disagree. Remember how Arsenal fans treated Adebayor in ‘08/’09 after he announced that he wanted to leave, but ended up staying? Robin will get ripped to shreds by our fans.

Honestly, apart from King Henry, and maybe Na$ri and Clichy to some extent, can you think of a single other Gunner who has been “successful” since they left London in the last 10 years? I can’t.

I read that we will not deal with City after the Na$ri saga, but if they’re offering a lot more than any other club, I’d take the money. We could ask for Dzeko/ De Jong plus cash in exchange for Robin.
I will not boo nor will I applaud Robin in the future, I’m just going to be indifferent towards him. I just hope that he realises one day what a big mistake he made.

Tony Adams once said, “I will sign every contract Arsenal put in front of me without reading it.” What’s happened to those kind of players? Football has been overrun by player-power and greed. Football is dead.

Players will come and go, but not a single one of them is bigger than the club. The worse we get, the louder I’ll sing. Come on, Arsenal.

I saw a few tweets I really liked reading. I hope you do, too:
‏”@diggermattscott: Time for context: RvP joined in May 2004. Before his 38 starts this season, he’d made 111 in 7 yrs. His next club better have good doctors.”
“@JohnWilson14: Dear Robin, you will be paid more but you will never be loved as much again. Worth it? #RVP”
“@reicecookiecook: Tbh im an Arsenal fan not a van persie fan so fuck it #GoonerForLife”
“@JonnyOneill: We love them, they often leave us And that is why we should never forget our love for the man who stays to pick up the pieces. Arsene knows”
(This tweet, from Gary Neville, is an absolute gem):
“@GNev2: Only a passenger on a ship remember! The ship will always be there!!”


Arsenal’s ’11-’12 season reviewed – Part II.

Best signing of the season: Mikel Arteta.

Mikel was regarded a “panic buy” by many as we failed to seal the signature of Mata and couldn’t convince the loyal Gotze, but when the Spaniard was given a chance, all the doubters were silenced. He cemented a place in the centre of midfield ahead of Rambo once he got into his stride.
His unique partnership with Song allows the Cameroonian to get forward a lot more and play those accurate though balls, which have resulting in many, many goals this season courtesy of Robin and The King.
Arteta’s presence has been so important that we struggled to win a handful of games when he was injured, which proved very costly. After Yossi, he’s been the most industrious midfield all season.
There’s honestly nothing which stands out about Mikel as a footballer; he just keeps it simple and gets his job done. He can pass the ball with pin-point accuracy, can throw in some tough tackles and can really let fly when he wants to. Just ask Joe Hart and Shay Given.
Samir who?

Worst signing of the season: Andre Santos.

“Worst” is a very harsh term, but if I had to pick the least impressive signing, it has to be Andre.
The 29 year old was a bit off-pace and overweight on arrival, but took his time and settled down. A true Brazilian by nature; he likes to bomb down the left flank, and more importantly, isn’t afraid to have a go on goal; something which we’re not used to seeing from our full backs. This, however, has proven costly as his forward forays leave a large gap at the back, which have lead to many goals this campaign.
He has a very unusual way of tackling, by having a poke at the ball as opposed to swiping at the attacker, but it has proved rather successful.
Andre has scored some important goals this campaign; equalizers at the Bridge and The Hawthorns, but Gibbs’ increasingly impressive performance earned him a regular place at LB. This type of competition for places is healthy for the side and in a term with 50+ games, rotation is necessary.

(I have not included Park because it’s unfair to judge him, really.)

Best moment of the season: Henry goal vs. Leeds.

The King’s return had to be my most memorable this season. I’m man enough to say that I was left in tears when Thierry hugged Arsene after slotting home against the filthy Leeds.
What a finish. What a comeback. What a legend.
“Henry! Chance! GOAL.” That’s all it took and that’s all the great man needed; one chance and he turned the game on its head. How many times has done that in the past?
The chest-pumping and shouts of “Come on!” are something every Gunner wants to see from their players. He’s passion personified.
He was undoubtedly one of the main reasons I started supporting The Arsenal. Something I will never regret.

Worst moment of the season: Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal.

It was the lowest moment in all my years as an Arsenal fan, there’s no doubt about it.
It was the worst Arsenal XI we fielded all season due to injuries, but it’s no excuse for that kind of score line.
We were absolutely battered in all areas of the pitch, to put it simply. Even if Robin had equalized after Young’s opener, we would have made the trip from Manchester to London empty-handed.
People may argue that that match served as a wake-up call for Arsene, who then splashed the cash in a matter of days, but I never want to witness that kind of torture ever again. It was simply unbearable to watch my boys get ripped to shreds.

Arsenal’s ’11-’12 season reviewed.

Arsenal’s ’11-’12 season reviewed.

Best player: Robin van Persie.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “One-man team” , “Who else?” What people don’t seem to remember is that he was scoring goals when we were losing; at the back end of last season and during our miserable opening months to this campaign. I personally feel his goals, however valuable they may have been, are not what improved us significantly.
But, let’s not take anything away from this man. What a season he’s had. When we were down in the dumps, there was always a glimmer of hope that Robin would snatch a goal out of nothing. That’s what you get when you have a player of his quality.
The Dutchman not only has started gaining a lot more confidence with his weaker right foot, but also worked on his technique with his left. Those breathtaking volleys against Everton and Liverpool are outcomes of sheer determination and hard work.
Go on, Robin. Sign a new contract!

Worst player: John Djourou.
Jamie Sanderson has summed up JD in one simple tweet; “Johan Djourou considering future after being forced to play full-back. Contrast from Coquelin: ‘I’ll play anywhere for Arsenal’. Attitude.”
People may say that he’s been played out of position quite a few times this season, but as a footballer, you have got to deal with it without complaints. Yes, it is unfair to stick a 6 foot+, slow defender at RB, but even when he has played at CB, he’s looked shaky. We had to stick our best defender, Koscielny at RB for a few months, and he never complained.
I remember being on the edge of my seat every time Almunia had the ball. That now happens to me with Djourou. He has had a few good games, but not enough.
At the age of 25, he’s no longer a “prospect”. He should be proven defender, but sadly, that isn’t the case.

Most improved player: Laurent Koscielny.
When you talk to other fans about this guy, they immediately speak of THAT Carling Cup final incident. It’s honestly pretty crazy how much Kos has improved since then. He’s been absolutely immense, and apart from Kompany, he’s undoubtedly had a better season than any other Centre Back in the league. (I know Collocini featured in this season’s XI, but that’s because Newcastle had such a good season.)
After having a calamitous opening campaign, Wenger still showed faith in him and we all know how that paid off.
He’s deceivingly quick, strong and has a good jump; a forward’s nightmare. He’s had the better of Aguero, Torres, Suarez and Lewandowski to name a few and has definitely deserved the “Bosscielny” nickname.
(It was very tough to leave out Rosicky, who also has been reborn this season.)

Most disappointing player: Marouane Chamakh.
After having a superb start to the ’10-’11 season, he slowly faded away with the arrival of Robin from injury. We all thought it was just burnout that he was suffering from after playing 3 games a week for about 4 months; something he wasn’t used to in Ligue 1, but he just hasn’t been the same.
The sheesha-smoking Moroccan adds the aerial threat, but that’s all he’s got at the moment. He seems to have lost his way and doesn’t look cut out for English football.
He did look a bit sharp when he came on against Norwich, but it’s too little too late. We’re lucky we got him for free.

One(s) to look forward to: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Francis Coquelin.
I couldn’t really choose between them as they’re both special players.
Chambo wasn’t used as much as we thought he would be this season. I think Wenger is being very cautious with him, and I fully support that. Look at Theo; he came into the limelight at the vulnerable age of 16 and has lost his way a bit. He never really matured into the player we thought he would become, and keeping that in mind, Arsene has chosen to “expose” Chamberlain in short stints.
Chambo is surprisingly big-built for his age and what separates him from Theo is his variation. The latter’s only real weapon is to drop his shoulder and run down the line, whereas Alex isn’t afraid to take a defender on.
He’s immensely mature for an 18 year-old and really knows what to do when; something you don’t see in most our teenage footballers (apart from Jack Wilshere, of course.)
This boy is very much capable of being a star. He just needs time.

Forget the bigmouth Frimpong, Le Coq is a special talent and is light years ahead of him. He has played at RB, LB, DM, CM this season and has looked comfortable in every single one of those positions; our jack of all trades.
An aggressive, yet skilful young man, capable of producing cross-field passes with surgeon-like precision.
I hope he’s a bit more patient with his lack of game time. Lassana Diarra, who just spent 6 months with us after getting increasingly frustrated, left and turned out to be a hell of a DM.
Coquelin’s definitely one for the future.


First real shot at blogging and the website’s obviously in honour of Mr. Arsenal, Tony and THAT goal after being “put through by Steve Bould!” and is dedicated to mainly thoughts on Arsenal-related matters.