When Arsenal smashed the club transfer record t sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on the last dqay of the windpw this summer, there was no doubt that it was the big story of the day, if not the summer. The German international is widely recognised as being one of the best players in the world for his technical ability and vision. He was even rated as the best playmaker in the world by his former manager and boss of Arsenal’s Premier league rivals, Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho.
Dear Gooners, This article was meant to be published right after Arsenal’s ‘win’ against Man United, but alas we were very unlucky so I decided to wait a while before doing so. It wouldn’t have made sense at the time anyway.
The Gunners have had an excellent season so far. In fact, since the middle end of last season, Arsenal have only lost 2 out of 20 league games (I might stand to be corrected on the amount of games played since our fine run began) but generally we have been so consistent it is unlike the Arsenal we knew 2 or 3 years ago. What has changed so much since last season, besides the addition of three players?
As Arsenal got straight back into the groove with a win against Southampton at the weekend, the Premier League title race is really starting to take shape. And it is looking good for the Gunners, not just because of our own form, but because of the poor performances of two of our biggest rivals, Manchester United and Tottenham.
Tottenham were not just beaten by Manchester City, they were subjected to the kind of beating that could well damage their team morale and and put a giant spanner in the works of their season. It is extra special for Arsenal fans of course, because of the local rivalry, but in practical terms it should mean that we have one less team to worry about.
Arsenal lose because of a set piece! by Ash
Arsenal have always been given stick over the way we defend and a lot of the time it’s been in regards to our tactics when it comes to set pieces. For the strangest reason, Arsene Wenger, despite 17 years in the Arsenal job, continues to believe that zonal marking on set pieces is the way forward. Wenger just cannot wrap his head around the idea that perhaps we would be much better and perhaps much less fearful when it comes to set pieces if we actually picked up man for man rather than hit and hope for the best.
Arsenal were dealt a late blow with illness ruling out Tomas Rosicky and Per Mertesacker, So the club captain Thomas Vermaelen came in, and Arsene Wenger started both Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini as a double pivot, with star man Aaron Ramsey moving out to the right. Jack Wilshere had recovered enough to be included in the squad, but Theo Walcott had not.
United had their tails up from the start, but this a new Arsenal and were able to cope with the early pressure. The Gunners were not doing a great deal going forwards, but the counter attacking threat was evident, and a great take down from Giroud nearly got us in on goal.
This is it Arsenal fans! Today the Gunners were hoping to run out on to the Old Trafford pitch with a fantastic chance of beating our long term rivals and really staking a claim on the Premier League title. The fact that we were so confident despite a crippling injury list is testament to just how much the team has improved over the last year, but a sickness bug may have ruined it.
Manchester United vs. Arsenal Preview, Team News and Prediction by AT
On the back of a historic win for Arsenal over Borrusia Dortmund in the Champions League, the Gunners travel to the North-West to face the reigning Premier League champions Manchester United in a clash that will surely be the pick of the action over the weekend. With a five point lead at the top of the League table, Arsene Wenger’s side are soaring high at the moment and will be keen to make a ‘perfect week’ out of what the critics dubbed to be the ultimate test of the club’s title credentials.
With Arsenal flying high at the top of the Premier League, as well as storming back into control of the hardest group in the Champions League, the visit to Old Trafford this Sunday to face Manchester United was always going to be a major talking point in the media.
There have been lots of incidents between the clubs in the Arsene Wenger, such as Pizza-gate and Keown doing a Dracula impression on Van Nistelrooy, but the big issue since last summer has been the van Persie transfer. The Dutchman went from Arsenal hero to being more hated than Nasri and Cole, and his talk of the little boy inside just made it worse.
There are lots of reasons for Arsenal fans to look forward to Sunday with relish, There is the small matter of retaining, or increasing, the gap at the top of the Premier League. If Arsenal can come back to north London with all three points it will also put us a huge 11 points ahead of our opponents and long term rivals Manchester United.
One former Arsenal striker, Carlos Vela, who eventually moved on because of a lack of playing opportunities, has been talking about his international team mate being in a similar situation at Manchester United. Javier Hernandez seems to be seriously considering his future at Old Trafford and I think he could make a great addition to the Arsenal squad if he is available.
An ESPN report reveals that the Mexican striker re-tweeted an article quoting Vela. The thrust of the story was that Hernandez will have to think about leaving United unless he starts to be used more by David Moyes. He later removed his tweet, but it is clear that it is on his mind.
Monaco want Walcott by AT
The Arsenal forward Theo Walcott has not played since suffering an abdominal injury in Arsenal’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Marseille but that has not stopped speculation over his future. If reports in the nedia are to be believed, Walcott is the top target of big spending AS Monaco, with the Ligue 1 side poised to make a €40 million (£34m) move for the pacey winger in January, according to a Daily Mail report,.
We all know that Olivier Giroud is doing much better for both Arsenal and France this year, and his headed goal against Crystal Palace on Saturday took him level with the goal machine that is Aaron Ramsey, at least as far as Premier League goals are concerned. Strangely, the two are also locked on the number of goal assists in the league with four each. With Mesut Ozil also in the top five on the assist table, it is easy to see why only Manchester City have scored more goals than the Gunners.