Monday, 30 May 2011

25 goal hitman on his way? - Midfield target scores wonder goal

Morning Gooners.

Well the summer season is certainly beginning to kick in. There is little news on the Arsenal front but enough to keep us going. Plus there are some internationals in the week which we'll all be looking forward to (not!).

I know people hate Arsene Wenger talking about how getting into the Champions League positions is an achievement but spare a thought for his old team Monaco today. Seven years after they reached the Champions League final they've been relegated to the second tier of French league football. What we have shouldn't be taken for granted. We are very spoilt.

Whilst we're on the subject of France, I wouldn't mind either the Senegalese international Moussa Sow, who ended the season with 25 goals as the league's top scorer or the Frenchman Kevin Gameiro, who was just three behind him with 22 goals. I'm sure Arsene Wenger will have run the rule over both players.

With all of the European leagues having reached their conclusions over the last seven days, Arsenal now know who they might be drawn against in their Champions League qualifier.

In the third qualifying round the five seeded teams (Benfica, Dinamo Kiev, Panathinaikos, FC Twente, Standard Liege) will face the five unseeded teams (Rubin Kazan, FC Zurich, OB Odense, Trabzonspor, Timisoara).

The winners of these ties will progress to play in fourth qualifying round, where the seeds will be Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Villarreal, Lyon, Benfica/opponent. Udinese also join the competition at this point but are unseeded.

So Arsenal could face: Dinamo Kiev, Panathinaikos, FC Twente, Standard Liege, Rubin Kazan, FC Zurich, OB Odense, Trabzonspor or Timisoara.

Thanks to Orbinho for the information.

Nigel Winterburn, a member of our famous back four, has been speaking about our current team's ability to defend.

He said:
"Pathetic is the only word I can use to describe Arsenal’s defending.
"No matter what the situation is regarding the season, at a club like Arsenal you have to turn in a performance in every game.
"Given where Arsenal were a couple of months ago, to be left with just fourth place is hard to take.
"The supporters were not happy and I don’t blame them – what they’ve seen in the last few months has been so disappointing."
When you consider we conceded more goals from set pieces than open play, something is not right and we don't work hard enough as a defensive unit. Not all of the goals that were scored from corners and free kicks were the fault of the defenders in our team.

I've always thought it was a mistake at corners to have Theo Walcott defending them. Why not put him on the halfway line. That would mean the opposition would have to have at least two players marking him. It would also take players out of our own box which seems crowded, especially at set pieces. This allows the situation like we saw at Stoke when Johan Djourou had a complete nightmare for the first goal after losing Kenwyne Jones in the mix.

Perhaps a switch to zonal marking would be better than man marking?

The Sun pick up on the story about Andrey Arshavin expecting to stay at the club which ran in the Daily Mail on Saturday. As I said then, the club are open to offers for the Russian but he'll only be sold if we can keep hold of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri.

Charlton boss Chris Powell doesn't believe the Carl Jenkkinson deal is complete, so wonders why the Finnish FA have listed the defender as an Arsenal player.

Carlos Vela will not feature in this summer’s Copa América according to the Mexican FA. Arsenal have said they don't want the player to be involved - more than likely to keep him injury free so he can be sold.

And Young Guns report Arsenal have released Mark Randall, the midfielder who made two Premier League appearances. I wish him luck for his future career. Arsenal of course will be due a fee for training him where ever he signs on, I believe.

Finally, watch this superb goal scored by Arsenal target Ricky Alvarez (second goal in the clip, 38 seconds in).

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