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Arsenal FC: A Bould Move

Started on 31 October 2013 by Kane
Latest Reply on 5 December 2013 by k1rups
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December 2013 Results and Performance

The last month before the Winter Transfer Window, it's vital to pick up points. The UEFA Champions League Group Stage will end, and hopefully draws for the Capital One Cup and Champions League Knockout Rounds will involve Arsenal!

Match Results:

Arsenal FC 0-0 Manchester City

Tuesday 3rd December 2013 | Emirates Stadium | Att. 60,338 | M. Atkinson

Line-up: Szczesny, Carvajal, Koscielny, Nastasic, Shaw, Garcia, Arteta, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud Subs: Bendtner

Arsenal FC salvaged a point against a strong Manchester City side on a snowy afternoon at Emirates Stadium.

With little to separate either side, both Wojciech Szczesny and Joe Hart put in solid performances to keep scores even, earning both sides a single point.

Olivier Giroud had a penalty call denied after 68 minutes.

Arsenal Goals: None
City Goals: None
Man of the Match: Wojciech Szczesny (ARS) 8.6

Chelsea FC 3-1 Arsenal FC

Saturday 7th December 2013 | Stamford Bridge | Att. 41,798 | L. Mason

Line-up: Szczesny, Davies, Nastasic, Koscielny, Carvajal, Flamini, Garcia, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud Subs: None Used

Chelsea dominated from kick-off against a vulnerable Arsenal side on a breezy afternoon in London, retaining Chelsea's place at the top of the table.

Kevin De Bruyne got Chelsea off to a dream start with a goal after just 42 seconds, finding the net with a tidy finish from 15 yards, beating a shaky Wojciech Szczesny.

Ramires soon doubled the lead on 36 minutes, heading home a Willian cross with the goalkeeper off his line looking nervous. Fernando Torres added a third early in the second half, drilling him a low effort into the bottom corner.

Matija Nastasic pulled one back in the 74th minute, but by then it was too little, too late.

Arsenal Goals: Matija Nastasic (74)
Chelsea Goals: Kevin De Bruyne (1), Ramires (36), Fernando Torres (53)
Man of the Match: Ramires (CHE) 9.1

Crystal Palace 0-1 Arsenal FC

Saturday 14th December 2013 | Selhurst Park | Att. 26,297 | J. Moss

Line-up: Szczesny, Davies, Nastasic, Koscielny, Carvajal, Garcia, Flamini, Cazorla, Whilshere, Ozil, Giroud Subs: None Used

Crystal Palace's match against Arsenal will have been a moment Marouane Chamakh will want to forget as he suffered defeat at the hands of his former club.

World class winger Mesut Ozil gave Arsenal the lead with a close range finish which was timed impeccably in the 66th minute.

Arsenal were often prevented from playing as they wanted to due to the number of fouls committed by their enthusiastic opponents.

Arsenal Goals:Mesut Ozil (66)
Palace Goals: None
Man of the Match: Santi Cazorla (ARS) 7.7

Arsenal FC 2-1 Stoke City

Saturday 21st December 2013 | Emirates Stadium | Att. 53,972 | K. Friend

Line-up: Szczesny, Carvajal, Kosicelny, Nastasic, Shaw, Arteta, Flamini, Cazorla, Wilshere, Ozil, Giroud Subs: None Used

Arsenal had their midfield to thank on a crisp winter's afternoon at Emirates Stadium as they showed their strikers how to finish.

Things did not get off to a good start for Stoke City as Arsenal captain Jack Wilshere seized on an error by Chris Solly to score a deftly executed finish. Striker Kenwyne Jones then equalised for Stoke City in the 20th minute with a close range header.

Wilshere scored what proved to be the winner in the 66th minute with a finish tucked away with consummate ease.

Arsenal Goals: Jack Wilshere (5, 66)
Stoke Goals: Kenwyne Jones (20)
Man of the Match: Jack Wilshere (ARS) 8.8

Arsenal FC 4-1 Swansea City

Thursday 26th December 2013 | Emirates Stadium | Att. 54,153 | M. Dean

Line-up: Szczesny, Carvajal, Koscielny, Nastasic, Shaw, Ramsey, Ozil, Garcia, Wilshere, Arteta, Giroud Subs: None Used

Swansea featured a number of exceptionally quick players but were unable to use them to full effect on a crisp winter's afternoon at Emirates Stadium.

Things did not get off to a good start for Swansea City as tenacious midfielder Javi Garcia seized on an error by Pablo Hernandez to score an attempt which went in off the frame of the goal. Enthusiastic midfielder Aaron Ramsey doubled Arsenal's lead with a thumping effort from range on 33 minutes.

An error from Swansea City's Ashley Williams allowed powerful striker Olivier Giroud to score a deftly executed finish. Giroud added his 2nd goal of the game with an accurate finish on 42 minutes.

Arsenal Goals: Javi Garcia (2), Aaron Ramsey (33), Olivier Giroud (36, 42)
Swansea Goals: Michu (45+1)
Man of the Match: Olivier Giroud (ARS) 9.2

Norwich City 2-3 Arsenal FC

Thursday 26th December 2013 | Emirates Stadium | Att. 54,153 | M. Dean

Line-up: Szczesny, Carvajal, Koscielny, Nastasic, Shaw, Ramsey, Ozil, Garcia, Wilshere, Arteta, Giroud Subs: Gimenez, Cazorla, Bendtner

A potentially serious injury suffered by Arsenal's Olivier Giroud overshadowed events on what was a cold and clear winter's evening at Carrow Road.

Arsenal captain Jack Wilshere got Arsenal off to a flyer by scoring a placed shot on 5 minutes. Midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol then equalised for Norwich City in the 22nd minute with a simple finish from close in.

Midfielder Jonny Howson then put Norwich City in front after 29 minutes with a free kick from 22 metres. Arsenal's Matija Nastasic received the red card for a professional foul with 31 minutes on the clock.

Powerful striker Olivier Giroud then equalised for Arsenal in the 36th minute with a fierce shot. Midfielder Aaron Ramsey scored what proved to be the winner on 49 minutes with a nice effort from 15 metres.

Arsenal Goals: Jack Wilshere (5), Olivier Giroud (36), Aaron Ramsey (49)
Norwich Goals: Koo Ja-Cheol (22), Jonny Howson (29)
Man of the Match: Jonny Howson (NOR) 8.4

FC Kobenhavn 0-3 Arsenal FC

Tuesday 10th December 2013 | Parken | Att. 36,331 | D. Undiano Mallenco
UEFA Champions League Group D Game 6

Line-up: Szczesny, Shaw, Nastasic, Koscielny, Carvajal, Garcia, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Arteta, Giroud Subs: None Used

Arsenal overcame a resilient Football Club Kobenhavn side in the UEFA Champions League Group D game at Parken this evening.

Powerful striker Olivier Giroud gave Arsenal the lead with a well struck effort from distance in the 54th minute. An error from Kobenhavn's Johan Wilad allowed wonderkid Matija Nastasic to score a close range header.

Flamboyant midfielder Mesut Ozil completed the rout with a thumping effort from range on 83 minutes.

Arsenal Goals: Olivier Giroud (54), Matija Nastasic (61), Mesut Ozil (83)
Kobenhavn Goals: None
Man of the Match: Mesut Ozil (ARS) 9.1

Chelsea FC 3-4 Arsenal FC

Tuesday 17th December 2013 | Stamford Bridge | Att. 41,798 | H. Webb
Capital One Cup Quarter Final (aet)

Line-up: Szczesny, Shaw, Nastasic, Koscielny, Carvajal, Arteta, Ozil, Ramsey, Cazorla, Torres, Giroud Subs: None Used

Arsenal came out on top in a goal extravaganza against Chelsea.

With neither side concentrating on defence, the goals flowed freely at both ends and the crowd will have gone home happy at the entertainment provided.

Cultured winger Willian got Chelsea off to a flyer by scoring a real poacher's effort from 12 metres after just one minute. Things turned sour for Chelsea when tenacious midfielder Michael Essien earned himself an early bath for a vicious foul on 4 minutes.

Wonderkid Matija Nastasic then equalised for Arsenal in the 20th minute with a lucky strike. Striker Demba Ba then put Chelsea in front after 23 minutes with a powerful close range effort.

Arsenal's equaliser came through Mikel Arteta as he seized on Tomas Kalas' mistake to score a real poacher's effort from 11 metres. Powerful striker Olivier Giroud had a chance to score from the penalty spot for Arsenal on the 56 minute mark but missed his spot-kick.

Cultured winger Kevin De Bruyne then put Chelsea in front after 59 minutes with an accurate finish from inside the penalty area. Arsenal's equaliser came through Giroud as he seized on John Obi Mikel's mistake to score a powerful penalty. Nastasic clinched the winner on 92 minutes with a cleanly struck effort from close to goal.

Nastasic's impact delighted the fans with his late goal.

Arsenal Goals: Matija Nastasic (20, 90+2), Mikel Arteta (40), Olivier Giroud (pen 67)
Chelsea Goals: Willian (1), Demba Ba (23), Kevin De Bruyne (59)
Man of the Match: Matija Nastasic (ARS) 9.2

Monthly Review:

A much better month. A shaky month to start with, but against two tough games. A draw against Manchester City was decent, and although we lost to Chelsea, we got revenge in a fantastic game, our most exciting this season. We have now won the last six games too, so things are looking up for us again, notably due to some change in tactics.

League Table:

Now half way through the season, we have climbed up a place to 4th. We did slip down into 8th after the first two goals, but our fine run helped us move up again. How West Brom managed to get to second from sixth has left me shocked, slowly closing down on Chelsea!

UEFA Champions League Draw:

The final table has left me baffled. I have a feeling we should in fact finish first, due to having a better goal difference with equal points. I am unsure how we have made our way into second, but we have still qualified and that's the main thing. However, we drew Real Madrid in the next round, which will be very tough!

Player of the Month:

Jack Wilshere

Jack Wilshere took the award for this month. The tireless midfielder, wanted by Manchester City, had a fine month, particularly following the tactic changes. Scoring both goals to secure a win against Stoke City, the Englishman also netted in the 3-2 win over Norwich to win Player of the Month.

Barclays Premier League Awards:

Jack Wilshere was also named as the winner of the Barclays Premier League Young Player of the Month, followed closely by Matija Nastasic, a great month for Arsenal in terms of awards.

Elsewhere This Month:

What other big news has been around these last few weeks, and was shocked the footballing world?
  • PSG, Juventus, Bayern, Atletico and Barcelona all qualify for the Europa League.
  • Ludogrets finish bottom of their UCL group failing to score a single goal.
  • Hull midfielder David Meyler scores 3 own goals in a single game against Southampton.
  • Nicolas Anelka sinks Manchester United with a first half hattrick.
  • AC Milan sack manager Massimiliano Allegri and hire Edordo Reja.
  • Borussia Dortmund knock 9 past VfB Stuttgart in the Bundesliga.
Good to see you get revenge on Chelsea, and grats at qualify for the CL place in a tough group.

Who did Barca have in their group in order to get relegated into Europa League? :o
Nick: Thanks, it was a crazy game to watch! In all fairness, Barca had a very tough group:

Very nice month mate, with some really good results :)
West Brom in 2nd? :/
200th Reply! :D
CL table is sorted first on head to head record, then on goal difference, so that explains why you finished second in your group, and not first.
Cant believe Milan sacked their manager after some of those ECL results! They must have been abysmal domestically! Going well although Spurs and Liverpool are not too far behind, I would not worry about United, on my save they become a Europa League side and have gone through about 8 managers in 5 seasons!
Man City destroying Barcelona 4-0? WHAT IS THIS SORCERY!
joethequin: Thanks :)

TK69: I know, surprised me too. They were sitting one place behind me come the November table, and I only dropped 4 points (I think), so they must have had an unreal month!

ThaMadridista: YAAAAY!

Arvind: Ah, thank you. Stoopid Schalke!

GoonerKev: I know right, they had a great UCL table. I looked at the end of the month, about 2 weeks after he was sacked, and Milan were sitting in 7th, which wasn't too bad I suppose. Thanks :)

FM4LIFE: Add on City's 1-0 win at the Nou Camp with Kolarov scoring in the 94th minute, then it's sorcery!
As I said before, the detail you put into this is...brilliant! People could take a leaf out of your book:P good luck catching up with Chelsea in the prem, and well done for qualifying for the CL knockouts
Excellent update as usual and a pretty good month :)

Santi Cazorla Rewarded With Contract Extension
Spaniard Santi Cazorla has virtually doubled his wages.

Santi Cazorla has matured into one of Arsenal's most prominent players this season, following some fine displays and inconceivable assists since the kick-off of the 2013/2014 campaign back in August.

The Spaniard has become a routine name on the team-sheet of manager Steve Bould, the man Cazorla has praised for his recent developments, and is looking to endure his exotic start in the Barclays Premier League throughout the New Year. Fans have appreciated the endeavour of the midfielder, with the name 'Cazorla' spread on shirts across the footballing nation. Nevertheless, it is not only the fans who have perceived the talents of the former Malaga star. Manager Steve Bould has announced a late Christmas present for both Arsenal fans and Santi, by rewarding him with a contract extension.

The recently-turned 29 year old is only in his second season in North London, but Bould and Co. felt he had achieved enough to enhance his time at the Emirates. Previously earning a respectable £55k per week, Cazorla earned a moderate salary in comparison to the remaining Gunners.

Despite having 36 months left on his contract, Santi has been able to virtually double his income, now earning a monumental £100k per week, with the deal concluding in the summer of 2018. Some have implied that the agreement may backfire for the Capital One Cup semi finalists though. If he was to play out his contract, Cazorla will be 34 years of age. With his talent and physique, united with his positioning, Santi may not be at the level to justify a £100k per week wage.

However, fans have clearly expressed their joy at keeping hold off their key player, who raised interest from Real Madrid and SL Benfica with the Transfer Window opening tomorrow. Bould has distinctly shown who is in control, and will look to maximise opportunities for Cazorla throughout 2014.
It may indeed backfire. Or it may raise his value so you can sell, sell, sellllll!!!!!!! :P
That's a lot to pay for Cazorla, especially considering his age, but I feel that if he puts in world-class performances for the next 3 years or so, then it will be well worth it. :)

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