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The Arsenal Way

Started on 29 November 2014 by Verdinho
Latest Reply on 13 December 2014 by Jonte-23
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WENGER HAILS DEFENSIVE STEEL



Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has heaped praise on his defensive setup, with the Gunners enjoying their best defensive start to a season in their entire Barclays Premier League era.

The North London club enter the month of October yet to concede a goal in the Premier League, with their only goals conceded so far this season coming in the Capital One Cup versus Leeds United, in which Wenger rotated his first team.

Wenger has praised his entire back five, but reserved special praise for the Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker pairing at the heart of Arsenal’s defence.

“It makes me very happy to know that we are the most efficient team at defending so far, as that hasn’t been the case for many years.

“We’re often criticised for not being like the George Graham days at defending, which I can accept, but that should have never served as a reason to undermine the work my players and staff put into defending.

“The entire defence has been fantastic this season, not just our main back four, but also the players that have come in on occasions.

“Having Koscielny and Mertesacker together makes a huge difference to us, as both players bring the best out of each other and keep us solid. When you don’t concede, all you have to do is score goals, and that’s what we’ve done.”


Mertesacker and Koscielny stand as the most used Arsenal defenders, both playing 11 times so far this season, whereas the next most trusted by Wenger is goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (10) and Mathieu Debuchy (9).

IS CESC THE NEW ENEMY?



Very little has been thought about regarding Chelsea’s upcoming clash with Arsenal in the month of October other than Cesc Fabregas’ encounter against his former club, a topic which has even surpassed the footballing war between Arsene Wenger and Jose Mourinho.

A fresh-faced Fabregas joined Arsenal at the tender age of 16 in 2003, having seen his chances of first team football limited at Barcelona. The Spaniard made his debut in a Carling Cup clash versus Rotherham in 2003, before officially rubbing shoulders with the likes of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva in the 2004/2005 season.

The Spanish international soon found himself with the captain’s armband 2008, but after 212 appearances for the first team, the fan favourite eventually caved in to the prospect of joining his boyhood club Barcelona, switching to the Catalan giants in 2011 for £29.5 million.

Fabregas never quite got the love that the likes of Lionel Messi and Xavi Hernandez received from the Barcelona faithful, the type of love Arsenal fans used to indulge him with, and found himself transfer listed by Barcelona at the beginning of the season.

Following the deal that saw Fabregas join Barcelona, Arsenal had a clause in place that would see Barcelona offer Fabregas to them first if there was to be any interest from other clubs in the Spaniard, which soon came from Manchester United and Chelsea.

With Mesut Özil, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere already in their ranks, Arsene Wenger rejected the chance to bring Fabregas back to the Emirates even at a cheaper price than the £27 million requested, noting that Barcelona still hadn’t paid the full fee of his 2011 transfer.

The ex-Arsenal love flame then had the ‘marvellous’ idea of joining Chelsea, which sounds fair enough after Arsenal had rejected him, right? Oh, wait, we’re forgetting just how disliked the Blues are in North London, as an old quote from Fabregas himself explains, “If I ever wear a Chelsea shirt, you have the permission to kill me.” Don’t invite them, Cesc! Is he now public enemy number one? Let’s review the other candidates.


5. Emmanuel Adebayor

Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor joined Arsenal in January 2006 from AS Monaco with a pretty measly goal scoring record, but by 2008 Wenger had succeeded in turning the lanky forward into a 30-goal-a-season forward.

Adebayor’s tally took a hit following Eduardo da Silva’s devastating leg break in 2008 and the 30-year-old soon turned his back on the Gunners in the summer of 2009 by joining oil-rich Manchester City for £24 million.

As if the perceived money-motivated move wasn’t bad enough, Adebayor took it in his stride, or many strides, to run to the opposite end of the pitch and celebrate a goal for Man City in a 4-2 win by sliding in front of travelling Arsenal fans. Adebayor then joined Arsenal’s bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur after a failed spell with the Citizens, although the striker’s high wages and proportionally low number of goals has slightly eased the hatred towards the ex-Arsenal man.


4. Samir Nasri

Joining the Gunners from Olympique Marseille in 2008, Nasri really became a hit with the Arsenal fans in the season of 2010/2011, scoring ten Premier League goals in 30 appearances. However, with one year left on his contract, Nasri used this opportunity to make the switch to Eastlands.

In what, again, seemed to be a money-motivated switch, Nasri has never been welcomed back to the Emirates again, often on the end of many abusive comments from the Arsenal faithful.


3. Ashley Cole

Brought through the ranks at Arsenal and an integral part of the Gunners’ title winning side of 2002 and ‘the Invincibles’ of 2004, Ashley Cole is the definition of a mercenary in the eyes of the North Londoners. So much so that he’s nicknamed ‘Cashley Cole’ in those parts.

Following the ‘Tapping-up’ scandal that saw Chelsea approach Cole and his agent, Pini Zahavi, without Arsenal’s permission, the English full-back managed to force a move to the Blues in exchange for William Gallas plus £5 million, heating up the rivalry between both clubs.


2. William Gallas

For the record, William Gallas was never liked by Arsenal fans when he captained the side in the heart of defence, so it already goes to show why the Frenchman ranks at number two. Gallas joined the Gunners in the summer of 2006 in exchange for Cole, having had various rows with Jose Mourinho, and was given the captaincy following the sale of Thierry Henry to Barcelona the season after for £16 million

However, Gallas’ sharp tongue and criticism of his teammates in the media often found himself in the bad books and his over-the top reaction to the 2-2 draw away to Birmingham City in 2008, the day Eduardo broke his leg and the game that ignited Arsenal’s downward spiral that season, saw reports emerge that he had reduced his compatriot Gael Clichy to tears, following the left back’s mistimed tackle which enabled Birmingham to equalise from the penalty spot.

Gallas’ grumbles and public meltdowns got so out of hand that Arsene Wenger was forced strip the Frenchman of his captaincy, whereas joining rivals Tottenham later on in his career was simply the icing on the cake.


1. Robin van Persie

Coming over to Arsenal from Feyenoord in 2004 as a troubled youngster, Robin van Persie also found himself more often than not off the field instead of on it, due to his injury problems in an Arsenal shirt.

As noted by many, most managers would have given up on the injury-plagued Van Persie, but Wenger kept his faith in the Dutchman, with that faith being repaid in the 2010/2011 & 2011/2012 season, in which Van Persie topped the goal scoring charts in the Premier League consecutively.

'Faith repaid' did you hear me say? Well, almost, because as he entered the final month of his contract, not only did the striker decide to leave Arsenal in a period they needed him most, but he also chose to join rivals Manchester United, publicly blemishing the club’s ambitions with his departing statement.

Celebrating his goal against his former club in their final meeting at Old Trafford, you’d struggle to find an Arsenal fan who doesn’t despise their ex-captain.
At least Cesc didn't leave directly to a rival :P
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Very interesting story. I am from France and I enjoy read your story. Waiting for the next post.
Carry on !

COYG !
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Neal: True, but he's still a little bit of a rat :P

Deco: Thank you for following! :D

October 2014



Results




We’re still top of the league, two points ahead of Manchester United, so I’d consider the month of October to be a positive one. Two big wins against Hull City and Newcastle United kept our good league form up, and although Chelsea brought our 100% record to a halt, it was always going to be a complicated game.

We’re also well on our way to qualifying for the next round of the Champions’ League, needing to win our next one or two games to unsure we top our group. I was, however, greatly disappointed with our performance in the Capital One Cup versus Norwich City. Whether it was over-confidence, I had moved too many players about or just a bad day at the office, I don’t know, but I do know that it wasn’t good enough. I hate losing, whatever the competition or game, so I’ll keep this performance in mind when judging a few of the fringe players.

Barclays Premier League Table




Other Competitions




Young Player of the Month




Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Arsenal’s Player of the Month




Mesut Özil

Mesut Özil is finally orchestrated things and it brings a big smile to my face to hear that. In truth, I’m a believer that Özil has played reasonably well for Arsenal over past year for the club, although, of course, he could have been better. The main reason why he hasn’t been the Özil we all knew is because Arsenal’s squad wasn’t quite built for him to excel, like Real Madrid, but I’d like to think it is now. Even when the German didn’t score or assist his teammates against Schalke 04, Özil still put in a Man of the Match performance, such is the quality of his play recently. Long may his form continue!

Next Month




Manchester United are lurking dangerously close to us, so having an 100% record in the Premier League in this upcoming month is a must, with Liverpool at home being the only game we should be really stretched and tested, but we should still defeat them on our own turf. I’d like to seal qualification with a win against Schalke, but I do acknowledge the fact that the trip to Gelsenkirchen won’t be straight talking. We should cruise to victory versus Besiktas at least.
Great month in both CL and PL! Next month doesn't look too difficult and you'll ease through that CL group without effort. Good update :)
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Annoying loss in the Capital One Cup, but everything else looks solid! Man Utd are hot on your tail, shockingly enough, but I'm sure you can fend them off :D
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BACK IN THE GROOVE



Life hasn’t been plain sailing for Mesut Özil since his arrival from Real Madrid last summer for £42 million, but the Gunners playmaker seems to have now turned a new leaf in an Arsenal shirt, proving to be fundamental to Arsene Wenger’s side’s success in the month of October.

Previously down in the dumps before Germany’s 2014 World Cup success in Brazil, Özil was quick to praise the work put in by his managers Joachim Löw, Arsene Wenger and his teammates.

“It was common knowledge that I wasn’t playing well enough, I accepted that, and I tried my best to get my play going again, but when things don’t go your way it can be difficult to get out of such spells.

“There were days when confidence was obstructing my form, but both my managers and teammates were a great help to me. The World Cup success was a big boost, but I owe much of this form to them.

“The main aim now is to continue turning in the performances for Arsenal and Germany. I’m a year wiser than I was last year and I’d consider myself more experienced to deal with such dry spells in the future.”


Özil just about missed out on October’s Barclays Premier League Player of the Month to ex-Arsenal man Robin van Persie, scoring and assisting six times so far this season in a dozen games.
Great to see Ozil finally playing well, he's a big key to Arsenal going to the next level. Unfortunately, I don't think this will happen in real life; Ozil is much better in leagues where he has more time and space to pick a pass (Bundesliga, La Liga) than in the BPL where the high pace and physicality of the league throws him off.
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100 replies woot!
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Neal: He certainly is! As for real life Mesut, I think he's a big miss right now. I'm sure he will do the business at Arsenal, as he's hands down our most clinical creater of chances, even off-form. Thanks for the 100 replies bump too :D

November 2014


Results




I’m pleased with the character of the team this month, particularly towards the end of it. We have many injury problems to deal with, so perhaps we are rather fortunate that Burnley and Besiktas aren't the hardest of opponents. We threw the kitchen sink at Liverpool, but were unable to take all three points. Still, I was happy to see us put Liverpool under that sort of pressure, and it’s definitely a game we would have won on another day.

Barclays Premier League Table




Other Competitions




Manager of the Month




Arsene Wenger

Arsenal’s Player of the Month




Alexis Sanchez

Alexis is enduring a sensational start to his career, having his most decisive month yet from the left flank. It’s now 10 goals and nine assists for the Chilean so far this season, and he could have scored even more this month.

Next Month




The festive period is upon us, and to make life trickier for us, we have a huge injury list, almost all of them being defenders too. That doesn’t fill me with great confidence, considering we have a huge clash against Man United and the games begin to come thick and fast after our trip to Old Trafford.
Fantastic month, you're still unbeaten.
mo_123: Thanks. The new Invincibles, maybe? ;)

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