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Arsenal FC: The Pride of London

A story with the club I love so much, The Arsenal
Started on 3 September 2013 by Seni
Latest Reply on 13 October 2013 by Louis O.
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Aaron Ramsey, From Zero to Hero

there’s one Arsenal player who has received massive amounts of abuse from Arsenal fans, its Aaron Ramsey. Game in game out, the Welshman has received a great amount of stick, thankfully, that’s starting to reduce and abuse is turning into praise. There are a few things about Aaron Ramsey that make me love him even more as a player.

Ramsey was signed from Cardiff for 4.8 million back in 2008. At that point he was still a teenager. Despite his young age, Ramsey was stunning people with some great performances, a bit like Jack Wilshere before his major injury. However, we all know what happened on 27 February 2010 at the Britannia Stadium. A will not insert a picture as its very sensitive. Thanks to a crushing tackle from Ryan Shawcross, Ramsey suffered a broken tibia and fibula, his motivation had been destroyed, his momentum had been destroyed, his self belief had been destroyed….as far as most Arsenal fans were concerned.

Despite being injured, Ramsey displayed his love for the club, signing a new long term contract on the 1st of June in 2010. The Welsh wizard returned to training in October 2010, and played his first competitive game of football in on the 23rd of November 2010. In order to gain match fitness, Ramsey went out on loan to Nottingham Forest, but unfortunately, due to poor weather conditions, Ramsey only made 5 appearances for the club. After this loan, Ramsey was sent back to his former club Cardiff on a one month loan. Again the aim of this loan was just to gain match fitness.

Finally, Ramsey was fit again, sadly he wasn’t the same player he was before his major injury. He was very slow on the ball, he would make bad passes, it was very hard for Arsenal fans to not abuse him. Then came May 1st in 2011. Arsenal played United at the Emirates and Ramsey scored the winning goal, Arsenal defeated United 1-0. He stated that scoring the goal was a special moment as it helped him not to look back at his injury. In the post match interview he said the following: “Scoring the goal was a special moment for me. This was worth the wait and so many people have helped me through the tough time I had, hopefully this will give them the same satisfaction as it does me. After these remaining games, hopefully I can come back and have a good pre-season, and then go again next year. Our target was just to win the remaining games, so we have started on that. Hopefully now we can continue this and let’s see where that takes us.”

The next season, which was the 2011-2012 season, would be a very frustrating season. Ramsey was still not 100% fit, he still wasn’t the same player he used to be, but one thing was the same, he was still being abused by fans for poor performances. On the 19th of October 2011, Ramsey scored a dramatic winner vs Marseille in a very important champions league group stage match for Arsenal. Once again, after scoring such a crucial goal Ramsey won over some more fans.

Last season was the season Ramsey shut up critics. He started off the season fairly slowly and it seemed like it would be a horror season for the man from Cardiff. Ramsey impressed Wenger and many Arsenal fans in their match against City at the Etihad stadium. The young midfielder played as a right winger, an unusual role yet he flourished. As the season went on, Aaron Ramsey improved.

On the 19th of December 2012, Ramsey, alongside with Gibbs, Chamberlain, Wilshere and Jenkinson signed a new long term contract with the club. After signing the contract, Ramsey’s form improved drastically. He started putting in many man of the match performances, winning the hearts of the majority of Arsenal fans. Fans started to praise Ramsey for constantly putting in 100% and playing with his heart on his sleeve, just like Jack Wilshere. Throughout this pre-season tour of Asia, Aaron Ramsey has been our best midfielder without a doubt. It seems like he has improved his technique and foot work as he has been playing around with defenders, often just dancing past them. So far this season, Aaron Ramsey has been our best player. His tireless work and clever passes can't and haven't gone unnoticed and he deserves all the praise he has been getting. Game after game, Ramsey has put in 100% and has constantly found the back of the net. Game after game, he has been our man of the match.

Now the main question is, did Ramsey really deserve the abuse he received. Let’s take a few things into consideration. Ramsey suffered a horrific injury, some people would retire after such an injury, he didn’t. Ramsey’s mentor Gary Speed died due to suicide, Ramsey had to cope with that. Despite getting stick from Arsenal fans week in week out, Ramsey kept calm and always tried his best on the pitch, even if his best wasn’t enough. Now look at him. He is looking very promising and may be a key player for us in this upcoming season. In my opinion, if he continues improving at this rate, he’ll become one of the best box to box midfielders in the world.
Cracking update :P
Superb write-up. One of a few world-class stories here on FM Scout!
Thanks for the lovely comments guys :)

What is it like to be an Arsenal fan?

A piece written by a passionate Arsenal fan

Almost everyday I’m asked why I’m an Arsenal supporter, why I support such a “rubbish” club. Many have tried to persuade me into supporting a different , they’ve all failed miserably.

Sometimes, I even ask myself why I support Arsenal Football Club, then I remember. Arsenal is in my blood, without the club I can’t survive. Its like the Earth and the Moon. Arsenal is the earth, I am the moon, every time you try going elsewhere something keeps pulling you back. Its truly a great honour to support such a great club. Its an even greater honour to support such a great club through its highs and lows.

Now in the past, when Arsenal were arguably the kings of England, the club had millions of supporters, unfortunately most of them being glory hunters. Arsenal were winning trophies, they went a whole season unbeaten. Being an Arsenal fan at that particular time was like being in heaven. Then things began to change, slowly the club started to execute a shocking U-turn.

The 2006 UEFA champions league final came around, that night the fans were pumped and were looking forward to adding the most prestigious European trophy to the clubs cabinet. Sol Campbell sent the fans into a frenzy with his header. “1-0 to the Arsenal” echoed around Paris. But with a blink of an eye, it was Barcelona who ended up lifting the trophy while Arsenal, left Paris with only runners up medals.

Following the defeat, things started going downhill. Star players such as Pirés , Ljunberg, Flamini, Hleb left the club and then it happened. The day I can confess a tear rolled down my cheek. The king himself left his throne for the team that had just beaten us in the champions league final.

Thankfully the club still had some quality players on-board. However, when Arsenal finally got the chance to end a horrid 6 year trophy drought, but they blew it due to a lack of communication between the keeper and a defender. What would happen next would anger all Arsenal fans. The club sold captain, Cesc Fabregas to Barcelona alongside with Samir Nasri to City. The next year they sold captain Robin Van Persie to Manchester United. A transfer that sent gooners mental. Alex Song also departed to Barcelona. Arsenal became a so called “selling club”.

Now currently in the transfer market, the club has flopped. The “Wenger out” chants have increased, the Arsenal protest groups have strengthened and the amount of real Arsenal fans has sadly decreased.

I want to ask all Arsenal fans two questions. Number 1- Where is your faith? Number 2- Are you really a true Arsenal fan? If you are, you’ll get behind the team when we’re both high and low. You’ll encourage the team and various players when they desperately need encouragement and not abuse. At games you’ll cheer on the team and not boo them, even if they’re under-performing. At this current time the club is in a crisis, its crystal clear. We all need to stick together through the lows, so we’ll be even stronger through the highs.

I know how Arsenal fans feel, I am one myself. The club constantly plays with your emotions, often gets you overly-excited only to be bitterly disappointed. You always seem to be frustrated with the club for one reason or the other. Other fans constantly crack jokes about the club and insult the club, even some Arsenal fans have started insulting the club. We MUST keep faith, for one day, we will look back at these painful times and laugh, our success will bury our failures.

Remember, keep faith, once a gooner, ALWAYS a gooner.
A very detailed piece of work. You really made it interesting to add a fans perspective which is a nice touch. Brilliant update

The next Henry to get his chance?

*Written by Daily Mail*

If there’s one player in Arsenal’s youth setup, who week in, week out, continues to amaze thousands of Arsenal fans with his talent, it’s Chuba Akpom. He is regarded as one of Arsenal’s hottest prospects, if not the hottest.The 17 year old is currently on his first ever first team pre-season tour. However, if you were not an Arsenal fan, you wouldn’t notice that he’s not a first team regular as the quick, strong and incredibly skillful striker has scored 3 goals in 2 games.

Akpom, is one of many Hale End products, alongside the likes of Emmanuel Frimpong, Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs. The striker made his U18 debut at only 15 years old, an amazing achievement. Chuba, spent many years playing for the U18 side, especially while Steve Bould was in charge.

Not only has been a star at Arsenal but also for his nation, England. For a long time, there has was a tussle between the Nigerian youth team, and the English youth team over Akpom. Unfortunately for Nigeria, Akpom chose to play for England and has done very well for them. Victory shield is where he made his first debut for England, this was at U16 level. The gifted player made a total of two appearances for the U16′s before moving onto the U17′s. While playing a year above, Akpom managed to score 5 goals in 13 appearances. He was really starting to make a name for himself. Once again, Akpom’s skills proved to be too much for just an U17 player, and he was promoted to the U19′s. As he plays at a higher level, his goal scoring record seems to improve, something that is very rare. Chuba has scored 6 goals, in 7 appearances for the U19′s and was involved in the last bid to qualify for the European U19 championship, but England fell just short.

In October 2012, much to the delight of Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger, Akpom signed his first professional contract. Arsenal released the following statement: ”Everyone at Arsenal would like to congratulate Chuba on his first professional contract and we look forward to his continued progression with the club,”. The youngster had successfully convinced Wenger, as many a times, clubs release players at that stage.

The 17 year old has been compared to Thierry Henry on numerous occasions, due to sheer ability to determine how a game plays out. During his years in the academy, if Arsenal needed a goal, Chuba would provide them with a goal. Not only is he a goal scorer, but a joy to watch. Very often he dances past players thanks to a combination of speed, trickery and strength. Last season Akpom played at U21 level scoring 13 goals in 20 appearances. He also featured in the next gen series and was Arsenal’s standout player, especially in their games vs Marseille and Chelsea where he scored braces. In the next gen series Akpom scored 4 goals in 10 appearances. The little Henry, was called up to the squad for Arsenal’s last group stage match vs Olympiacos. Much to the anger of many Arsenal fans he remained on the bench throughout that match, even though Arsenal needed a goal scorer on the pitch.

Since being called up on Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia, and further impressing with 3 goals in 2 games, there is one question on most Arsenal fans’ mind regarding the talented striker. Will he get his chance this season? Arsenal currently have Oscar Cardozo and Giroud as their main strikers, so the competition will be tough. The only other back up striker is new signing Yaya Sanogo, who is fairly injury prone. Lukas Podolski seems to have accepted his fate as a left winger. So what part will Akpom play in this upcoming season? We will certainly be expecting to see him in the capital one cup and possibly FA Cup. Hopefully he will be rewarded for all his hard work and finally get a chance in the first team. One thing he must remember, patience is key.
Heard about Akpom a few times and its been good things about him. Seems a very bright future. Yet another brilliant update
Great to see Akpom get a chance but that update about being a fan was class keep it going mate :D
Jack and Matt: Thanks a lot guys, those are actually two of my articles :p

Olivier Giroud, the so called "flop"

When Olivier Giroud, the tall Frenchman, was signed from Montpellier for a fee around 9.6 million, Wenger failed to admit he was Van Persie’s replacement. However the fans knew he was and they were expecting miracles from him. They were still fuming over the sale of Van Persie to our rivals United for 24 million. Many failed to realize that it was a gamble. It was either sell him now for a reasonable price, or let him walk out for free. Arsenal did the thing all business men would do. Unfortunately the fans felt this was a horrible sale.

Giroud arrive from Montpellier following a brilliant season for the French side. He led them to the Ligue 1 trophy, alongside with winning the golden boot award netting an impressive 21 goals. The stats were behind him, but the fans weren’t too sure yet. The question that kept going round was “is Giroud really the guy who can replace RVP?”. Thousands of fans started watching videos of Giroud on the internet, youtube in particular, hoping to be wowed. I did this on numerous occasions. They liked what they saw but they wanted to see him doing even more, and not for Montpellier in France, but for Arsenal FC at the Emirates.

Unfortunately Giroud’s start at Arsenal was not too impressive, he did not make the starting lineup on his debut, instead he started on the bench. Arsenal, were playing a decent Sunderland side and the score was still 0-0. Eventually he came off the bench to replace Podolski. Shortly he was gifted a golden chance to score but he embarrassingly missed it. This sparked the comparisons. Many Arsenal fans started complaining and moaning about Giroud and saying “Van Persie would have scored that”. These fans were fairly narrow minded. It was Giroud’s first game and he would need time to settle in.

A striker’s job is to score goals, Giroud was failing to do that. One game without a goal became two, then three, next four and eventually the new signing went 6 games before ending his goal drought. His first goal was scored against Coventry City in a capital one cup game. Giroud would have been delighted that he scored in front of his home crowd. Some supporters changed their mind on Giroud, they believed he could replace RVP. Whereas some still thought he had a lot more to prove, after all he hadn’t scored in the league. After the Coventry City game, next up was Chelsea at home. In this match, Chelsea were winning 2-1 when Giroud rounded Cech but failed to convert. To his support it was at a fairly tight angle but it still could have been scored. The critics increased in number. Giroud finally scored in the premier league with a spectacular goal against West Ham. Arsenal went on to win this game. Not only did he score, but he assisted Theo Walcott’s goal.

On the 30th of October, Arsenal faced Reading in the capital one cup. At Half Time they found themselves 4-1 down, a complete shock. Giroud came on and scored a brilliant header to make it 4-2. At the end of the night Arsenal were the winners winning the game 7-5. This is said to be the game that Giroud became a fan favourite, especially after he threw his shirt into the crowd, although he had to collect it back as the game hadn’t finished. The chants began to echo around various stadiums “NaNaNaNa, NaNaNaNa, GIROUD!”. He publicly showed his appreciation for the fans support after a tough start. Just a few days later, Giroud scored his first Champions league goal for Arsenal in a 2-2 draw vs Schalke. Four days later, he scored twice in Arsenal’s 2-2 draw with Fulham. Olivier was really picking up form.

The North London derby took place at the Emirates on the 17th of November. If you were to ask all Arsenal fans how a new player, especially striker wins them over, they would answer either “he must score in a cup final” or “he must score in the North London Derby”. So what did Giroud do? He got himself on the score sheet in the North London Derby, as Arsenal thumped Tottenham 5-2. The chant “NaNaNaNa, NaNaNaNa, GIROUD” echoed around Emirates for at least 5 minutes during the game and also after the game. Giroud was starting to shut many Arsenal fans up. Just a few days later, Giroud faced his old club Montpellier in the Champions league. Olivier did not get on the score sheet, however he picked up two assists, including an astonishing assist for Podolski’s goal.

The fans had forgotten about RVP, the main man was now Olivier Giroud. On the 29th of December, Giroud came of the bench vs Newcastle and picked up two goals immediately. He easily could have gotten a third and a hattrick, but was denied by the crossbar. Just a few days after, Giroud assisted Kieran Gibbs’ all important goal in an FA Cup game vs Swansea at the Liberty Stadium. In the replay of the match, the winner, scored by Jack Wilshere, was assisted by who else but Giroud. In the game vs West Ham, Giroud was in fine form scoring a brace as West Ham ,who were leading 1-0, lost the game 5-1 thanks to a superb second half display from Arsenal. The man from Montpellier was on fire and it seemed like he couldn’t be stopped as he scored another brace vs Brighton in the FA Cup, making a statement to all Arsenal fans that he is the man.

Arsenal faced Liverpool at the Emirates and found themselves losing 2-0 at half time. However they turned this around thanks to a goal from Giroud and a goal from Walcott, which was assisted by Giroud as they managed to pick up a draw. Giroud’s sixteenth goal of the season came against Reading as Arsenal ran out 4-1 winners at the emirates. His last goal of the season was against Norwich. Just a few minutes earlier he had won a penalty which lead to Arsenal’s equalizer.

At the end of the season Giroud had scored 17 goals and had 10 assists. Hardly a flop in my opinion. There are a few things Arsenal fans fail to realize about Olivier Giroud. The first thing is that Giroud is new to English football, which is different from French football. It will take time to settle in. The main thing Arsenal fans fail to realize is that, we tend not to play to his strengths. Giroud is a tall man, with great aerial ability, in fact I believe he is the best in the air (attacker). Unfortunately each time he plays, Arsenal tend not to cross the ball, if they do, the crosses are of poor quality. When they do cross the ball very well, Giroud scores. He is not just good in the air but his attacking movement is very impressive. The Frenchman is not selfish and loves to bring others into play. This is what led to him picking up 10 assists.

I believe Giroud has already replaced RVP, and this season will be phenomenal for us. He scored two goals in our first friendly against Indonesia XI, after coming off the bench. Two very good goals too. We must get behind Giroud and continue supporting him, and he will get even better.
To all followers of this story and everyone who has supported my writing, I would like to say A BIG THANK YOU! Without you guys, I wouldn't have won the SOTM award! So in a way, you guys won the SOTM award too!

Hopefully, I can continue updating this story despite my hectic school and football schedule. Who knows, we could win another SOTM! Once again another huge thank you!
GO SENI! I have no idea whoe I voted for!
Well done Seni...well done.
Congrats Seni. :)

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