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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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There's so much heat here, I'm roasting :P
2013-09-14 18:05#134912 AlexTHFC : There's so much heat here, I'm roasting :P

Haha :p

Arsenal get the last laugh as Napoli leave the Emirates disappointed

Did Gonzalo Higuain score against Arsenal? Yes he did. Did he give away a penalty? Yes he did. Did Napoli win the game? No they did not as they were thumped 4-1 by Arsenal at the Emirates stadium in front of 65,00 fans. On paper, many thought Napoli would give Arsenal serious problems but that wasn't the case as on the day, Arsenal were by the far the better team.

Going into the game, both teams looked fired up, especially with the words from both Higuain and Koscienly adding some extra spice to the match. Following their 2-2 draw in the Emirates cup a few months ago, both teams were looking to grab the victory and more importantly the three points. Despite the champions league only just starting, it was a must win for both teams.

Before the game started we spoke to the Arsenal manager, Dragan Stojkovic and asked him what he thought about his sides chances, and if he had heard about the little dispute between Koscienly and Higuain:

"We have a very good chance of winning the game I believe. Following the result vs Sunderland the players are eager to win this fixture and hopefully start another good run of results. I have been following this little thing between Koscienly and Higuain. Its normal if you ask me. The same happened with Balotelli and Pique during the Euros so I'm not worried but I want Laurent to focus more on helping us win the game than Higuain. "

Meanwhile, Rafa Benitez had different thoughts about the dispute as he said:

"Its all mind games and nonsense. Both players should be focusing on helping their team win the match. We would like to get the three points away from home but we know it won't be easy and we have to work hard and really press Arsenal as they are a passing team. If you allow them to settle they will destroy you."

Just five minutes into the game, Laurent Koscienly was booked for a crunching tackle on Higuain, which left Higuain on the deck. Obviously the Frenchman knew what he was doing before he committed himself to the tackle. For the first 30 minutes Arsenal dominated the game and in the 32nd minute, Jack Wilshere gave Arsenal the lead with a brilliant solo effort. The first half ended with Arsenal leading 1-0.

As the second half started, Arsenal were still on top and dominating but Napoli had some great chances to equalize, however they failed to take them. That would cost them as young England international, Oxlade- Chamberlain doubled Arsenal's lead with a curling shot into the bottom corner leaving Reina helpless, 2-0. What would happen next would have angered Rafa Benitez a lot. Marek Hamsik, being on a yellow card, dived in the penalty box looking for a penalty and ended up getting sent off. The Arsenal fans seemed delighted with his sending off, as it killed any chance of Napoli getting back into the game.

Roughly 15 minutes later, it would be 3-0 as Nacho Monreal scored with a pile-driver in the 18 yard box. Arsenal had shifted to a higher gear and Napoli were helpless. Just four minutes later, Gonzalo Higuain scored a total fluke as the ball bounced off his knee and rolled into the net. There were no celebrations from the Napoli players as they knew it was mission impossible. Gonzalo Higuain was seen making a gesture to Laurent Koscienly.

It turned out that Koscienly would have the last laugh, as Higuain brought down Jack Wilshere in the penalty box, and was left red faced. After Mikel Arteta slotted the ball home to make it 4-1, Koscienly clapped in front of Higuain which led to the two players coming together. Thankfully they were separated immediately and both were sternly warned by the referee. The game would finish 4-1 to Arsenal.

Rafa Benitez refused to wait for a post match interview and was reported to have stormed onto the team bus, leaving the assistant manager to handle the team talk. Dragan was in a better mood and told us how he felt about the game:

"A brilliant performance from the team today. Coming into the game we knew it would be difficult but today we showed everyone that we are a different class to our opposition. The players worked hard and together on the pitch and that was the key to today's victory."

Next up for Arsenal is a trip to Craven Cottage in the premier league, as they prepare for a tricky fixture vs their London rivals, Fulham.

Great update Seni and a great result to go with it. I don't rate Higuain, I think Napoli should've left him to you, but that is only my opinion.
2013-09-15 16:37#134993 Jozef : Great update Seni and a great result to go with it. I don't rate Higuain, I think Napoli should've left him to you, but that is only my opinion.

I think Napoli had every right to do what they did, but now I think about it, if we got Higuain we wouldn't have gotten Ozil.

Ozil symbolizes a transformation for Arsenal

Arsenal legend, Thierry Henry has praised the signing of Mesut Ozil but has firmly stated this is just the beginning the transformation of Arsenal football club. It was Arséne Wenger who signed Mesut Ozil for a fee of 42.5 million pounds from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window and some will say that was the signing of the summer.

Speaking to Fox News about his former club Thierry said:

"The last eight years or so has been very excruciating for everyone at the club, the fans, the players, staff, myself, I am still a huge fan of Arsenal and will always be. Recently the club has been criticized for selling star players and not really bringing in good replacements. I feel Arsenal have found the replacement for Van Persie in Giroud who has been in good form. Cazorla and Podolski are very good players.

This transfer market was looking to be a very bad as it looked like the club would not spend any money. They only brought in Mathieu, who is still a very good player. Also they brought in Yaya Sanogo I believe. One inexperience and experienced player but all on free transfers which frustrated the fans a lot.

Many have said the signing of Ozil was a panic buy. I don't agree. When you look at it, Arsenal only had a few creative players and world class players, most are European class. The signing of Ozil is the beginning of a transformation. He will help Arsenal succeed but Ozil is not enough. Arsenal now need to get good results, other players need to step up and if possible they need to attract more world class players. Then Arsenal's glory will return."

When Henry was asked what he felt about the departure of Wenger and if Arsenal could win a trophy this season, he said:

"I was very sad when I heard the news. It was a sad day for all Arsenal fans and for the world of football and sport. Its good that he is now a director, I always knew he would still be involved with Arsenal one way or the other. The new coach is just like Arséne and is doing well so far. He has my full support.

Will Arsenal win a trophy? If the players work hard and they stay injury free then yes they will. Many say the club is in decline but I believe they are progressing and will continue to progress. "

Henry is not the only player to praise the signing of Ozil, many Arsenal players themselves have shown their delight about the signing of Ozil:

Zelalem breaks records!

Following his goal against Fulham, in the 2-2 draw at Craven Cottage, young Arsenal midfielder, Geidon Zelalem has not only become the youngest ever Arsenal goalscorer, but the youngest ever premier league goalscorer too at 15 years and 254 days. Barcelona midfielder, Cesc Fabregas held the previous record at 16 years, 212 days with a goal against Wolves, while James Vaughan previously held the premier league record at 16 years, 270 days.

Speaking to Geidon after the game he was delighted with scoring his first ever professional goal for Arsenal:

"This is a dream come true. One year ago I wouldn't have imagine myself playing first team football and a full 90 minutes. I must thank Arséne Wenger and Dragan Stojkovic for having faith in me and promoting me from the u18's to the first team. I had a wonderful pre-season but I never expected this to happen. "

The German international (youth level), wasn't aware that he had broken two records, here was his reaction when he found out:

"Two? Wow! I had no idea I even broke one record. This is a great achievement in my career and for it to happen at such an early stage is a huge motivation. I hope I can continue to impress the boss."

Geidon Zelalem proved his worth during Arsenal's pre-season tour of Asia with some brilliant performances and very clever passes. One thing he may need to work on is his physique but he is still young and has time to develop. Arsenal fans call him the next Cesc Fabregas, hopefully he will live up to their expectations and maybe surpass them.

Wow, that's impressive, next Michael Ballack right here perhaps?
Nice update Seni, more of the same please! :)
2013-09-15 19:42#135018 Rablador : Wow, that's impressive, next Michael Ballack right here perhaps?
Nice update Seni, more of the same please! :)

Thanks Rab :)

What is he doing leaving out Jack and the Ox?

Match of the day pundit and former English striker, Gary Lineker has hit out at Roy Hodgson over his decision to drop Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere ahead of England's world cup qualifiers vs Moldova and Ukraine. It is reported that Aaron Lennon was picked over Chamberlain and Gareth Barry over Jack Wilshere. Both players have been in superb form so far and so its not easy to understand why the two Gunners were dropped.

In an interview with the BBC, the company he works with, Lineker said:

"I have no idea what he (Hodgson) is thinking about dropping Wilshere and Chamberlain. If it was a friendly I would still question it but understand yet this is a qualifier! Everyone remembers the shame and pain that we faced when we failed to qualify for Euro 2008, if we don't qualify for the world cup it will be worse.

At this moment in time, I don't believe Lennon and Barry should have taken their places, with all due respect to the two players. You've got to take this into consideration, when last did the two of those players play for England? Lennon doesn't even start at Spurs and Barry has only been playing first team football for a couple of months.

Hopefully his poor decisions will not cost us the crucial points, but if they do, we all know who to blame for it. I wonder how the two players themselves are feeling, they would have been expecting call ups!

So far in eight games, Chamberlain has scored 2 goals and has made 3 assists. Meanwhile Aaron Lennon has played 6 games and has scored one goal and only made one assist. Jack Wilshere has made 7 appearances and has scored an amazing total of 6 goals and has made one assist. However Gareth Barry has made 11 appearances, scored one goal and has made 6 assists.

The two players are said to be disappointed not to be called up to the England squad, however they fully respect the decision of Roy Hodgson.

Here is the full England squad for the upcoming qualifiers vs Moldova and Ukraine:

100TH REPLY!!!!!!!
Congratulations Neal and thanks for giving me my 100th reply on this Arsenal story I've enjoyed writing so much! :D

Statue dedicated to a living legend

When I think of how lucky Arsenal were and still are to have someone of Arséne's calibre serving them for so long, no fan should complain. When you name some of the greatest managers to set foot on the Earth, you must name Arséne Wenger. When you name managers who took over a club and completely transformed it, you must name Arséne Wenger. When you look at the managers who saw their side go 49 games unbeaten, there is only one Arséne Wenger.

I've known Arséne for over 20 years, he has been my mentor since day one, even while I was playing for Nagoya he was my mentor. I remember playing under him. He has always been calm and collected, yet extremely intelligent. I cannot recall any manager better than him that I have played under.

Without a doubt, Arséne is the greatest Arsenal manager ever. Nobody so far can be compared to him, not even myself. Everyone around the world knows how great a manager he is. Despite the criticism he has received over the past eight years, he didn't ditch Arsenal because of his love for the club. He tried his best to fix the mess, at many times he may have failed but he can say he failed proudly.

If it wasn't for Wenger, Arsenal would not play the way they play now. If it wasn't for Wenger, Arsenal wouldn't be the club Arsenal are today. They wouldn't be financially sound and stable, they wouldn't play "The Arsenal Way". They wouldn't play the most attractive football in England.

It was a truly emotional day and Arséne was reduced to tears once he saw the statue. Everyone was their for the unveiling, fans, staff, players, past players, legends, invincibles. Nobody would dare miss it as it was a chance and the only way to say a big thank you to Wenger. It gave everyone the chance to thank him for the past 17 years or so and for the future years as he is still a director at the club. However the difference in roles of a manager and director are completely different.

Many players made speeches, including Thierry Henry, Tony Adams and various other legends. Current players such as Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott made tributes to Wenger. Cesc Fabregas flew in from Barcelona to make a tribute to Wenger. Arsenal made a tribute to Wenger. North London made a tribute to Wenger. The fans cheered "There's only one Arséne Wenger" for most of the day, that was their tribute.

When you talk about the Sir Alex Ferguson's, the Bill Shankly's, the Mourinho's, the Guardiola's, you must always remember the French professor, Arséne Wenger. On the behalf of Arsenal Football Club, thank you Arséne. Thank you so much for everything you've done, everything you're doing, and everything you will do in the future.

Great tribute to Wenger, a legendary manager
2013-09-16 00:20#135054 Neal : Great tribute to Wenger, a legendary manager

Thanks Neal, I really enjoyed writing it :)

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