Naughty Vaz Te pays for his actions – AFC

A big fat slice of karma came flying the direction of Ricardo Vaz Te on Saturday afternoon. For those who saw the match on Saturday (I don’t think the incident that led to the premature removal of the Portuguese from the field of play was shown on match of the day) the cause was nothing more than the player deserved.

As a through ball was played into the area Vito Mannone rushed from his line and won the ball in what was clearly the keepers ball; Vaz te even though he had every right to try to get the ball when it was clear it wasn’t his to win he still decided to leave his trailing leg in which connected with Vito Mannone’s head.

The replays clearly showed it was a deliberate action and our keeper clearly felt the impact on the back of his head. Picture of challenge here courtesy of TGS photo

Seriously given what happened a few years back to Petr Cech it is very concerning to know players still take these immoral measures. We all know what the potential repercussion can be and so I cannot understand why players feel the need to try such sneaky cowardly actions just to try to gain an advantage in a game of football. If Mannone came off seriously injured you know the first thing that would happen is the overwhelming defence of Vaz Te claiming he’s not that type of player.

Well on Saturday he showed he is that type of player but given what happened immediately after his actions all will be forgotten as football fans all feel sorry for his unfortunate luck.

Yes the next events proved that what goes around comes around; usually karma takes its sweet time to even things out but on Saturday it took rapid action and within seconds of his boot flying in Vaz Te was sprawled out on the Upton park sidelines in pure agony.

It turns out the west ham player’s momentum carried him past the pitch and resulted in an awkward fall which produced a dislocated shoulder. Reports arose on Sunday that the player will be out for up to three months due to the injury. If the player had a time machine I am sure a different course of events would have happened in that instance.

I must go on record that I do not dislike west ham, I have no problem with the club and do not wish ill on any of their players however I was incensed by the actions of Vaz Te at that moment in time and can on conclude he got what he deserved for that. May he return from that injury back to full health and a little wiser and more aware of his actions in future. I would not condone it if an arsenal player did the same.

Away from the Vaz Te  karma we now have to content with two weeks of no football. well, no premier league football; I find it hard to get excited for international football unless it’s the actual tournament. Qualifiers and friendlies do not fill any void; they are always full of controversies and injuries. Will be interesting to be a fly on the wall to see how Ashley Cole gets on in his first day of training, apart from that I better find another hobby for the interlull.

The arsenal news over the next week ot so will probably be full of whether Theo signs a contract or not and I’m not even wasting my time researching our alleged £35m attempt to sign Falcao. I mean, seriously?

Enjoy your day people.

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Arsenal thrash Coventry in style, Reading up next

At the moment the Arsenal are simply riding the crest of a wave. I’m just going to enjoy it for as long as it lasts. Last night Coventry came to town for the Capital One Cup and Arsene Wenger chose a team with the right mixture of youth and experience. The final result of 6-1 was testament to the hunger of the younger players to impress and the hunger of the more established players to stake a claim for a starting spot on Saturday.

Olivier Giroud started in what can only be seen as a confidence game for the striker. He indeed boosted his confidence with a quality dink over the keeper to open the scoring on the night and settle the nerves of the team in the first half. It was important the striker got his goal yesterday, considering the score line you would expect your forwards to hit the back of the net in the goal rush. I think what was also important was the fact he scored from open play, a set piece goal from a penalty doesn’t quite banish the demons and it was great to see him finish so calmly in open play. His penalty miss in the game is less damaging due to him scoring earlier; he was unfortunate not to score as it was a well taken penalty but when the keeper guesses the right way these things happen. Let’s hope Mr Giroud can now kick on this season.

Theo Walcott was given an opportunity to play up front and back up all the talking he has done this week about his desire to play in that role. Theo has admitted he would like to be a legend like Thierry Henry at Arsenal and believes this can only be achieved as a striker. Wenger duly obliged and called his bluff by selecting him in his preferred role. I have to admit after a mixed first half where everything wasn’t coming off Theo exploded into life in the second half and was rewarded with two quality finishes that were almost trademark Thierry goals. Definitely food for thought for Arsene, Walcott rose to the task and answered his doubters. Great for him but now the next step is to produce similar performances and goals against better opposition. That is probably one of the greatest criticisms of Theo is in the bigger games when you need the big players to stand up and fight he is usually anonymous. He is still young but the consistency is what he really needs to add to his game for people to take notice.

Andrei Arshavin seemed to have a lot of fun on the night, he played in a more central playmaker role without the added burden of protecting the flanks and it was clear he relished the role. It was reminiscent of his performances for Russia in the euros the way he was direct, spraying balls around and being a general nuisance to the Coventry backline. I noted yesterday that he needed to make the most of his opportunities in this game to force his way into Arsene’s plans in the premiership games. He surely did make the most of it and chipped in with a goal and assist in the game. This is the kind of performance the arsenal fans expect from the Russian and we know he can do it against better opposition too. Maybe Wenger will consider him in that role in future, he deserves a chance there as an option to alleviate the burden on Santi Cazorla to produce week in week out. It’s nice to know we have another player who can play in that hole effectively. Arshavin when he’s in the mood is a player to fear, let’s just hope he can maintain the hunger.

Alex Oxlade Chamberlain just loves this competition; it was around this time last year that he announced his potential to the arsenal fans with a barn storming performance against Shrewsbury. He was clearly in the mood yesterday and had a great game against Coventry. Always direct, he pulled off a few flicks and tricks and was a constant thorn in the Coventry side. He topped it off with a finish that had the whole stadium jumping. A real quality strike from outside the box, hardly any back lift in the shot it cannoned into the top corner of the net and set the game up nicely for the 6-1 outcome. The timing of the goal was perfect as Giroud had just missed his penalty and it could have had a negative effect on the team and raised Coventry’s hopes. The Ox’s bullet of a goal banished any hopes Coventry had and merely added to the already exponentially rising stock he has. It really is exciting when you look at the abundance of options we have in midfield at the moment.

Of the younger players that were drafted into the team Dami Martinez had a very good debut, despite the lack of pressure from Coventry he did everything that was required of him when called upon. His kicking was good, his claiming of the ball and he pulled of a couple acrobatic saves. He couldn’t be faulted for the goal and yesterdays experience would have done him a world of good. Martin Angha came into the side for his debut at right back and didn’t looked overawed by the occasion, he seemed very comfortable in that role and future is looking good for the young Swiss. His final delivery from the flanks may need a bit of working on but there are enough signs last night he the potential to be a future arsenal first team player. Nico Yennaris came into the side and was drafted into midfield, a position he plays quite a bit in reserves and he certainly had a good game in the middle of the park. Versatility is an attribute Arsene loves and he certainly showed Wenger he can play there if called upon. The only thing against him is his size but he has plenty of time to fill out and muscle up. Ignasi Miguel continued his development with an assured performance alongside skipper for the day Johan Djourou. He even chipped in with a headed goal and put himself in the shop window for a potential loan move to further his development. Serge Gnarby came on for Oxlade-Chamberlain in the second half and looked an almost carbon copy of our England midfielder. He is certainly another player off the production line that will excite the fans; he had a couple decent runs at the defence and came so close with a rocket of an effort.

It was nice to see Emmanuel Frimpong get on the pitch, he received a very warm reception from the fans when warming up and when he eventually got on the pitch. It has been a long journey back for the midfielder and now I hope the knee injuries can be a thing of the past. It really does seem like there’s no more room left at the inn but with Jack Wilshere and Thomas Rosicky still to return we really are spoilt for choice at the moment. Arsene I really don’t envy you right now as someone has to miss out each week and nobody at the moment is giving you a reason for them to be ignored.

We drew Reading in the next round of the cup, a shame its an away tie but cannot complain as we could have drawn far tougher opposition.

Enjoy your day people

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Roll on Southampton, we have missed you AFC

My goodness i’ve missed you premiership, what a long international break that seemed. International qualifiers and friendlies just don’t do it for me. My interest goes right out the window, I take notice of our boys and how they do in addition to praying they don’t return to the Arsenal broken. After a summer of being spoilt by Euro’s, Olympics, Paralympics and Wimbledon there just always seemed to be something that filled the void until the new season started, now that’s all finished the past week or so has really dragged for me.

In addition to the lack of domestic football we have the transfer window closed, that led to no potential signings filtering through twitter and other social media platforms. The supposed ITK’s have gone into hibernation (or gone back to tweeting their love to Justin Bieber) meaning there’s no rumours to get the fans whipped into a gossip filled frenzy. We were taken back to the football news being actual reports based on interviews and international results. No bad thing I admit, it certainly makes a change to the usual things reported, I just need the football back now.

Southampton comes to town and it will make for a significant fixture for a few players in our squad. We clearly have links with Southampton after signing two of their brightest young talents in recent years. Theo Walcott was signed way back in 2006 amidst a media storm, his inclusion to the England squad for the world cup that year didn’t help quell the enormous pressure he was already under, he has finally started to show some of that potential seen in him when so young. Far from the finished article Theo has still managed to develop his game and the script for his career is still unwritten. He is still young enough to have a part to play in Arsenal’s future successes and move up to the next level in his personal development and gameplay. A chance to play against the team where it all started will no doubt be an emotional one and I’m sure he will show his old club great respect if he were to score against them.

Alex Oxlade –Chamberlain another former Southampton starlet who made the switch to the emirates gets a chance against his old club, there will be more ties to the team he plays since many of the players from his time there will still be present. It was only a year ago that he signed admittedly under the radar due to the heavy backlash received by the club in the midst of the departures of key players at the start of last season. An unknown entity to many Arsenal fans Alex has come on leaps and bounds to make himself a fan favourite, an integral part of the 1st team squad and a senior England international. Such an exciting player with so much potential for more, Arsenal fans really need to applaud Southampton for letting this one join our ranks.

Another player who can have an indirect link to Southampton is our French striker Olivier Giroud. I know he hasn’t played for them but im sure you all know by now (or just remember) how games against Southampton have become significant for some of our great players in terms of them breaking their league goal scoring ducks. Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp are just a couple of the quality players to get their first Arsenal goals against the saints after initially struggling to find the net in their first few games.

Could it be written in the stars that our powerful new striker could follow suit and finally boot that monkey off his back today? Why not, he would be in good company joining that exclusive club with the Iceman, Wrighty, Thierry and that other dutch bloke. He has the talent, and his first goal is just around the corner.
I’ll be at the game today and hope to witness the moment, I will no doubt give the loudest cheer if he bags his debut goal today.

Not much new in team news, Diaby probably won’t be risked due to a knock on international duty, Walcott missed the last England game due to a virus but was able to train yesterday. Szczesny is fit again and the long term absentees are getting closer to a return.
I’m glad the footy is back at the emirates, seems a complete age since I last went to the Sunderland game. Please guys give us three points and plenty of goals. Southampton can’t be taken for granted, they have given both Manchester clubs food for thought recently. They remind me much of Blackpool last time they were in the premiership plenty attacking threat and flair going forward however likely to concede as much as they score. Let’s hope our defence continue their fine run, come on you gunners!

Enjoy your day people

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Sunderland tickets on sale this week, walcott to stay – AFC

As the new week kicks in we move closer towards the month of August and towards the 18th of that month which marks the new premier league season kick off. In turn on Thursday this week will be the 1st opportunity for fans to purchase tickets for the opener against Sunderland. The tickets on sale on 2nd August are only to the silver members whilst the following week on the 6th red members will get their chance to purchase tickets.

Season ticket holders of course need not to worry about sale dates as their allocation are guaranteed but for silver members like myself it’s a first chance to get our hands on the discounted cheaper category C seats as revealed by the Arsenal ticketing folk earlier in the month.

I’ll be sure to log in early to ensure a decent seat in a block I prefer and I advise all others to do the same, the opening fixture tickets will not hang around waiting for you.

It was revealed yesterday in the Daily Star that Theo Walcott has given his biggest hint yet that he intends to stay with Arsenal.

He was quoted as saying when asked about contract negotiations:

“The club and my agent are talking but it is a slow process and my last contract took six months to agree – but it will come.

We’ll see what happens but I am not too bothered about it. I am keen to work with the team just trying to get fit and there is still got a long way to go yet.”

A rather laid back response but still a positive indication that he forsee’s an outcome where he will still be an Arsenal player. I know many have grumbled at his alleged wage demands that have been thrown out there but I guess the overall wage should not be our concern, only the fact that he eventually puts pen to paper. The situation we find ourselves in with current captain robin van persie should not be a situation we find ourselves in again with other players. It is frustrating as a fan to see players walking out the back door for free or for a heavily discounted price due to time left on contracts. Nasri did it last year, Robin this time. I remember when Matthieu Flamini walked out on us at a time he really established himself in the team, the departure left a bitter taste in the mouth.

started the trend of contract rebels

Though when you look at it we got a taste of our own medicine as we acquired him from Marseilles under the same circumstances (running down his contract) and the season prior to his departure he was seen by arsenal fans in the same light we look at Denilson. He turned it around though and was able to engineer a move to a big club like AC Milan, I suppose he at least showed some loyalty by not moving to another Premiership team. He may still get booed whenever he returns to emirates but I don’t hold no animosity towards him I just hoped that was the last time we let one get away due to lack of urgency in negotiations. Lets hope we can buck that trend after Van persie is gone, nobody likes giving away things for free especially when they are valuable assets.

I didn’t catch any of the game yesterday against Kitchee but heard the same old reasons mentioned for the loss of our goals, defensive lapses, missed chances, improved second half. I find it hard to assess Arsenal on the pre season friendly games especially when we don’t have the whole group together. I’m sure Wenger, Bould et al have been able to see where improvements are needed from the fringe players, they will work on them when they return. We must not forget the games are just as important for Arsenal on a marketing level as they are on fitness side. The real hard work starts when the whole group is together, the younger players who impressed Wenger on the Asia tour will be integrated with the first team and given another chance to show their stuff in the final few warm up games.

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Enjoy your day people

England through, Giroud closer, Arshavin slips up – AFC

So England are through to the knockout stages at Euro 2012, they made hard work of it against the Ukraine who should feel hard done by for the goal that was not given. As predicted Roy Hodgson took the cautious approach and did not promote Theo Walcott to the starting eleven. Milner was chosen to provide more defensive cover against a determined home nation who went for a win. Rooney returned and scored the winning goal however his performance overall was rusty and ineffective.

Theo did get on the pitch in the second half though he was starved of any service as the England players chose to ignore him as an outlet. Strange choice there as his pace could have been utilized to stretch the Ukrainians who kept pushing for a goal. The minutes though will hopefully keep Walcott fresh in readiness for the game against the Italians.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain came on with a few minutes to go but didn’t really get a chance to have an effect on the game. He had one run but the ball trickled away from him at the point when he could have spread the ball to Theo. It’s still assuring that Roy Hodgson showed faith in the Arsenal man to come on in the closing stages of the match. A big boost to his confidence and there’s no reason why he wont be in Roy Hodgson’s plans for the Italy game.

As I mentioned earlier England will be facing Italy after winning the group; the French lost their final game against Sweden 2-0 and will now face Spain by default. The group stages are now over and the real pressure starts, Arsenal still has a part to play in the competition, roll on the Quarter finals.

The Olivier Giroud transfer to Arsenal seems to be gaining more momentum as the deputy president of Montpellier has confirmed negotiations between the two clubs over a transfer. This is the most definitive news yet concerning a deal with the tall striker and prices of around £13million are being quoted related to a clause in Giroud’s contract. Either way expect any deal to be concluded once France are no longer participating in the tournament.

Giroud managed to get some minutes on the pitch in France’s disappointing defeat to Sweden as so did the heavily linked Yann M’Vila. The midfield terrier started the game however my focus was on the England game and so I cannot report on either player’s performance against the Swedes.

Andrei Arshavin has caused a slight bit of controversy in his homeland after he was embroiled in an argument with some fans at the hotel the Russian team were staying at. Mobile phone footage captured the Russian captain responding to abuse from the fans in where he claimed his country’s failure to advance from their group was not the players fault but could be pointed towards the Russian fans and their expectations.

Although the words were not said on an official platform it has been enough for members of the Russian football union to condemn his lack of remorse and question his status as captain of the team.  Ideally this controversy will blow over as soon as possible especially if Arsenal harbours plans to sell Arshavin back to Zenit St Petersburg. Factors like this could affect negotiations over any transfer fee and Arshavin’s decision to move back to Russia if he falls foul of the Russian public.

Enjoy your day people

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