Pires: Wenger must buy

Arsenal legend Robert Pires has urged Arsene Wenger to invest in new players to stop the rot setting in at the club.

During his commentary for Canal+ during the Liverpool game, Bob said, “The time has come for Arsene Wenger to think about investing the money from player sales into players with experience and more of a guarantee.

“I think other players have spoken with him and told him the same. The set-up has changed now. Before this, many players wanted to stay at Arsenal for a long time but this has changed now, too. Players leave now at their first chance.

“That goes for Clichy, Nasri and Eboue. Indirectly, Wenger is to blame. Unless new players come in and others stay then the problem will get worse.

“I don’t think that they can rival the likes of Manchester City or Chelsea but you can’t win just with young players.”

And Wenger has insisted the club will be spending, the problem is identifying the right targets. “We will buy”, he said. “People feel I’m stubborn, I’m not, I just want to do the best for the team and to buy the right players.

“If I have shown one thing in the last 15 years, it’s that I have brought good players here. We will bring experienced players. But people just say ‘buy’ but it’s to buy the right player which is difficult”.

Where Premier League referees come from

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Posted with comment and simply as a reference tool for the duration of the season. Bookmark it.

Premier League referees

With thanks to Jules from Arsenal Land.

Wenger reacts to Liverpool defeat

Speaking after Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool, Arsene Wenger reflected on his team’s performance, Samir Nasri’s display, the controversy surrounding the two goals, Emmanuel Frimpong’s red card and looking ahead to Wednesday’s match with Udinese.

On the performance…

“We had eight players out and still had a good performance, so it is not all doom and gloom.

“We live under circumstances where every defeat is an absolutely a disgrace and an earthquake. We are very disappointed that we lost the game, but we are at the start of the season.

“The target is to have a good team and good players. You can spend money and have a bad team. You want the supporters to be happy and when you don’t win the game you can understand that they are not.

“For now it is important for us to lift the players because they are very disappointed today. We need to give them credit for their attitude and performance today, in the game it is very harsh to lose it the way we did.”

On being unlucky…

“I believe that the result is very harsh on the quality of our game. Overall we cannot say that at the moment that we are very lucky.

“I believe the [first] goal was offside today and that is absolutely scandalous. Every decision in the last three or four months, you cannot say it rains, it pours. It looks like the two were offside.

“If you lose games like that, when the referees are professional, it is very hard to accept. It’s difficult enough to play with ten men.

“Apart from that our overall attitude and spirit, despite all the problems was absolutely amazing.”

On Frimpong’s red card…

“It was a lack of experience. The boy has a big heart, he was a victim of his own enthusiasm.”

On speculation Nasri’s move to City has broken down…

“I don’t know more than you about that. I think he had a good game and I said before the game that he was committed to play and he did not only play but he played well. I always said that I would try to keep Samir Nasri and I have never changed my mind on it because I played him today.

“He loves the club, he wants to play for us, if we decide to sell him we will do it and we have to stand up for it. At the moment I am happy he is here.”

On moving forward…

“It is very difficult for us at the moment, it is very difficult to take the defeat on the chin today because with the effort we put in I don’t think we deserved to lose the game. For us the biggest problem is to lift the team and prepare for Wednesday.”

On whether he is miserable…

“I am here to win football games, not to lose games. You cannot be happy when you lose games like that.

“I don’t think about it like that [on being his hardest spell at Arsenal]. I think about the next game and try to win it.”

Arsenal 0-2 Liverpool – By The Numbers

This season 7amkickoff.com and Arseblog are teaming up here on Arseblog News to bring you a post match statistical breakdown for every game.

After every match I will endeavor to provide you with a post-match numerical analysis. Of course, I’m not just going to dump data on you but instead will select things I think are important or that I want to keep an eye on.

For example, how many touches did a player have? Who was Arsenal’s most incisive passer? How did the team do in terms of number of chances created compared to last year? That kind of thing.

In most cases the raw numbers come from Opta via any number of the outlets they are working with at the moment. Though I also have my very own database that covers the big events (fouls, yellow cards, etc) from the last five years and I mix that in as well.

Anyway, enough palaver, on with the numbers!

11 – Walcott touches in the first half
11 – Number of touches Koscielny had in 16 minutes
22 – Walcott touches second half
38 – Robin van Persie touches entire match
89 – Nasri touches entire match*
87 – Vermaelen touches
100 – Charlie Adam touches**
0 – Total Arsenal through balls which found an Arsenal player
5 – Total Liverpool through balls which found a Liverpool player
1.5 – Cesc Fabregas’ successful through balls per game last season**
49 – Attempted long balls by Liverpool
27 – Accurate long balls by Liverpool
50 – Attempted long balls by Arsenal
28 – Accurate long balls by Arsenal
6 – Accurate long balls by Aaron Ramsey**
6 – Attempted long balls by Aaron Ramsey
9 – Attempted crosses by Stewart Downing**
6 – Attempted crosses each by Theo Walcott and Samir Nasri*
0 – Accurate crosses by Downing and Theo combined
1 – Accurate crosses by Nasri
4 – Successful tackles Frimpong*
4 – Interceptions Frimpong*
12 – Successful tackles Lucas Levia**
4 – Successful dribbles Nasri and Enrique**
9 – Number of times Nasri was dispossessed**
3 – Number of times Jordan Henderson was dispossessed*
17.26 – Average shots per game for Arsenal 2010-2011
6.26 – Average shots on goal per game for Arsenal 2010-2011
12 – Arsenal shots v. Liverpool
3 – Shots by each of Thomas Vermaelen and Charlie Adam**
3 – Arsenal shots on goal v. Liverpool
1 – Arsenal shots on goal in first half v. Liverpool
1 – Shots on goal for each for Thomas Vermaelen, Frimpong, and van Persie*
6 – Shots on goal by Liverpool
6 March 2010 – Last time Arsenal allowed 6 shots on goal at home (3-1 win over Burnley)

1 – Arsenal red cards per game 2011-2012 (2 total)
0.16 – Arsenal red cards per game 2010-2011 (6 total)
0.03 – Arsenal red cards per game 2009-2010 (1 total)
3 – Consecutive home matches in which Martin Atkinson has given Arsenal a red card
5 – Number of red cards Martin Atkinson has issued to Arsenal or their opponent in his last 5 Arsenal games

1 – Number of Arsebloggers at the game**

*Lead team in this category
**Lead all players in category

(Sorry about that.. off to a great start I see.)

Joel Campbell: I am a player who knows how to score goals

Amidst all the hullaballoo surrounding the exit of Cesc Fabregas, and to a lesser extent Emmanuel Eboue, Arsenal completed the signing of Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell.

Arriving from homeland side Saprissa after impressing Arsene Wenger’s scouting team while playing for his national team in the Copa America, the 19-year, who also featured in the ongoing under-20 World Cup this summer, is the club’s fourth signing of the summer.

Speaking for the first time about his move to England, Campbell spoke openly to the Arsenal website of his pride at making such a high profile switch:

“It’s a dream come true to play for such a big club here in England and I want to do good for myself and for Costa Rica.

“It’s a very well known club, I am making history as no other Costa Rican player has ever played in a team of the quality of Arsenal.”

While it is as yet unclear whether Campbell will be sent out on loan to aid his adaptation to life in Europe, the player himself believes he has the qualities to succeed at the highest level.

“I play forward, both sides or in the middle. I’m good in one-against-ones and I am a player who knows how to score goals.

“For sure I am ready, in football you must always be prepared to give the best for whatever team. I am very happy to be here and I want to focus on doing well for Arsenal.”

Reflecting on the chance to play alongside such well known names as Carl Jenkinson, Emmanuel Frimpong and Sebastien Squillaci, the teenager (perhaps unaware that most of our best players have sidled off to pastures new) also spoke warmly of his chance to improve in London.

“I am going to learn a lot from them. They are experienced players and very skilled, therefore I am sure I am going to have a good time.

“I’ve always liked Arsenal’s playing style, I’ve been watching them since I was a kid and they always play nice football.

“I took the decision [to move to Arsenal] because I know that here I have the possibility to play and to become a better player.

“I will give all of myself to try and learn quickly to understand how my teammates player and be ready soon.”

Remembering fondly the success achieved by both Kevin and Sol, Arseblog News likes to think that having a player called Campbell can only be a good thing…

Arsenal Ladies top the table with one game left

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When all seems doom and gloom in the land of Arsenal men it is refreshing to know that, once again, we can turn to the ladies team and find some cheer and, more importantly, hope.

Facing Everton at Meadow Park yesterday, Arsenal’s ladies knew that they were a mere 180 minutes away from claiming the inaugural Women’s Super League and they didn’t disappoint.   In what was always going to be a tough match, Arsenal managed to secure a 1-0 victory with a strike from Kim Little nine minutes in to the second half.

The starting line-up for this decisive game showed the coaching staff  had learnt the lessons from the away defeat away to Everton two and a half week ago. Steph Houghton, who had a tough game against Gwen Harries at right back, was dropped and Gilly Flaherty was drafted from center back to counter the Welsh winger with her pace. This meant Faye White starting at center back alongside Ciara Grant to deal with Natasha Dowie’s physical strength.  In midfield the combination of two small players in Jordan Nobbs and Kim Little was not repeated and in came Jayne Ludlow with her strength, power and leadership on the pitch which were missing for most of the away game. Up front in-form player Danielle Carter was selected ahead of Ellen White while Fleeting continuing at center forward along with the evergreen Rachel Yankey.

It was the same starting 11 as on Sunday against Doncaster Belles and it now appears that the 3-0 win was indeed a tactical  dress rehearsal for yesterday’s game.

With the score still 0-0 at half time despite dominating the opposition, it seemed obvious that Arsenal would up the pressure and the team came out with all guns blazing displaying a higher intensity and energy in the second half. There was only one team for the first 15 minutes of the second half and it was no surprise that Arsenal managed to open the scoring thanks to Kim Little. The top players will always come good when the team need them and with the game very tight, Little managed to evade a defender, find a little space and shoot from 20 yards and putting it in the back of the net past a despairing Rachel Brown’s dive. With the lead taken, the team settled and allowed Everton to take control of the game a little more while Arsenal were content to hit them on the break.

Ellen White came on soon after the goal in order to provide more pace and exploit the space behind the Everton left back who is not the fastest player and she did cause trouble with her runs down the wing. Everton pressure nearly paid off with Dowie escaping her markers and shooting from close range only to see Emma Byrne deny her with a match winning save. Laura Harvey then sent Jennifer Beattie up front and she nearly scored with her first touch but her shot was blocked by a last ditch tackle. Steph Houghton was sent on late for Gilly Flaherty to solidify the tiring and under pressure  defence while Mo Marley sent on Bronze and Hinnigan to try and conjure an equaliser that thankfully never came.

Special mention must go to the referee, Sian Massey, who had a great game and kept things under control in what was a tense and physical game. At the final whistle the crowd went wild and started singing “we are top of the League”.

Indeed for the first time this season, Arsenal are top of the League. A win against bottom of the table Liverpool in two weeks will bring another trophy to the Emirates alongside the FA WSL Umbro 5 won during the close season.

There is only one match left in this years season.

Next match – v Liverpool (a) Sunday August 28th 2pm kick-off.

Report compiled by LadyArse and Calimero. Read more at www.ladyarse.com

Wenger: Arsenal fans will not target Nasri

Arsene Wenger’s decision to include Samir Nasri in the squad for tomorrow’s visit of Liverpool has already provoked great debate amongst Arsenal fans with many questioning how they are supposed to react to a player who will sign for Manchester City in the coming days.

Absent from the first game of the season at Newcastle United, but the subject of abuse all the same, Nasri’s decision to take to Twitter to defend his honour has only served to inflame an already toxic situation.

Of course, while the relationship between the French international and fans is strained, the fact remains that Arsenal are desperately short of midfield cover. Having finally sold Cesc Fabregas and with Tomas Rosicky, Abou Diaby, Jack Wilshere, Alex Song and Gervinho all unavailable, Wenger has little choice but to select a player who served as a lynchpin for much of last term…whether it angers people or not.

Asked in his weekly press conference how he expected the supporters to react should Nasri feature, Wenger went out of his way to defend the professionalism of his compatriot in the hope of nipping any negativity in the bud.

“The fans will want Arsenal to play a good football game and to win the game. I don’t think they make an individual case of each player who plays in a position. They want good players and to win the game.

“I don’t see how you can reproach Samir Nasri. His attitude in training, everybody can witness that, has been absolutely fantastic from the first day of pre-season.”

Challenged on the reaction of the Emirates crowd towards the now departed Emmanuel Eboue, who was booed from the field of play three years ago, Wenger retorted:

“That can happen in one game where you have a nightmare and the people turn against you, but our fans were big enough to forgive him for that and showed him their support in games after that.”

The relationship between the fans and Wenger and the fans and the players has been under the microscope for some time now with the media happy to throw fuel on the alleged bonfire of discontent. Nevertheless, despite the frustration bubbling below the surface, Wenger stressed that he still felt he could count on the majority of fans for their support.

“You have to be careful. We live in a modern democracy where everybody has the right to an opinion. It doesn’t always mean that a few opinions represent the majority. The unfortunate thing is that the extreme opinions get more media attention than those of people with normal common sense and intelligence.

“Because a few people have a bad opinion about one person doesn’t necessarily represent the majority of our fans. Our fans, in the majority, are behind our players and I think they will show that tomorrow.”

Wenger: we have brought in top quality players

Arsene Wenger has insisted that his new recruits this summer will prove themselves to be worthy Arsenal players.

Wenger is under pressure to spend the money at his disposal from the existing transfer fund and the sale of Cesc Fabregas and while he aknowledges their lack of experience, and that he needs to buy in certain areas, he has urged Arsenal fans to trust his judgement.

“If you look at the players we have brought in, you’ll notice we have brought top quality players in. Jenkinson, Gervino, Miyaichi, Chamberlain, you will soon see they are all top quality players. We haven’t lost so many players. We have lost some big players but numbers wise we should be capable to do well.

“If we find quality we will add it to our squad. We work very hard on it, I must tell you. We want to add top quality to our squad, that’s all we want to do. At the moment I feel we are a bit short in midfield. We are bit short at the back as well, maybe”.

When pressed about why he hasn’t yet added experienced Premier League players to go with the exciting youngsters, Wenger said, “The main reason is that we have not found them. It has nothing to do with the money, it’s just the quality and availability.

“I have shown in my 15 years here that I am capable of making the right decisions for the right players. And in the last 15 years you have seen more world class players here, or as many as anywhere else in the world.

“So you have to trust my judgement”.

Wenger’s comments come on the day the club finalised the signing of 19 year old Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell and said that Ryo Miyaichi will be in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Liverpool.

Nasri in Arsenal squad for Liverpool game

Arsene Wenger gave the clearest indication yet that Samir Nasri is on the way out of Arsenal by announcing he was in the squad for tomorrow’s game against Liverpool.

Last weekend the Arsenal manager said he expected nobody to leave, then sold Cesc Fabregas. Speaking at his pre-game press conference, Wenger said, “He is in the squad tomorrow and available to be picked to play”.

It remains to be seen if Arsenal are willing to take the risk of him picking up an injury that could scupper a deal, not to mention the questionable motivation of the player, but the state of Arsenal’s squad could force Wenger’s hand.

Rosicky, two games into the new season, is being ‘rested’ because of a little niggle, Song is suspended, while Wilshere and Diaby are injured, leaving Aaron Ramsey and rookie Fred Frimpong as the only available central midfielders.

Earlier, Man City boss Roberto Mancini said he hoped the deal to bring Nasri to the Middle Eastlands could be completed without delay.

“I hope that we can close very quickly now”, he said at his  press conference. “I don’t know the latest because my focus is on the game”.

It looks like any deal will have to wait until after tomorrow’s game.

UEFA set to discipline Wenger

UEFA have just announced that they have open disciplinary proceedings against Arsene Wenger. In a statement released on their website, they say:

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened against Arsenal FC manager Arsène Wenger for not abiding by the decisions of the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body in relation to the one-match suspension he served during Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League play-off game against Udinese Calcio.

According to the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations, a manager may not communicate with his team during the match for which he is suspended and may follow the game from the stands only.

Wenger was serving the suspension which the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body handed down following the English team’s round of 16 match at FC Barcelona in the same competition last season.”

Yesterday, Wenger hit out at UEFA for their lack of clarity, saying, “It was difficult because you didn’t really know what the rules were.

“They told us first we could communicate through my assistant and at half-time it was not like that. It was a bit confusing. We tried to respect the rules as they are set by UEFA but, of course, it is very difficult to see how you can stop someone having an influence”.

UEFA will discuss Wenger’s case on Monday, August 22nd, and have, no doubt, sent a nice hamper to Geoff Shreeves and the rest of the sniveling fuckwits at Sky who seemed to focus more on who Wenger was talking to than Arsenal’s match during their coverage.