Sunday, 29 May 2011

Week Round Up - Transfers, Transfers & Tranfers

The midst of the endless end of season long boring spell of untrue rumours, occasional signing and overall, disappointment and boredom has begun. The last week has not been that great, and last nights game excellently dubbed 'a twat-fest' by a friend of mine, was for me extremely annoying to watch due to my hatred for so many of the players on show.

Wenger has been promised funds for players by our new owner and the club is looking for some 'wise investments.' Incidentally, Kroenke's deal over the club was approved by the Premier League

This week we have been linked with a few more players coming in, as well as a few more leaving. Benzema played down the mass transfer talk after Wenger's comments that he 'likes' his fellow Frenchman. He said he was 'honored' by the interest form our club but overall:
"I feel very good at Madrid, in the team, I adore the fans, the people, the stadium... I'm going to stay for many years."
However his opinion may well change, especially as Madrid step up their own transfer business. Recently they have been strongly liked to Cavani, Tevez, Adebayor and Aguero and if one - or possibly more - of those players does end up in sunny Spain, Benzema may not enjoy being so far down in the pecking order.

Also this week, apparently Arsenal scouts were in Argentina to speak to the representatives at Velez over a deal for Ricardo Alvarez. The tall attacking midfielder is rated very highly by Velez and would not leave for less that £10 million, which makes his transfer not very likely in my eyes.

It seem that everyone is expecting a lot of things this summer, and after scoring this wonderful goal for Wales, Ramsey has said that he expects a busy summer:
"I expect Arsene will be active in the transfer market, here have been a few names mentioned and I am sure there will be a few players in and out."
The Wales captain also said he's looking forward to next season:
"Personally, next season will be a big one for me as it's my first full campaign since my injury. Like everybody else I'll have a break now, but I know I can have a good season when it gets going again." 
I think it is key that our players are coming out and saying that we need new signings. I know a lot of them have complete faith in Wenger, but as professionals they will be disappointed that such a talented group of players have not been able to win anything. This summer is an integral one in our future as if we do let one or more of our three most creative players Cesc, Arshavin and the 'Petit Prince' himself Nasri leave this summer then the rest of the squad will be annoyed and may reconsider their own futures at the club.

The Nasri situation is very precarious, and the more time that goes without him signing makes me more and more nervous about whether he will. However, many people have said that he is just trying to get Arsenal to improve the squad with more players of his quality - who doesn't want that? - and i'm sure his agent is intent on squeezing us for a bit more money.

More to come during the week, and i'm sure I join most Gooners in wishing good luck to Benik Afobe in today's league 1 play off final.

I'll leave you all with the nice thought of this happening in a hotel in London last night though!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Season Review and Transfers

The dreaded words for any fan when looking back on yet another season which promised so much, but in the end gave us so little. In fact one of the only shining lights of the season, Samir Nasri, could be about to leave us, and what message would that send to the rest of the squad?

What really pains me about our team is that all of the talent you could possibly want is there. Van Persie is a world class forward, Fabregas set up the winning goal in the world cup final and our attacking flair is probably the best in the Premier League, the best league in the world. Even our defence, on it's day (which comes very rarely if I may add) can look alright. Djourou looked immense at times this season, Koscielny too was one of our best players against Barcelona. And Gael and Sagna are fullbacks that most teams in the world would want.

However, in football it is not all about the talent, and that is where our squad of players, almost to a man, is found coming up short. How many of our players have a good mentality? How many are leaders? How many have even won anything? It completely confuses me how our players can beat Barcelona, Manchester United and go and lose to whoever we play a week later. It is partly Wengers fault that this squad are such bottlers, and he should have seen this in them and brought in the right players. But the players themselves are to blame just as much, if not more than the boss.

What kind of professional stops trying midway through the season, which our players did, especially when week after week thousands of people are relying on you. If we had used half the ammount of effort we had used beating Man Utd at home against Stoke, Bolton, Liverpool, Aston Villa, Fulham, Sunderland, Blackburn, then we would have easily won the league. But we didn't and ended up with only 12 points in our last 11 games. Relegation, not title winning form.

My player of the year goes to both Jack Wilshere and Robin VanPersie, Jack has been amazing all season, bar the last few matches where he's looked very very tired. Robin has been simply magnificent too, and without his goals we probably we facing the unthinkable of being out the CL spots.

Goal of the year was this from Arshavin. And that wraps up the 'awards' that I plan on giving.

In transfer news, the only thing to keep up excited -or more likely disapointed- this summer, and the players definately leaving seem to be Denilson & Bendtner. Many people will be glad to have seen the last of Denilson in an Arsenal shirt simply due to his lack of any effort or actual ability. Over the last 12 months, instead of applying himself in training and striving to improve he has got worse and I would much prefer Henri Lansbury slotted in there instead of Denilson.

Bendtner on the other hand, Is a player I will not be so happy to see leaving. For all his arrogance, disbelief in his own ability and and tendancy to let us down when it really matters, he is actually a decent player and has a lot of experience and a great goalscoring record for someone his age. I'll be pleased if we get 15 million for him and bring in Benzema, but I predict him scoring 20+ goals in the Bundesliga or wherever he finds himself.

Onto more important players and Clichy and Nasri look less and less likely to sign new contracts. This is bad news as even though we have failed this season, we do have a good squad and are only £40 million away from being title winners. There are rumours that Nasri is going to United after some texts from C**T Evra, but I highly doubt, he will go to them. L'equipe reports that Samir is on holiday in Dubai and his contract discussions will resume in mid-June. 

Clichy leaving would be worse than people think too. Although he does have sleepy moments at the back, he has been here a while and losing someone like him will have a negative effect on the squad. However, unlike Nasri there are suitable replacements available. Izaguirre, Enrique and Baines have all been touted and presumably would cost less than £10million.

In slightly brighter news we have made our first signing of the season. Carl Jenkinson from Charlton for £1million compensation. The Right back, who can play anywhere across the defence and also in midfield is young but looks very good and was one of League 1's highest rated defenders last year. I think his incoming could spell the end of Eboue, although he is more likely to drop into the reserves to start with.

The Benzema rumour has again reared it's head as the Sun reports Wenger 'like him.' This must mean that he will break his philosophy and spend £35 million on a player, apparently so. Though all he said was:

"Signing him does not seem impossible. He's a player that I like.
For me, he's a player who's at the top level in the world."
Also, Messi, Villa and Iniesta look set to come to the Emirates, although only to train ahead of the Champions League final.

Anyway, More to come soon, hopefully with the arrival of a Big signing or two!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Glad to see the back of this season...

I try to be positive as a supporter and have refrained from ranting about poor team performances - of which there have been a few of - or poor player performances, or lack of activity in the transfer market. However, in the last few weeks, there has been nothing positive about Arsenal football club. In the past few months, only the United game has been slightly positive, and since 2011 has begun the only memorable wins have been against Barcelona and Manchester United. Incidentally the two teams which are about to compete in the biggest game in the world on Saturday. 

Today we scraped to a 2-2 draw against 10 man Fulham. They scored first as we hopelessly gave the ball away. They split our defenceand ex-gooner Steve Sidwell finished off in the box through Szczesny's legs. Three minutes later, the seemingly irreplaceable Robin Van Persie expertly finished off. It was another landmark goal, adding to his consecutive goals in away goals. It also meant the Dutchman also equalled the record of 18 goals scored in a season from 1 January onwards held by Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In the second half we carried on form the first half, not doing much at all, until more terrible defending led to us giving Zamora a free header in the six yard box. 2-1 Fulham. Shortly after, Gera was sent off for a terrible two footed tackle on Vermaelen but still things didn't really change. Finally though, before we had yet another embarrassing defeat, Theo Walcott picked the ball up sprinted into the area and drilled the ball into the bottom corner. A great goal, in a not so great match. The draw was compounded by the fact that City beat Bolton means that we finished the season in 4th place. Not only dropping one place and having to play qualifiers for the group stage, but finishing 7 points behind last years total.

All of this in a season where we supposedly progressed. I doubt theres any graphic you could find to try and prove that. We have slightly improved against the big teams, the wins against United, Chelsea and Barcelona were immense displays by our players and should have inspired them to go on and win trophies. Yet we still capitulated at the worst moments.

The reason my report on todays game was so brief, was because the game just drifted by as a formality and the goals were the only slightly memorable moments. Bluntly, we should have battered Fulham today and given our amazing away support something to cheer about but more than half the players didn't look up for it, and that is an understatement. Even when Walcott scored, instead of going for a third the players walked about disinterested and even looked on dumbfounded that Theo cared enough to celebrate his good goal.

Anyway, I know i'm not the only one who is more than glad to see the back of this wretched season. I'm sure many of you gooners are also glad to see the back of Birmigham City as they were relegated. I hope they enjoy Championship football. However I doubt any are reading but I offer my condolences to Blackpool and hope they come up next year, preferably at Stoke's expense!

In other news, after Wenger saying Wilshere has been included in Stuart Pearce's squad for the u-21's the squad has still yet to be announced. There is even rumours that Jack has not been included, or has pulled out over fear of burnout. Burnout which would inevitably happen if he did go to the competition and which I think he is even starting to suffer at the moment judging by the last few games.

In transfer news, or what I should call Journalistsmakingupstuffandprintingitontheirbackpageswhenit'snotgoingtohappen news we are now favorite to sign Scott Parker from relegated West Ham. We are also in a 'bidding war' over Gary Cahil, although I doubt we'll pay 17million for a player we can get for free next year. 

We are also rumoured to have brought in our first signing of the summer with 23 year old Argentinian attacking midfielder Ricardo Alvarez on a free transfer. I could not say whether there is any truth whatsoever on this story, though considering he is apparently 6'2" it does seem unlikely.

In news on departures. Denilson has stated he wants to leave. The only suprising thing about this was that it was his choice to leave and not that Wenger has banned him from the Emirates. However he wont have on a good note with fans after saying such ludicrous things such as this:
"I am a winner and I came here to win trophies but I've been here for five years and won nothing."
 The Nasri and Clichy deals still seem to be undecided or hopefully just unsigned, and any news on other players will probably wait at least a few weeks. We can also expect the Fabregas to Barcelona rumours to start up as soon as there are no good stories for them, thats assuming you don;t think they have already started. But personally I think any rumour of Cesc to Man City, AC Milan or Real Madrid is complete and utter bullshit and our Captain will only move to Barcelona when they finally offer what he is worth instead of faffing around and bidding 35 million.

Anyway I have just about said all I would like to say, and have probably bored half of you to death who read this. Expect more to come on the summary of our season soon.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Just when it couldn't get any worse....

I'll start with the good news; Pat Rice looks like he'll sign on for another year and Kyle Bartley collected a league winners medal. That is all.

Onto the bad news. We are the only team capable of finishing the season so badly. We should have finished first, not second, certainly not third, but now we're probably - bar an unlikely City slip up vs Stoke or Bolton - going to finish fourth. Yes fourth. Dropping 1 place from last year and with at least 5 points less that we managed to achieve in 38 games last season. Improvement?

Considering in the past few weeks we managed to lose against Stoke and Bolton, the possibility of City dropping points is unlikely, although not unachievable. We'll be ever so lucky to not have to face the dreaded playoff to get in the CL group stage.

The game yesterday was appalling. One of the worst days I've had as a fan and one that I will be trying to forget for a while. We managed to go 2-0 down in the first 15 minutes and then never looked like getting back on level terms. There was barely any passion or desire - something that even when we were crap we always had. We can blame the ref, who made about 5 match defining calls against us, and they were all wrong, but overall we lost, and it was a game we never looked like winning. In the end, Van Persie's 89th minute meant little else than adding to his 20 previous this season. Without his goals, we probably would be in a completely different crisis of not even qualifying for any European competition. A Tottenham-like situation and something we haven't and hopefully won't ever experience under Arsene Wenger.

Van Persie, Vermaelen and Szczesny has all tried show the fans a bit of an apology, and have stated that we must improve for next season, and learn from our (many) mistakes made this season.

Everyone can try and pinpoint the actual moment that we blew it, the Newcastle game, The Carling cup final, even the unjust defeat in the Nou Camp, the Liverpool game was yet another moment of complete madness. All in all, these mini crises built up to end in a disaster and one that even Wenger cannot ignore. We will have to open the chequebook bigtime this summer and sign some Bigname players too, and that means big money deals.

Moving on from yet more analysis of this end of season capitulation and there has been some transfer news. The Benzema rumour seems to be ended for now, his agent has completely played down any talk of a move away from Madrid, saying:
 'At no moment has Benzema thought about leaving Real Madrid. He has not asked me to negotiate with any club. Karim only wants to continue at Madrid and build on his recent good performances.' 
However, you could say that he is only trying to earn a bit more money for Madrid and the player himself.

We have also been linked to two Lorient players, the 5'7" forward Gameiro and the midfielder Amalfitano. Both players have had good seasons and Gameiro would be available at around £12million, with Amalfitano on a free transfer. Gameiro - a French international - has 21 goals in 34 games, whilst Amalfitano has 5 goals and 10 assits in his 36 games.

In, what I think would be a great move, Scott Parker of the now relegated West Ham has also been linked with a move to the Arsenal. We would have to face stiff competition from many teams for his signature, but he would be just what we need. Desire, Leadership, Premiership Experience and a true Battler. Moreover, he is probably the best tackler out of all Premierleague midfielders. 

We'll win the league next year so keep the faith!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Stoke defeat and more Transfers

As you may have noticed it does take some time for me to recover from bad results, and whilst this bad results did not break our season (that was done some time ago) it did still hurt. It hurt as in the 90 minutes where we out-passed and out-played the cuntiest team in the world, the only stat which we were not on top on was the most important and overall we were well beaten 3-1.

It was simply a story of our season that we could go from beating the champions last Sunday, to losing to Stoke just seven days later.

After the match, the boss bemoaned a lack of competitiveness saying:
"On that front, we were not at the right level, certainly not in the first half."
Annoyingly it was easy defensive mistakes that cost us again. Just like they have all season, and just like they have done in the last few seasons. Their first, a key moment in the game, was from a set-piece where Djourou lost his man and Van Persie, at the front post, missed the ball for it to go straight to Jones' chest and into the net. Their second came as we gave up possession far too easily in our half, we failed to close down Pennant and were punished swiftly through a deflected effort. 

In the second half we made two substitutions but things weren't changed and we were far too lackluster. Van Persie managed too pull one back but less than a minute later, any hopes of a comeback were slashed as - when trying to intercept a pass- Djourou ended up just gifting the ball to Walters in our penalty area and he easily converted. 3-1. Game over.

Anyway, less dwelling on the unfortunate past, and more looking towards the future. Words which are so commonly used by us Gooners.

The news this week is that Nasri looks set to stay. His agent has said that there is no truth in rumours that he is off to Italy. 
"There is no break with Arsenal, in fact, we start over negotiations for the extension of the contract which currently expires in 2012."
This seems to be good news as frankly, Nasri is one of the only top quality players we have at the club and losing him would be insane. Especially if we have to put up with the annual rumours around our captain. 

In terms of incoming players, sky have linked us to Malaga player Rondon. He has notched up an impressive 14 goals in 29 appearances in Spain, but personally I do not think that he is one of the top class players that we need this summer. 

In slightly less reliable rumours, all over twitter we were linked to Karim Benzema. He is a player I strongly admire as his pace and finishing are some of the closest things we have to Thierry Henry on the planet. And there is nothing wrong with a bit of Thierry like play coming back to our team. Although this is a very unlikely, there is a slight bit of hope that he could come.

More soon.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Stoke Preview, Big exits in the summer?

Tomorrow, we have to travel up to the Britannia Stadium and play Stoke - formerly known as Stoke Rugby Club. The teams featuring Tony Pulis, Rory Delap, Nine 6ft+ brutes and Ryan Shawcross - we all know about him.

Already, there is a lot of build up by the press, and fans themselves about the 'rivalry' between the two teams due to our contrasting styles (nice and horrible) and the managers' contempt towards eachother as well as the fallout after THAT tackle, which our players has still not completely recovered from. Rumours from Stoke fans are that certain sections of their crowd will try and boo Aaron, which completely bewilders me. The reasons for it don't seem too convincing either, 'he is an arrogant twat' or 'hopefully he'll have his leg snapped again' are two examples said more than once. The defence of Aaron comes in the way of this 'I have nothing against Aaron and we should concentrate on the real C***s Wenger and Fabregas' 

Overall, there is a lot of anger on both sides, from us because in every game we have played against them since they re-entered the league at least one of our players has been stretchered off, and the assault by Ryan last year. From them because they are terribly ignorant and bigoted, as shown due to Stoke being a BNP stronghold.

The team news is that Cesc, Nasri and Diaby all seem to be out. I expect the same team as we saw in the start second half against United, although whether Djourou is fit will remain to be seen. In a nod to the subs it is likely that Vermaelen may be back in the Arsenal squad for the first time since September, and we can only think what could have been had he been fit all season.

Moving on, and there is a lot of new stories about the exits of our players. Bendtner, Nasri and Clichy have all been linked away form the club. Clichy and Nasri's contracts both expire next year, so if we cannot get them to sign on this summer, we will have to sell them to avoid a flamini situation. If i am correct I think that both players have stated through their agents that they will start talk over renewals in the summer. But as we have got closer to the end of the season, the press have started reporting the situation more, and other clubs have started monitoring the players in search of a bargain.

Today it was rumoured that Clichy would go for £5.5 million, and whilst he has dropped over the last few years, that figure represents less than half of his value. Clichy's drop in form, as well as the potential of Gibbs, has made many fans talk of selling him without too much fuss, myself being one of them. However, since the turn of the year Gibbs' injury problems, coupled with a slight upwards curve in his from has started to change my mind. Although we have been linked wiht other deals for LB's such as Baines and Izaguirre of Everton and Celtic.

Nasri, probably our player of the year, on the other hand is simply someone we cannot afford to lose. Especially if we are trying to convince Cesc, and other key players to stay another summer, and other quality players to join our fantastic club. My hopes are that the rumours are just being made by his agent to engineer a larger weekly wage. Hopefully.

In a rather different case is the one of Bendtner though. He has stated in previous times that he is unhappy at the amount of game time he is getting at the club. But he hasn't exactly warranted a place ahead of 17 goals in 18 games Van Persie.  To be fair to him, when he has come on he has ludicrously been played in a right wing role, which is infuriating to us as fans as much as him. The weekend papers are reporting that he is having 'showdown' talks with the bosses at the club in the near future. Reportedly Bayern Munich are ready to take him, which proves he has some quality. But we rarely see him produce it.

Good luck to the team tomorrow, I would love it if we stuffed them. Here is a video of the controversies against us this season.

Come on you Gooners!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Ticket Prices, Wilshere and Transfer Rumours

Lot of reaction today to ticket prices and Wilshere's call up.

As mentioned yesterday the 6.5% ticket price hike is a terrible injustice to 'real' Arsenal fans. As mentioned on Sky Sports today, we still have the most expensive ticket sin England, with our cheapest ticket more expensive than United's most expensive. Ridiculous!

In defence of the board, you could say that we have not raised tickets for the last three years, and have a new stadium to pay for. Also, this new money can go towards fund to sign quality players. But for most fans, lack of a trophy in this Stadium really isn't helping us swallow the blow - neither is the new Arsenal player available to all members. However, if we did reinvest this money into the team then i'm sure a lot of this will be forgotten.

Meanwhile Stuart Pearce has defended himself over picking Jack Wilshere:
"I had a conversation with Jack a month ago and asked him: 'You've played a lot of games, what are your thoughts on the summer?' He wants to go because he likes playing for the Under-21s. So it would be hard for me to turn around to him and say: 'Have a rest, son'."
 For me that fact of the matter is that Jack is still very young, and needs to get good advice from the people around him. Arsene Wenger will certainly give him some great words of wisdom,  But at international level I highly doubt that Stuart Pearce and Capello's 'crew' who if are anything like Capello himself, are very good at all.


In Today's transfer news, we have been linked with a few bigger names. Karim Benzema is someone any Arsenal fan would welcome with open arms, and even though a 25million euro bid is very un-Wengerish, it could be plausible.

Also, the man whose name is on everyone's lips, Manuel Neuer has been linked with our team, due to the influence of Jens Lehmann. This is probably less plausible as Wenger seems to be happy with Szczesny and Fabianski but, as with Reina last year, the Boss is keep to snap up world class players if he sees the opportunity.

I wholeheartedly agree with that opinion as I think Szczesny has been great in his first full season and seems detined to be number 1 at a top club for the next 15 years - at least. However, if Reina, Neuer or any other world class keeper is available at a good price then I wouldn't be complaining if we got them, only if it meant we ignored the more pressing matters in other areas of the pitch such as Cb St and Cm.

For a good read, A great review of the Youth team is available at Young Guns Blog here. And also a few videos from Arsenal's website on Loans, the Youth System and Ken Friar - the Club's longest serving director and one of the main reasons behind the new stadium - talking about his greatest Arsenal moments.

Finally, I leave you with this. And a happy birthday to our captain Cesc!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

What difference a win makes

What a difference a win makes.

The amazing performance on Sunday was not only a well overdue win against our rivals but another example that, on our day, we can beat anyone. What makes it even more impressive was that we managed to do it without our midfield maestro of Cesc Fabregas. People may say that we caught the 'champions elect' (probably) on an off-day but honestly I fell that we were the reason for United's lackluster play. Anyway, this is an Arsenal podcast and I am commenting on Arsenal and not Manchester United.

Despite this performance though, it really does have to be seen as too little, too late. This was our title for the taking, and we probably should have comfortably won the championship by now, not be in third place a full six points behind a team we just beat.

A few of the players echo this view too, and you can sense the frustration at our seasons' misgivings amongst the Fans, Players and Manager. Van Persie said:
"If you look back at a couple of games this year, like Sunday or against Chelsea, we didn't let these big games count because we dropped points against other teams. It makes it very frustrating,"
In a more upbeat mood though is Aaron Ramsey who seems to just be getting back in form, and full fitness ready for next season. Sunday's performance reminded us how good he is and he is still not even at his best.
"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."
Aaron will probably keep his starting place against Stoke on Sunday in a game which will be very emotional for him, as he revisits the ground where that twat Shawcross broke his leg. I really hope he continues his good form and scores six as Shawcross is left dazed in his brilliance.

Another twat is Stuart Pearce, who annoying included Jack Wilshere in his 40 man provisional squad. Firstly, why does he need to make a 'provisional' squad of 40 players, is he that stupid that he needs a list in the newspaper to remind him what players he can choose from? 

But mainly, Why include Wilshere? After his first full season, the best thing he can do is rest over the summer, not carry on playing. The main thing that highlights the fact that Jack shouldn't be included is the example of Theo Walcott, who suffered a whole season full of injuries when asked to play in the same tournament two years ago!

Moving on to some transfers, and over the summer I will try to keep you updated with the latest transfer news.

Today we have been linked with mainly premiership players, from Elmander at Bolton to the Blackburn duo of N'zonzi and Phil Jones. All players are decent, but probably unlikely targets, and not the players that would take the club to the next level. 

Lastly, Arsenal have announced a rise in ticket prices for next season but 6.5%, much higher than inflation. A move which has angered the AST and will probably hurt fans too.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Manchester United Preview

It doesn't seem like we're playing United today.

Usually theres a buzz and an extensive excited build up around these games but there is none today. Just a painful lulling deep down that this could should have been the title deciding game and one which we would have remembered for being the defining moment of our first trophy in 6 years.

Well maybe that last part is a bit too dreamy, but the fact stands that this should have been a much bigger game than it is now.

It is highly likely that United, as they have done in recent years, will easily turn us over by scoring three goals on the break. Knowing this team though, we are just as likely to start clicking and produce an amazing performance - just a bit too late though.

Diaby is out, and i reckon the team will be like this:
Szczesny Clichy Djourou Koscielny Sagna Wilshere Song Cesc Nasri Walcott VanPersie

That team is better than the one we played against - and beat - Barcelona with (Sagna in for Eboue) so we know what they can do, but it is also the same team which abysmally lost to Bolton last week, so we know what else they can do.

In other news, probably our most consistent player, Bacary Sagan has spoken out about how the players are to blame for this season capitulation.
"It's embarrassing to be part of a team that hasn't won a trophy for six years. We failed. It's not the manager's fault, it's the players."
He definitely has a point, and I hope the players realise this because they do owe the fans something, and preferably something shiny and silver and not the Emirates cup.

Anyway, sorry for the shortness of the post as I am now off to the game. Hopefully i'll return with a smile on my face, which will last for a couple of hours. Come on you Gooners!

P.S If you support the Boss, I highly recommended buying T-shirts from @Arsenetshirts on twitter.