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ARSENAL 2009-10 season so far

Oct 4th, 2009 | Source: | Category: Your view

wenger cuciARSENAL finished fourth in the BPL in the 08-09 season thus securing an opportunity to compete in the elite UEFA Champions League. This season is branded as the most crucial season for ARSENAL F.C and in particular for the Manager Arsene Wenger having gone four consecutive seasons without having won any major silverware. The critics and fans alike are hugely critical of Wenger’s Youth policy even though ARSENAL have been immensely competitive and delighted everyone with their beautiful passing game.

The 2009-10 summer transfer window will be remembered mainly for Real Madrid’s colossal spending spree as they splashed out 80 million for Ronaldo and 62 million for Kaka. This resulted in all the clubs increasing the price of their players on a relative basis and thus over-inflating the market. Arsene Wenger though had already set his eyes on the Ajax captain Thomas Vermaelen and brought him into the club to provide some steely resolve to the ARSENAL back four. The Transfer window also saw the departure of Kolo Toure who was the last survivor of the Invincible season and the hugely disruptive Adebayor, both leaving to Manchester City and ARSENAL managed to secure healthy profits from both the deals. Although the fans and pundits alike predicted that ARSENAL should buy another defensive player or two, Arsene felt that this squad was strong enough to compete for top honors and that was the last participation in the Summer Transfer period for Arsenal.

The pre-season games saw Arsenal employ the 4-3-3 formation and it was evident that the players enjoyed this change in formation which resulted in better attacking options and also a better defensive game as every player pressed for the ball from back to front. ARSENAL brought back the Emirates Cup to Ashburton Grove with an emphatic 3-0 victory against Scottish champions Rangers at The Emirates. Also the draw for Champions League qualifying round took place in which Arsenal were drawn against Scottish giants Celtic.

Arsenal kicked off the new campaign in blazing style and Everton were on the receiving end of a 6-1 thrashing. Arsenal combined stylish football with graft and determination to silence the critics who tipped the likes of big spending Manchester City and Tottenham to finish above Arsenal. Then there was a tricky away trip to Parkhead to face Celtic to secure a berth in Champions league Group stage which Arsenal won 2-0 thanks to two lucky goals. The first of which was an indirect free kick taken by the Arsenal captain Fabregas which deflected off William Gallas Back and found the back of the net while the second was an Own Goal by Gary Caldwell. Thus, Arsenal left Celtic with a comfortable 2-0 margin and the job half done having secured 2 away goals.

The following weekend saw Arsenal play their first home game of the season with ‘The Arsenalisation’ campaign on the way at The Emirates which saw a sea of Red and White of Arsenal supporters as free scarves were handed out to all the fans. Arsenal players produced a game that enthralled the fans by capping a 4-1 win over Portsmouth and Arsenal were well and truly on the way towards mounting a sustained title challenge for the Premier League.

The following week Arsenal had two crucial games. Celtic at home and an away game to Manchester United. The former game proved to be a relatively easy game for Arsenal with a comfortable 3-1 win over Celtic at home with the main talking point being Eduardo’s controversial penalty decision. Celtic were thoroughly outplayed by a far superior and determined Arsenal side that played with hunger and great passion. The weekend saw the biggest game of the new season with the two powerhouse teams lashing and Arsenal produced a superb performance at Old Trafford and were unlucky to return with nothing to show for their brillian display which saw Arsenal dominating possession for long periods of the game and a penalty not given, Arshavin scored a thunderous goal from 25 yards out and Arsenal went into half time with a 1-0 lead. In the second half Manchester United got back into the game thanks to a penalty and an Own Goal from Diaby. The Own Goal really seemed to knock the wind out of Arsenal’s sail as they struggled through the second half and were beaten in a gameadebayor van persie they deserved atleast a point.

Another away trip to Manchester, this time to Manchester City resulted in a 4-2 defeat to the Gunners in a highly emotional and exhilarating game. The low point of the game was Adebayor’s sickening stamp on Robin Van Persie’s face for which he was rightly banned for three games and his goal celebration that nearly sparked a riot amongst the Arsenal fans. Two consecutive defeats meant that all the ghosts of the past came back to haunt us and the critics got their share to talk and banter about Arsenal.

Next Arsenal had to face Wigan at home who were doing reasonably well under the New Manger Roberto Martinez. ARSENAL put the ghosts of the past behind them with another splendid display and winning by a comfortable 4-0 margin and all the bad memories seemed to fade away.

Then there was the Carling Cup third round fixture mid week against West Brom, a game that is highly anticipated by the Arsenal fans to watch the Young Guns play. A near capacity Emirates stadium witnessed an easy 2-0 win for Arsenal. The game saw the return of Vela whose introduction into the game in the second half turned the game around and also scored.

Next the Gunners were away to play against Standard Liege, in Belgium and things could not have started worse for Arsenal as they went 2-0 down in less than 5 minutes since kick off and this coming on the back of 2 consecutive defeats in the League and playing in the cold, hostile environment of Belgium many wondered if the Young Arsenal side could respond and bounce back instead of feeling sorry for themselves. Arsenal responded with the grit and determination that seemed to have been lacking and fought back to win 3-2 with a tremendous showing in the second half.

The next was a tricky away fixture against Fulham. The previous season Arsenal slumped to a 1-0 defeat at the Craven Cottage after a largely unimpressive display by the Gunners and it was games like these that prevented Arsenal from mounting a sustainable challenge for the Premier League as they failed to put away the mid table teams so as to say. Fulham were on the front foot right from the start and created many goal scoring opportunities and it was thanks to the rookie Goal keeper Vito Mannone that Arsenal managed to keep a clean sheevan persie dao golt and grind out a 1-0 win thanks to Fabregas’s vision and Van Persie’s excellent control and finish. This victory showed that Arsenal could win ugly and fight for a result when needed.

The latest game of the season witnessed Arsenal playing host to Greek Champions Olympiakos. A game which saw Arsenal pass through Olympiakos defence with great ease and were unlucky to go into half time scoreless thanks mainly to the age old Olympiakos stopper who was having a wonderful game. The second half saw more of the same as Arsenal pounded on the Olympiakos goal until a brilliant spell of passing ended with Van persie giving Arsenal the lead from close range and Arshavin added to the score with a deft back heel finish. This result means Arsenal top their group with 6 points.

Arsenal are definitely a much improved squad compared to last season and the new formation seems to be working well and the return of long term injury absentees Tomas Rosicky and Eduardo are an added boost who provide different dimensions to our attacking game. Arsenal have a record of being unlucky with injuries and so far this season Theo Walcott, Nasri and Johann Djourou have yet to start a game due to injury problems, with Djourou ruled out for the entire season. If all goes well then there is nothing beyond this Arsenal team and can win any game with their own brand of beautiful football.