Tag Archives: Marseille

10 reasons why we will beat Napoli and starting XI

1.. It was a fine away win against Marseille to open up this years Champions League, a home win tonight should put us a win and a draw away from the next round.

2.. Whilst you can’t really complain against any of our back 5, it has still been 4 games since a clean sheet.. Napoli are not much better in the clean sheet stakes with 3 out of their 7 games this season.

3.. Flamini will love tonight, this is his kind of game and the way he has settled in the middle Wenger would be very foolish not to play him tonight.

4.. Ozil, We are still yet to see the very best of him. He had a great home debut and tonight he has another chance to live up to his high transfer fee.

5.. Rosicky is fit, god knows how long he will last this time but it Is great timing. I can see him playing attacking left and Jack making way for him in the starting XI.

6.. Ramsey, what more can be said than I haven’t already in the last few weeks that with Rosicky back and a more balanced side he could and should run riot down the middle, again.

7.. Gnabry, I was so happy to see him not only have a great game at Swansea but also to score. He looked so dejected after the penalty miss Vs WBA and that game will do his confidence the power of good. Amazing to think he only turned 18 this July.

8.. Who needs Higuain when we got Giroud.

9.. Napoli got off to a flyer when we played them in the Em Cup in the summer but they will be more cautious in a meaningful game. I fully expect them to try and hit us on the break and with Flamini’s knowledge of the Italian game he will be well used to their tactics.

10… Today is 17 years to the day a certain Mr Wenger arrived at our club. He knows how to win a group home game in the Champions League and I’m sure the players will be right behind him tonight.

Likely Starting XI – Chesney, Sagna, Kos, Per, Gibbs, Flamini, Ramsey, Rosicky, Ozil, Gnarby, Giroud

Would people love Theo Walcott if he had red hair?

We love you Freddie, cos you’ve got red hair
We love you Freddie, cos you’re everywhere.
We love you Freddie, cos you’re Arsenal through and through.

Nearly 15 years ago today (15 years + 1 week to be exact) Arsenal signed a Swedish 21 year old striker who went by the name of Karl Fredrik Ljungberg. To Arsenal fans he became known Freddie Ljungberg. As Sid Vicious. As a Super Swede. He was loved by the fans. And got cult status. Mainly due to his red hair, as per the song above. Although when his career finished with us, he had less hair then Steve Bould!

Freddie Ljungberg deserves his cult status. He was brilliant for Arsenal, scoring many crucial goals in his 9 seasons for Arsenal. Scoring on his debut against Manchester United in 1998, he was immediately a key member of the Arsenal first team, shooting himself from Day One into the hearts of Arsenal fans.

His career for Arsenal peaked in the 2001/02 season, scoring 17 goals in all competitions, and perhaps more importantly, scoring in 5 of the last 6 Premier League games of the season as Arsenal went on to win the double. The same season, he also scored in The FA Cup Final.

He was a played who scored his goal’s in bunches. When he was hot, he was scorching:

  • 2000/01 – 8 goals, inc 6 in 9
  • 2001/02 – 17 goals, inc 7 in 9 & 7 in 8
  • 2002/03 – 9 goals, inc 5 in 6
  • 2003/04 – 10 goals, inc 4 in 6
  • 2004/05 – 14 goals, inc 6 in 7

And this is where we come to the problem of Freddie Ljungberg, when he was not scoring, he was not doing much. In his Arsenal career, he only got 22 assists. He was not a great passer, could not cross and rarely tracked back. Yet he became an Arsenal great. Many fans, when making a ‘Wenger Era XI’ would have him right wing. And many more would have him in the starting line up of an All-Time Arsenal XI. In an Arsenal fans survey, he was rated as 11th greatest ever Gunner.

This ‘greatest’, for a man, who when he was not scoring, was not doing that much. The man reasoning behind this is he scored in many low scoring games, often popping up with crucial goals.

Now we come to Theo Walcott. A man who, despite looking like silencing his critics with a scintillating season last year, gets a lot of criticism still. Despite scoring an absolute peach of a goal to open the scoring in the tough away European Champions League game that was Marseille, he still gets criticised.

“He did nothing else”
“He did not track back”
“He was very quiet”
“He was not a threat”

Were some of the snippets from Twitter last night. Yet he scored. And that is the important thing. He once more came up with an important goal which saw Arsenal take 3 points away from home in Europe. 3 crucial points. And a crucial goal from Theo. So why did he get – and continue to get – criticism?

Let us look at some stats:

Ljungberg v Walcott

Freddie Ljungberg and Theo Walcott have an almost identical games per goal record. Whilst Freddie was deadlier, Theo Walcott creates a lot more than others. So this makes me wonder, why is Freddie Ljungberg an Arsenal great, whilst Theo Walcott is highly criticised by many?

The only difference I can see is Freddie Ljungberg had red hair.