Speaking to Turkish website ‘Sabah’, Emmanuel Eboue revealed why he left Arsenal. After spending seven years at the Club, the 28 year old left the Emirates in good spirits as his careear took a new path. He moved to Galatasaray in the summer of 2011 for a total of 3.5 million euros after being told that his first team oppertunities would be limited at Arsenal. He is now enjoying his football with an inspirational Manager (Faith Terim) to look up to.
He Said: “Arsene Wenger had told me that it would be very hard to get a place in the first team, and, therefore, I wanted to leave.
“He told me that I should assess the Galatasaray offer. Terim declaring that he wanted me in a press conference made my mind up.”
Terim has been ranked amoung the 8 best managers in the world and has managed the likes of Fiorentina, AC Milan as well as the Turkey national team. Terim, four time ‘Super Lig’ winner with Galatasary, reunited with the club in 2011 and Eboue has high hopes for him.
“Terim gave me confidence. I learn about him more every day. You can clearly see Terim’s passion over his job, football and club.
“This synergy is Terim’s success. At the beginning of season, I was not comfortable of my position in field.”
“That’s why fans adore Terim and his work. Turkish and foreign players united as a family in Galatasaray.
It is good to hear that Eboue is enjoying his football in Turkey as he was a much loved player at Arsenal, some might say the comedian of the team.
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Its hard to imagine that it was so long ago that Arsenal fans were calling for Arsene Wenger’s head (Once again), after the gunners slumped to a shock 0-4 loss to AC Milan. Then in the same week we were knocked out of the competition we were in greater contention for, by Sunderland in the FA cup. Before yesterday we were all of a sudden on a streak of 7 EPL wins in a row, and playing with the belief, pizazz and energy of the Arsenal we were so familiar with. Then all of a sudden, QPR spoiled it. Our defenders (primarily Vermaelen) did not press hard enough, the midfielders were ineffective and bullied by Barton and co. Our forwards lacked the clinical finishing and quality in the final 3rd, that had been so evident before the unbeaten run was ended. So what exactly went wrong for Wenger and his men?
Lets start at the beginning shall we? In what universe would you start Ramsey, a box-to-box, central playmaker, on the left wing? Especially seeing as he’s right footed, it doesn’t make sense at all. If Arsene’s plan was to play a wide midfielder to protect Gibbs, who personally I don’t think needs protection anyway, why not play Benayoun who can both attack as well as support Gibbs. Even Gervinho or Chamberlain would’ve been more suitable than Ramsey. Why play Ox so late in the game, when the match was already lost. Why swap Gibbs, who didn’t do much wrong , for Chamakh who so obviously wasn’t going to score when we needed goals? So many questions, so little Answers from Arsene, or any of the players. The only thing that could really answer all these questions is: Were we complacent, or were we just having a bad day at the office? I think, we were just having a bad day at the office, and here’s why.
Ok sure there were players who under performed, but we have to give credit to the players who didn’t! Sczcsney, cannot be blamed for either goals, but looked comfortable throughout, even if he had little involvement. Koscielny or BOSScielny as he should now be called, made some beautiful slide tackles and interceptions, I think his transformation is a credit to Wenger who stuck with him and did not buy a defender in the summer. Song and Arteta also were good, though not great, at controlling the tempo after the half time break, even though they probably should’ve tried to find a better balance in creating chances and nullifying the opposition. Walcott finished well for his goal, probably our most promising attacker, with Van Persie surprisingly quiet, making a few dashing runs, though stopped often by the brilliant QPR defence. Overall, in the games when we’re actually complacent we don’t often press hard enough, or look like we want to win in general, and just give up. This time around though, I don’t think we gave up, QPR were just generally better than us on the day and Wenger made some terrible tactical decisions. The pitch played a real part in Ranger’s first goal with Vermaelen slipping, costing him his motivation and confidence that is so important when playing CB.
I think, it will be a different story come next Sunday. Wenger would have surely learnt from his mistakes after this backlash from the Arsenal fans, who will pray that he won’t play Ramsey, at least out wide. The pitch will be the luxurious grass of the Emirates, rather than the one at Loftus road and finally we are playing Manchester City! We cannot be complacent! We will not. In Arsene I trust. COYG.
By Chris Gouw
QPR picked up vital points yesterday as Arsenal slumped to an uncharacteristic defeat on the road. On the back of a seven game winning streak, Arsene Wenger’s men walked out at Loftus road full of confidence, or so we thought.
The early exchanges were very lively with both teams landing blows, but nothing significant came until poor defending from Thomas Vermaelen allowed Taarabt to turn and pick his spot in the bottom right corner. Considering the amount of shots Taarabt has taken this season without a goal, it seemed he would be little threat, but the inability to track him cost us dearly. After QPR went one up, ole’s started to break out around the stadium, although, this was short lived after Theo Walcott played a cheeky one two with the post and slotted into an empty net. After a bit of good fortune, the hosts were pegged back and the teams went in at half time all square.
Both sides found it difficult to kick on in the game after half time, Jamie Mackie went down claiming penalty but his appeals were waved away by Mike Dean. Gibbs came close at the other end with a wandering run we have seen quite often in recent weeks but the best chance fell to the Arsenal skipper, who produced a fantastic save out of paddy Kenny to keep the score at 1-1. QPR responded brightly with some nice build up play leading to a cute layoff that was hammered at the target by Diakite. Szczesny had no chance as the shot powered past him into the back of the net. One might question the tactics employed by Arsene Wenger as he deployed Aaron Ramsey on the left wing, I think it is clear to many Arsenal fans that he is much better suited in the centre of midfield and for this reason he was constantly drifting inside, leaving our left flank virtually ineffective. Wenger finally decided to combat this problem by throwing Alex Oxlade Chamberlain and Marouane Chamakh into the mix to replace Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta respectively. It seemed that these decisions were made too late in the game to have a significant impact as Arsenal failed to extend their unbeaten run.
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So the breaking news this evening is the suspension of Arsene Wenger for the next three European matches, and a 40,000 euro fine. The news broke this afternoon, and it comes as no surprise considering how often it seems to happen! UEFA claim that it is on the grounds of improper conduct after Wenger confronted the officials post game against Milan. An official statement reads,
“Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has been suspended from carrying out his function for three UEFA competition matches by the UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body,”
As we all know Wenger has a history of European bans, most recently last year when he was suspended for one match after the Barcelona game. That ban was then extended to a further two games for breaching the sanction by communicating with the bench. He has already spoken publicly about his desire to appeal the ban but personally I don’t think he will have much luck. This is purely because I think UEFA 100% back their officials. In my eyes, and I expect the same applies for many, if a manager says one word that may ‘hurt one’s feelings’ they are slammed with a ban. This is ridiculous as I believe that anyone should be allowed to express their feelings towards the Officials and they should learn to deal with it themselves. Maybe once in a while they should hold their hands up and apologise if they haven’t had the best game. Wenger spoke in his conference about a similar subject,
“I believe that they have transformed UEFA competition referees to be untouchable icons, where you cannot even have a word. The only thing they understand after the game is the report.
“I believe that when you have 25 years consecutively in Europe you can still ask the referee that you can have some discussion with him. It is very difficult to understand.”
Anyway, in the coming months I am sure we will see further revelations about the appeal. It will be interesting to see if UEFA decide to rethink their decision but knowing their stubbornness it seems unlikely.
Next up, Mikel Arteta believes Arsenal are a force to be reckoned with if they can shrug off injuries and have a long run in the league with a full strength squad. We head into tomorrow’s game on a seven match winning streak and Arteta thinks that confidence in the Arsenal camp is vital if we want to hold third spot. He spoke about the importance of an injury free run in the Telegraph,
“We have been hit with important, long-term injuries the whole season that really, really affect the team,”
“I would like to see this team playing with the same XI for 10-15 games – then we could talk about if we were good enough or not.
“Now we are starting to do it and we are starting to get really good results, so for me the biggest concern is to stop the injuries.”
He also spoke about the importance of bringing in new faces in the summer to strengthen the squad and have reliable replacements if injuries do occur.
“Obviously if you spend a lot of money to bring in top players you have a better chance because you have a bigger squad and you can change the team around but, for me, a key thing with our squad is the injuries.”
I agree with Mikel in that I would love to see the full strength squad together on a long run, I think it really would show the true qualities of this team and many critics would be eating their words. This year we have been lucky enough to have the best striker in the world, fit for 33 games. Obviously Van Persie has been a key part of our season but over the last few weeks it has been nice to see some of the other players sharing the goal scoring burden.
Finally, the Ox has been speaking about how Alex Song reminds him of Cesc Fabregas. In an interview with ESPN he spoke very highly of the Cameroonian’s skill and presence in the dressing room, he also mentions how often Song features in the team which I think we all take for granted,
“I can’t remember the last game he didn’t play – he is always there. Sometimes you don’t notice the stuff he does, the defensive side of the game, but he is always there cleaning up,”
“Obviously he has been bringing assists to the team as well. Some of the passes he has been putting in, like for two of the unbelievable volleys Robin [van Persie] has scored, reminds me technically of watching Fabregas put those balls through.
“For a holding midfielder to do that, as well as the defensive side of the game, is brilliant. You can’t ask for anything more. He has been brilliant for us all season and he is a really good guy to have in the dressing room as well.
I think he’s said what we’ve all been thinking, I remember a few weeks ago seeing a stats matchup between Fabregas and Song on Arseblog News, it was very impressive! He is clearly developing as a player and it seems he wants to stray out of the holding midfield position on a regular basis. In an ideal world, I think he would eventually be a more effective CM with Coquelin taking his spot at CDM. I’m sure all Arsenal fans would be happy to see him delivering those types of balls every week and there is definitely a lot more he can learn.
Anyway, that’s your lot for today, just before you leave me to surf the expanses of the interweb, I thought you should know some team news for tomorrow. Arsene Wenger on Kos,
“Normally he will back. He has a test with the team later today. But he had one yesterday and it looks positive. It is 90 per cent yes. So at QPR it should be the same squad.”
And Abou Diaby,
“There was a little pain in training yesterday so we will not expose him. It is nothing serious, we are just being cautious.”
Enjoy the game tomorrow and make the most of this brilliant British weather!
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Sorry there has not been a post in the last two days, the site has been undergoing some technical upgrades as you may have noticed, we can now be found at www.arsenation.co.uk. Anyway, let’s look back on Saturday’s game.
So, the Villains visited the Emirates on Saturday for a 3 o’clock kick-off, a fixture that is highly anticipated purely for the pleasure of humiliating Alex McLeish. The good mood around the ground was slightly dampened by the announcement of Koscielny’s injury, and sighs erupted around the stadium as Djourou was bundled into the line-up at the last minute. We started the game positively, passing the ball well and setting up some nice moves in the process, one thing I have come to notice from the last few Arsenal games is the constant use of Sagna’s head from goal kicks. He and Theo Walcott regularly combine very effectively down that right side, something that must have been rehearsed in training. Anyway the breakthrough came as Gibbs received the ball from Gervinho, while surrounded by idle defenders and breezed his way through to score from an outrageous angle (with a little help from Givens left arm)! I have to say, I rate Shay Given very highly but he has to be saving those! From then on we commanded the game and Villas defensive frailties were exposed on almost every attack. The second came from Theo Walcott, reminiscent of the legend that is Thierry Henry, he brought down a classic Alex Song chip beautifully, and slotted it home at the near post. As the half time whistle went, had the team been more efficient with their chances, we could have been four up.
Aston Villa started to emerge in the second half with Djourou being tested by Marc Albrighton’s cross towards Agbonlahor, but he handled it well and soon we were on the attack again. Song blasted a header over the bar and Rosicky stung Given’s gloves from distance, but the final chance for Villa was scuppered as Andreas Weimann dragged it wide after a mistake from Santos let him clean through. In stoppage time, Arteta sealed a much deserved 3-0 win with a stunning free kick, I have to say, he hasn’t buried that many free kicks this season and it’s nice to see his dead ball quality on show in a red shirt.
Arsene Wenger spoke to BBC Sport after the game and said,
”We had a great first half. We knew we’d given a lot at Everton on Wednesday and the start was very important for us today.
“In the second half we dropped a bit our pace and level but what we’ve done this week is outstanding, given the quality of the game at Everton and today.
“They were three great goals. Villa defended well but we created chances, didn’t concede and our momentum keeps going.”
“At the moment we are in a strong position and it will be down to our results and how we play until the end of the season.”
So now we truly are in the driver’s seat, with a three point gap now established between us and Spurs, and an 8 point stretch ahead of Chelsea, we are looking odds on for a top four finish. Only eight games remain this season and its key that we keep up the good work to win all of our games, easing off on the gas is not an option as two clubs hungry for European football are close behind. Just to end this section, I thought I’d remind any of you that didn’t know, Liverpool lost 2-1 to Wigan and they now sit in 7th place a massive 15 points behind. Overall a good set of results for us this weekend and we finally seem to be getting some luck.
Lastly an exclusive THIERRY WATCH: Thierry Henry showed his support to Fabrice Muamba by wearing an Armband with his name emblazoned on it as he led the New York Red Bulls to their first victory of the season. The Bulls thrashed the Rapids 4-1 with the talismanic striker netting twice whilst setting up another.
That’s about that for today,
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Yesterday evening turned out to be quite a successful one after a nail biting 83 minutes at Goodison Park. Having not seen the game I can’t deliver a full detail match report, but from what I gather via match of the day, it was a very solid performance at the back. The Verminator deservedly put us ahead after a dominant performance from the off, a great ball, curled in from a corner, combined with some great movement in the box proved too much for the Everton defence to handle. After that I gather we played at a reasonable tempo for much of the half, scuppering a handful of chances that should have gone in. There was also an Everton goal wrongly disallowed for offside and the officials had a nightmare. In the last 15 minutes Everton woke up and started to come into the game but we held them off until half time.
The half time team talk had clearly revitalised the Everton camp as they held a lot of the ball and made it difficult for us to play our own football after the break. It did sound as if we held on a little towards the end but were denied a clear penalty when Drente hooked Rosicky’s foot away in the box. That’s football though, I think it evens it out after the disallowed goal, but it’s a shame to see such inadequate officiating. Van Persie spoke before the game about how we may have to ‘win ugly’ and we certainly managed that yesterday!
With Tottenham slipping up at home to Stoke, the hard fought win let us overtake our north London rivals, and open up a slender one point gap with nine games to go.
Arsene spoke post game about how he would have preferred it if we had killed the game off by scoring a second, but expressed his happiness with the end result.
“I thought that if we scored the second goal then maybe, we could [have] given a psychological blow to Everton. We had a brilliant start and slowly Everton came back into the game after about 30 minutes, we could feel that in the last 15 minutes of the first-half.
“Second-half, for the most we did hang on, until the last 15 minutes we started to create chances again, but it was all Everton. We were resilient, focused with a great desire to defend and our defence played very well tonight.
What he says about the defence is right, they had an extremely solid match last night and I though Verm and Kos combined very effectively. It is also a massive boost to have two first choice full backs in place, they offer much more of an attacking threat than centre halves. It does pose the question, is Vertonghen necessary? There has been an interesting debate online about the difficulty of keeping four centre halves happy, when all want to play. This will be a very difficult decision for Arsene Wenger to make over the summer.
Aaron Ramsey has spoken about how our desire to beat the Spuds to 3rd place shows in the performances and our current form. He is quoted in the Mail saying:
The results went our way,’ Ramsey told Arsenal Player. ‘We carried on our good form and I hope we can keep it up until the end of the season.
We have proved what we can do and how motivated we are to finish third. We are doing that at the moment, hopefully we can keep going.’
‘It was great. We battled well and it came off. It was always going to be a tough place to come but we dealt with it well.
It is clear that the team show the desire to finish in that important 3rd spot, I think the Arsenal players have smelt blood, and are going in to seize their prey as they march up the table above the Spuds. Anyway, enjoy the rest of your week until we play Villa on Saturday, and enjoy the sweet taste of 3rd in the Premier league.
Till next time
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Finally we’ve almost reached the night we’ve all been waiting for, after a long 9 day break, Arsenal kick off against Everton tomorrow evening. It will be a relief to many Gooners, who have been suffering from withdrawal symptoms! Anyway I expect, providing all of the players are fit we will see a line-up similar to this,
It looks as though it is our strongest possible line-up at the moment but, I wouldn’t be surprised if Arsene rested The Ox in favour of Gervinho. Hopefully Rosicky will deliver another impressive performance in the middle of the park, as he has started to show some attacking promise in the past few weeks. We have won 7 of the last 11 meetings with Everton, and they are coming off the back of two recent games including a draw. You could say the stats favour us, but underestimating the toffees could cost us dearly.
Mikel Arteta has spoken about how there is ‘no reason’ why he should receive any abuse from the Everton fans. He hopes the fans can forget the nature of the move away and focus on all he gave in his many years there. In my opinion, there is little they can be angry about, he moved due to his desire for champion’s league football, and it’s hardly like we stole him for pennies!
“I really can’t wait to go there, and I hope I’ll get a good reception because I gave Everton everything I had in my time there and I love the club.
“Everyone there was great to me and, even though I left, hopefully people understood.
“There’s no reason for any of us to be unhappy with each other.”
Next up, Kieran Gibbs is confident that tired legs could prove a major factor in the game tomorrow. He thinks that Arsenal are starting to pull out of the so called injury ‘crisis’ and want to move forward and continue the run of good results.
“It is a relief to have a break until the next game and it was important for us to get that because we have played quite a lot recently in a short space of time,”
“We should have players coming back from injury now so we should be getting some fresh legs looking to go for the rest of the season strongly.
“Football changes so much. We’ve seen over the last few seasons that anything can happen now and it is important for us to cement our place [in the top four] and keep winning.”
I am with Gibbs, and i think the last two games Everton have played will have drained them somewhat; this should tip in our favour after a prolonged 9 day break.
Finally to Finnish on a good note, Abou Diaby is expected to start in the Arsenal Reserves clash with Liverpool this afternoon. It seems that Wenger has started to use this as a method to ease players returning from injury, back into competitive football. He has also used it to give some of the fringe players a run out in recent weeks, and I think it is a good move. It is just such a shame that a player like Diaby, who showed so much promise before his career was plagued by injury, has to go through this. If he cannot gain some consistency in the near future, I’m not sure we can keep hold of him. I expect he has a fairly sized dent in the wage budget.
Anyway, tune in tomorrow for more team news before the game.
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Some good news seems to be coming through regarding Fabrice Muamba and reports that he is moving his limbs and speaking are very promising signs for him. Once again we want to wish him a speedy recovery and hope to see him well and healthy as soon as possible.
Regarding Arsenal today, it is still pretty quiet as we prepare for the game against Everton, it should be an interesting match and after Everton’s draw against Sunderland at the weekend and win against Spurs last week, i expect they won’t be in peak condition going into the match. On the other hand, we have a squad full of fresh players after a welcome nine day break.
Carl Jenkinson has been speaking to Goal.com about how Robin Van Persie is the ‘perfect captain’. We all know how many goals he has scored this season but Jenkinson insists that goals do not guarantee a good leader.
“He is the perfect captain. He is approachable – which is very important – and he is open to opinions. He also leads by example on the pitch.
“If you are the captain of a club, you need to lead the way and show the way forward to everyone to follow. He definitely does that.
Jenkinson also talked about how some of the more experienced players have influenced him and I think this is a major reason why we need to inject some experience into the squad. He says that he and Per Mertesacker have developed a close relationship and this can only improve his game.
“I am also quite close with Per [Mertesacker] – he is a defender and has been around the game a long time and has a lot of experience, so he often gives me little tips here and there.
“I know I can always go to him if I need to talk about something.”
It also seems that we are out of the race for Eden Hazard as Roberto Mancini was spotted watching him in Lille’s last match. To be honest, I am not too disappointed about it, there is no doubt that Hazard is a top class player, but from the comments he has made in the past few weeks it has given me the impression that he does not possess the class to earn a place at Arsenal football club. Any link that appears about him he grabs with both hands and expresses how he ‘would love’ to join that particular club. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day he was linked with Blackburn and end up going there!
Next up, Jan Vertonghen has spoken publicly about his desire to move to Arsenal, I must add though, it was from an interview with the Mirror so should be taken with a pinch of sat. His contract is due to run out in the summer and it is inevitable that he will move elsewhere.
“Arsenal are a magnificent club and I hear a lot of good things about English football,”
“If a club of Arsenal’s calibre can reach agreement with Ajax, then I will gladly go over.”
“I haven’t signed anything with them yet.”
It is obvious that he does want to move but he is far from set on Arsenal, he doesn’t rule out any other clubs but there are rumours that he did not deny talks were underway on a Dutch TV programme. I’m sure more developments will be thrown around in the next few weeks but I wouldn’t get excited until it’s signed and sealed!
And that’s your lot for today, come back tomorrow for more news ahead of the game on Wednesday and team news and opinions and we will see what other stories we can drag out until the real action begins!
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