Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

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Posted by Arsenalist on October 23, 2008

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What a joy these international friendlies are, just ask Theo

Posted by Arsenalist on November 20, 2008

Three months out. After he dislocates his shoulder playing in a meaningless midweek friendly. Now if this would’ve happened to William Gallas it wouldn’t have bothered me, but Theo? C’mon. We’re already going through a stage where we can’t by goals in the Prem and Theo was one of the lone threats we had. Nobody could keep up with is pace on the right and the man created at least two or three chances for us a game.

Now instead of looking to Eboue again to fill this role, why not bring in Jack Wilshere or maybe even Ramsey and see how they fare. They’ve shown spectacular skill and composure in the Carling Cup games (while beating Prem clubs) and deserve a shot here. I don’t know about you, but for me the most entertaining Arsenal play has come in the CC, not in the CL or Prem. More of that please.

That’s really all I wanted to say but here’s some more. The club’s been going through a real shitty stage, tying the scum, losing to Villa at home, the Stoke shit, the Hull hell etc. IMHO, the root of these problems is the midfield and defense, Fabregas looks lost out there playing without an enforcer like Flamini. Nasri’s effectively replaced Hleb rather admirably (on the wrong side) but that holding midfielder we’re so used to having in Gilberto and Flamini is missing. Rosicky will be back to train in 7 weeks so maybe he can provide that but that’s waiting too long. I think our Prem fate will be decided by then. It all comes down to AW spending some cash and acknowledging that his young Guns need help and can’t do it on their own – at least not yet.

Another disappointment of late has been Bendtner who hasn’t looked like Arsenal quality at all. Even when he’s one-on-one, he managed to fuck things up rather nicely. That play late against Man Utd when he had a chance to make it 3-0. Eww. He’s been forced into the starting XI because Van Persie’s stupid foul against Stoke. That was the dumbest Arsenal play I’ve seen over the last couple years, even worse than Lehmann’s fuck-ups. Going three games without your top striker will hurt any team, much less one that is so dependent on a finishing touch.

That’s it for this little piece on this primarily video blog. Expect some more.

Arse.

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Arsenal vs Aston Villa Highlights and Goals: Arsenal 0, Cunts 2

Posted by Arsenalist on November 15, 2008

Before the game

Liverpool won, we got to keep pace.

During the game

Almunia saves Young’s penalty. Foul included: Download :: Watch

First Half Highlights: Download :: Watch

A real cunt of a human being 1-0: Download :: Watch – Good ‘ol Clichy, fucking up in big games

A big whore villa 2-0: Download :: Watch I can’t believe a cunt with a name like that can score against Arsenal. Wenger, please fix this horsehit ASAP.

After the game:

Match Report

Lowest point of the season? I think so. Is William Gallas a fucknut? For sure. Are we wining the league? No. Does Sidwell sodomize Brad Friedel? Yes. Did anyone hear Nasri’s name? No. Is black a color or a fruit? Color. Who is Denilson? Is Bendtner Arsenal quality? No. But given Arsenal’s quality of late, yes. FUUUCCKKKK THIS SUCKS>

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Here’s an email I got from a loyal reader:

You should really do an open letter on the site to the Arsenal Football Club, or to Arsene Wenger

Tell him/them to get off his ass and;

– admit Gallas is a faliure and should be publicly stoned
– buy the hardman midfielder and bison sized centre back we’ve been missing since the days of Vieira/Campbell and
– stop trying to plug the DM holes with ppl like denilson and song
– if he wants to have faith in his young players, at least give Diaby a chance in a pure DM role, he at least has the body for it
– accept that sometimes we need to stop playing ‘beautiful’ football – honestly its not like the days of the invincibles anymore when it was fun to watch and they were always counterattacking and raising hell in the defense. Now we watch them pass and pass, give the defence time to recover, and end up with a scuffed shot at the top of the box with 5 men in front of it, or squeeze out a cross from our overworked fullbacks.

The commentary period during an Arsenal match goes like this:

– The commentary raves on Arsenal’s flowing ball
– As they predictably struggle to break down the team, or misplace some passes, the commentator calles it an ‘Un-Arsenal-like’ performance when in reality it happens in 1 of every 2 matches

I mean what is Wenger doing? THe invincibles played at an extremely fast tempo and counterattacked at will, almost never crossed and got physical with teams sometimes (we had that red card record at 1 point)

Now we play at Serie A pace, trying to pass teams into submission/walk the ball into the net. We do cross a lot more, which is sometimes a good thing because we have a true target man in Ade and sometimes Bendtner. But in general we are too slow and look for the extra pass to often. For every 1 clear cut chance our passing movement makes, theres about 3-4 that we f**ked up.

It not like our weaknesses are new – they have been obvious for years now – our lack of height/spine in midfield and defence and our tendency to overpass and walk ball into net. I mean, even the invincibles had some of these complaints but not nearly as severe as now. Wenger has refused to address them. He’s not a good tactician – he’s only used 2 different formations in his Arsenal carrer(42 451), never makes formational adjustments outside of the 442/451 and doesnt make special substitutions – i mean Ade at West Ham was a no-brainer, or throwing on Walcott for energy. He’s only excellent at discovering and rearing youngsters.

F**k man, sorry to rant a lot but I am just fed up of this, going on 4 seasons now, and you seem to be one of the few Arsenal suooprters out there not on Wenger’s dick and blindly swallowing everything Arsenal do. (Although the # of discontented Gooners grow daily) Even my friends today tried to defend Arsenal’s performance somehow. I shud start to watch the games alone. THe commentator said the AV game was a shocker. it isnt to me anymore

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Arsenal vs. Wigan Highlights & Goals 3-0: Young Guns Fire

Posted by Arsenalist on November 11, 2008

Before the game

It’s Wigan’s first team versus some guys who skipped school.

During the game

Simpson 1-0: Download :: Watch

1st Half Highlights: Download :: Watch

Simpson 2-0: Download :: Watch (a finish Adebayor can learn a lot from)

Vela 3-0: Download :: Watch (check the look on Kirkland’s face)

Mexican Wave as Vela get subbed off: Download :: Watch

Fabianski Great Save: Download :: Watch

After the game

Full Match Highlights (DailyMotion – those cunts usually remove these videos)

Arsene Wenger Interview

Steve Bruce Interview

Match Report

I can see a Carlos Vela yellow shirt coming my way very soon. The man is cooler than the other side of the pillow. I’ll be the first to say it, I think this team can beat our first team. At the very least they’ll score a couple goals on them. No doubt. A nice night at the Emirates, Arsenal lowered their prices for this game when they should’ve raised them.

Who would’ve thunk that the Carling Cup would be the most enjoyable tournament this year? Watching these teenagers dismantle a full-strength premiership team brings joy to the cockles of my heart’s heart. The look on that fuck Titus Bramble’s face when he gets schooled by a kid old enough to be his son is just priceless. Let’s not have a letdown this weekend otherwise this feeling of happiness and joy is going to disappear real fast.

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Arsenal vs Manchester United MOTD Highlights & Goals 2-1

Posted by Arsenalist on November 8, 2008

So I set my alarm for 7:30 AM and it doesn’t ring (or it rang but I was too sleepy). When I finally wake up at 9 AM I see Arsenal up 2-0. How sweet is that?

Nasri 1-0

Nasri 2-0

da Silva 2-1

Highlights

Sponsor

Life just got a little better!

Arsene Wenger Interview

Red Nosed Reindeer Interview

MOTD Highlights: Arabic + English

Game Analysis

MOTD Highlights – English

Match Report

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Arsenal vs. Fenerbahce 2nd Leg Highlights: Kill me please!

Posted by Arsenalist on November 5, 2008

Before the game:

Adebayor is out for three weeks because his Achilles is messed up. Honestly, I think Arsenal would have to win 7-0 today for me to even feel a little excited about this. Our passage to the group stages is all but wrapped up really. Our problems lie on the domestic stage and the Man Utd fixture coming up is 12568 times more important than this game. Hey, at least we have RVP for this one. Remember, we lose him for three Premiership games (I think) leaving us with Vela and Bendtner up front (Oh, joy). Fuck me, why am I talking about the premiership again? It’s Champions League tonight.

Even a big win here means nothing because we’ve made it a nice little habit of laying a domestic egg after a great European performance. It’s apples and orange, crack whores and call girls, Obama and McCain, fucked and getting fucked. You know what I mean, its not the same. Either way, let’s go you Gunners.

Oh yeah, I’ll try posting highlights if they don’t block the streams. Those cunts.

During the game

Don’t be mad at Van Persie. God just hates him to the point that he’s got to be the unluckiest striker in all of football. When he’s not breaking the goalie’s nose he’s putting a dent in the crossbar. 0-0 at the half against Fenerbahce.

1st half highlights: Download :: Watch

After the game

Nil. Fucking. Nil. How lovely of a scoreline is that? And here I am saying 7 goals wouldn’t be enough. We looked like shit and we played like shit and sorry to say this but even Fabregas played like shit. I’ve never seen him make so many ill-conceived passes. I’m scared to see Bendtner and Vela head up our frontline against Man Utd. This game was the old Boring, Boring Arsenal and Wenger looked like he wanted to snap somebody’s neck and Pat Rice was very fearful of that. Didn’t even shake that cunt Argones’ hand. Our best chances came in the first half with RVP hitting the crossbar and then coming inches from scoring.

In the second half we never looked like we were going to score and even when Vela was brought on he couldn’t create much. The defense didn’t have much to do and Fabianski got the nod ahead of Almunia who had a headache or some shit. I don’t know. Give me credit for sitting through this fucking affair and not wanting to yell at the monitor which would’ve pissed off a lot of my co-workers. Fact it, without Theo or Adebayor out there our wing-attack sucks. Samir Nasri is a nice little player but he can’t do it alone (the mofo bobbled a perfect chance to score in the first half) and he’s no Flamini that could win you some tough headers in midfield. Silvestre got his nose busted.

Anyway, here’s some analysis of the game which you might hate but its true. So fucking true.

Highlights and Analysis: Watch :: Download

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Arsenal vs. Stoke City MOTD Highlights: This might be this year’s Birmingham game

Posted by Arsenalist on November 1, 2008

Before the game:

After the Scum game I had to take a mental break from the blog. It was too devastating to even respond to comments in the post. Our defense is very pathetic and I always felt that Almunia is NOT an Arsenal-quality keeper. Whereas Lehmann used to let in “crazy” goals, Almunia just lets in bad goals. I’ll give up two crazy goals a year for 10 bad goals a year any day. In the end it was nothing short of a stroke of luck that they managed to steal a point, yes our defense was bad enough but Clichy falling like his ankles were clipped by ghost? How often does that happen? After the Stoke game (which if we don’t win I will burn down my neighbor’s house), we got Man Utd, Villa, Citeh and Chelsea. That’ll tell us if we’re title contenders or not.

It’s Stoke City in about fifteen minutes, I’ll do what I can to post highlights…as they happen….

‘Watch’ vids may be ‘processing’:

Fuck 1-0: Download :: Watch

First Half Highlights: Fucking painful. Download :: Watch

Double fuck, cunt horse shit 2-0: Download : Watch

Consolation goal that gave you false hope 2-1: Download :: Watch

MOTD Highlights

After the game:

I’m off to burn some houses. We have to recover against Man Utd and in the CL next week. This team looked fragile, unimaginative and lacking any leadership. Abou Diaby at 22 is our most experienced midfielder, that itself says a lot. Toure, God bless his soul, is starting to look more and more like Senderos and our discipline in defending is worse than ever. Have at it.

Make me rich, one nickel at a time.

Posted in arsenal, Sports | Tagged: , | 14 Comments »

Arsenal vs Tottenham Highlights MOTD – North London Derby – EPL

Posted by Arsenalist on October 29, 2008

‘Watch’ videos may be processing.

Bentley 1-0: Download :: Watch

Silvestre 1-1: Download :: Watch

First Half Highlights: Download :: Watch

Gallas 2-1: Download :: Watch

Adebayor 3-1: Download :: Watch

Bent: 3-2: Download :: Watch

Van Persie 4-2: Download :: Watch

Jenas 4-3: Download

Lennon 4-4: Download

MOTD Highlights

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Arsenal vs West Ham Utd Highlights MOTD – EPL

Posted by Arsenalist on October 26, 2008

West Ham Utd 0, Arsenal 2

So far this has been a typical Arsenal game. Lots of possession, a few good chances and most importantly some unbelievable saves from the other goalie. No Arsenal stretch of play is complete without a few scares coming right down the heart of our central defense and this one’s no different: Bellamy should have scored when he split our central defense only to be denied by Alumunia’s left leg. Arsenal hit the crossbar via Walcott. Adebayor is on the bench but you would think should come on given Nicklas Bendtner’s subpar performance so far.

First Half Highlights and Analysis: Download :: Watch

A very deserved own Goal after Adebayor’s work. This came a few minutes after RVP smashed a freekick against the post: Download :: Watch

Great composure shown by Adebayor but give 50% of that goal to Bendtner’s pass: Download :: Watch

Good victory for the Gunners. West Ham’s attacks were very sporadic and few and far in between. Arsenal on the other hand were applying constant pressure and were very unlucky not to score. The Walcott substitution took me by surprise, he was creating a lot of problems with his pace on the right side and fully expected Bendtner to come off instead. Wenger knows best though and he introduced the combo of Adebayor and Diaby who worked well in tandem and replicated their success from Istanbul.

I thought RVP should’ve scored two goals in this game, I uploaded the two chances, one a brilliant quick-footed strike and the other a laser free kick that almost took the post off (Download :: Watch).

There’s the Emmanuel Adebayor post-match interview too.

MOTD Highlights

Chelsea and Man Utd drop points this weekend so all is well.

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Aggressive Denver too much for sloppy Raptors

Posted by Arsenalist on October 22, 2008

Denver Nuggets 105, Toronto Raptors 94

This game served as a good test for the Raptors which if they passed would’ve given them some confidence heading into the regular season. In the end it turned out to be yet another reminder that this team has more question marks than answers. An athletic Denver side which was committed to attacking the rim shot 53% as the Raptors defense (especially the second unit) failed to cope with Denver’s speed and aggression. It’s what you get when you have a 19-man roster fighting for 15 spots, people come out and play for their jobs. It’s a spirit that’s been lacking at this year’s Raptors training camp where players like Moon are playing like they’re already guaranteed minutes.

They don’t keep a stat of deflections but if they did you’d see Denver get one every three possessions. They challenged the Raptors by playing extremely aggressive defense – fronting the post, early doubles, ball-pressure and fighting through screens rendering them pointless. All this pressure forced the Raptors into making 20 turnovers which were of the very sloppy kind. We had the ball literally taken out of hands three times not to mention countless strips that either resulted in a turnover or took a bit chunk out of the shot-clock as the Raptors reset. Although Denver’s lead was only around 10 for the entire game you knew that this was a huge uphill mountain to climb – you’d never have picked the Raptors to come up with five defensive stands against a determined Denver while scoring five times on the other end. Hell, I’d even have settled for five straight possessions without a turnover.

There were some positives from this game, especially early on. Our offense clicked rather well when Jermaine O’Neal was in the game. O’Neal executed his patented post-moves on a couple occasions drawing double teams and kicking out for swing sequences. He hit a pull-up mid-range jumper and felt comfortable in driving to the rim against Juwan Howard or Nene. Chris Bosh was hitting his jumper and Parker executed two of his patented off-the-screen fadeaways. Andrea Bargnani went through good and bad stretches but ended the game strongly and looked good when he wasn’t turning the ball over. Let’s not kid ourselves though, we saw more bad than good last night and learned that this team is far from ready. Mitchell believes he doesn’t need any more preseason games but welcomes the practice time coming up. He feels that he knows what he wants the team to do, its a question of teaching the team how to do it. Of course, how could we forget…Mitchell knows everything, its the other that are lacking around him.

Jermaine O’Neal didn’t return for the second half because of a sore knee which rang many alarm bells in many heads. According to O’Neal its not a big deal:

“The back problem caused a little tightness in the leg. It’s more of a maintenance thing.”

Oh, a little maintenance thing. It’s something like getting an oil change, you need to do it and if you neglect it you’ll have to buy a new engine. Hopefully all we’ll need to do this year is oil changes because the mileage on this baby isn’t too high, although on the other side it’s been driven by a piss-poor driver for the last few years. I don’t know, you decide the depreciation on this equipment and whether it’ll have any buy-back value at the end of the year. I guess we could have brought something a bit cheaper and a little more stable but we went for the name brand here instead of really trying to find a good car to fit our needs. We ended up by buying a used BMW whose Kelly Blue Book value was way higher than what she was actually deemed to be worth by anybody other than the Kelly Blue Book people. They say BMW’s have long lives, obviously your mileage may vary so all we can do is hope that it works out.

There was a play in the second half which showed what the team’s continuity level is. Jose Calderon drove the ball across the paint and right underneath the rim expecting Bargnani – who had set the screen for him – to cut to the basket to receive the pass. Bargnani never cut and Jose ended up with a turnover and setup a picture perfect fast break for the Nuggets. Two players that are just not on the same page. Will Solomon was rested due to hamstring issues so Roko Ukic got the nod as the backup PG and showed us how raw he really is. Ukic’s ball handling needs to be a lot better before he can execute the passes that his mind wants him to make. Half the time he’s trying to protect the ball rather than make a play with it; his dribble isn’t nearly as tight as it should be and you can tell that he wants to attack the rim and create but doesn’t yet have the tools to do it. Ukic didn’t make many mistakes on the court, he dished out five assists and went 4-9 FG in a game where he was under constant pressure. Not a bad performance from the Croatian who is showing that with some experience he can be an effective member of this team.

Is there anything funnier than Jamario Moon trying to sell a head-fake? Yes, there is. It’s Jamario Moon trying to sell a pump-fake. His misery continued with another 0fer as he went 0-4 and got thunderously dunked on by Nene at the end of the second half. Again, I point out to two plays that tells you all about Jamario Moon’s state of mind. After O’Neal kicks out the ball and Denver’s rotating on the perimeter the ball comes to Moon who launches a 18 footer when two extra passes would’ve resulted in an open Calderon three. Granted, he’s wide open but that doesn’t mean you take the shot. So that’s #1. Then he managed to get an offensive rebound and instead of going up strong with it, he tried to use the highest part of the glass to avoid being blocked. Naturally he misses the layup. Contrast this with what Ruben Patterson or Dahntay Jones did last night and you’ll see the difference in aggression between the players. Denver is full of slashers and we don’t have a single one; the two guys that actually might be able to do that (Moon and Graham) are just not willing to do it. Afterward Mitchell was critical of Moon’s play (again):

“The Jamario of last year isn’t good enough for this year..if you’re not going to apply (what’s being taught), we’ll get people who will. But it’s coming for him. But it’s coming for him.”

Moon then chimed in with another unintelligent comment about how its just the preseason and how his problems will disappear come opening night. At least he’s admitting he’s playing the kind of basketball which is unworthy of a starting NBA small forward:

“I feel like I’ve had one of the worst pre-seasons that anyone could have, but that’s why they call it pre-season. I was just working on what coach wanted me to work on, drive to the basket. But I’ve got to step up now. The season’s ready to start.”

One of the painful things about this game was watching Jason Kapono struggle like a fish out of water. He’s unable to get his shot off because there’s no reason for his man to leave him open. It sounds ultra-simple but its true. Why would you leave Jason Kapono open if you don’t have to? The way Kapono can get his threes off is if someone is doubled and the rotation gets to his man. If we’re not consistently posting up Bosh or O’Neal, Kapono’s success rate falls instantly. We can’t expect Kapono to get his shot attempts off the high pick ‘n roll because that’s basically a two-man game the way the Raptors run it. Defensively he got exploited on every opportunity and worst of all the help of the second unit was brutal making for great interior Denver passing followed by Sportscenter material.

Bargnani’s late spurt resulting in 19 points might’ve saved the bench’s face but let it not be lost that they were outplayed throughout the game. Aside from Roko Ukic creating off the bounce or forcing the issue and Bargnani knocking some one-on-one shots down, they looked horrible on both ends of the floor. If we’re expecting this lot to sustain us during those crucial late third quarter and early fourth quarter periods we might be in trouble. Defensively they’re shot. Denver guards were able to split our pick ‘n roll traps every single time which led to easy points in the paint as Kris Humphries, Andrea Bargnani and Joey Graham looked at each other quizzically. You should’ve seen the way Hassan Adams tried to close-out JR Smith on this one three – it was f*****g weak!

Generally speaking our defensive effort was not good. We fell for way too many simple head-fakes (Moon, Graham, Bargnani and Bosh all guilty) which opened up things for Denver. We were -6 on the boards and were in shambles anytime Denver made more than two passes. Again, the second unit is far more guilty of this than the starters but you’re only as strong as your weakest link.

The preseason is over and I feel like we hardly learned much from it. Nobody’s taken ownership of the starting SF spot, who the backup PG will be is anybody’s guess and there’s no sign of the Raptors coming close to becoming a cohesive unit by October 29th. We have one-a-day practices for the time leading up to the season opener and we have a lot of work to do.

I feel bad for the fans who came out last night in Edmonton. They were trying to cheer on the Raptors all evening long and even had Ole, Ole going at one point. Instead they saw Nene crush Jamario Moon and Denver manhandle the Raptors. Oh well, better than staying at home.

That’s it for today.

Posted in Raptors, Sports | Tagged: , | 40 Comments »