Wigan Athletic vs Arsenal FC [MATCH PREVIEW]

Arsenal FC travel to the DW Stadium this weekend to take on Wigan Athletic, in what should be an easy game for the Gunners.

Arsenal FC are taking on a Wigan Athletic side that lie a lowly 19th in the Barclays Premier League table, with the Lactics picking up only 9 points from 13 games this season. Arsenal come in on the back of two relatively bad results, although the Gunners will be pleased by their performance against Manchester City, having out-smarted and out-played the Citizens, despite being out-scored by Manchester City.

Current overall team form

Team P W D L F A P
Wigan Athletic 6 1 1 4 7 13 4
Arsenal 6 3 2 1 8 4 11

Arsenal FC Team News

Arsenal FC, despite dropping 2 points last week and losing in mid-week, will still be happy that they finally have a settled first XI, with Arsene Wenger seemingly happy to stick with his current first teamers, following a couple of good results on the trot for his mix of youngsters and experienced veterans.

Facts and Figures

  1. Wigan have beaten Arsenal only once in Premier League history.
  2. van Persie is well in sight (3 goals to go) of the record 36 goals scored by Alan Shearer for Rovers in 1995.
  3. Arsenal have won 11 out of their last 13 games in all competitions.
  4. There have been 13 goals scored in the 80th minute or later in the last 10 Premier League meetings between Wigan and Arsenal.

GunnerWriteUp Prediction: Wigan 0-2 Arsenal FC

Should be a relatively easy game for the Gunners and I’m going for a rare clean sheet for Arsenal FC, although Wigan Athletic will certainly not be giving the points to Arsenal, I’m pretty sure that Arsenal FC fans can come home happy from the DW Stadium come the match tomorrow.

Robin van Persie will also be out to extend his rich vein of form in the calendar year of 2011, having notched up an impeccable tally of 10 goals in 5 games during their winning streak which ended just a week ago.

Getting the Job Done: Norwich 1-2 Arsenal

Miraculous blocks, horrendous defending, beautiful passing play, fantastic movement, just a few things that were seen at Arsenal’s 2-1 win against Norwich.

The Positives

Theo Walcott’s Performance

A great day on the job from the Englishman, whom surely did his chances of that England right winger position a whole lot of good, with surging runs and crafting out beautiful chances with his crosses and his runs. Tortured the Norwich City leftback with his pace and produced fine low crosses, including the one that resulted in the Gunner’s opening goal, which both Gervinho and van Persie could have scored, so that was good picking out from the 22 year old.

Good Chance Production

Something that is always said of Arsenal is that they keep the ball almost too much, not really doing enough to produce the scoring oppourtunities – not providing that killer ball, today we saw more of that from the Gunners.

Both Theo Walcott and Gervinho out on the wings were very useful in providing the chances, with the duo offering a lot of width (dragging fullbacks out wide, and then beating them) along with crosses into the middle.

Arteta was his usual creative self, providing the passes from a bit further back, whilst Aaron Ramsey surged forward when he could, providing another route for attack, so that was good to see.

van Persie’s up to his Usual Tricks

31 goals in the calendar year is impressive. His chances, albeit relatively easy chances (one goal was scored into an empty net whilst the other came from a one-on-one) still had to be tucked away. You’ve still got to be there at the right place and the right time to finish it off.

His second goal in particular was splendid, timed his run to perfection, took the ball in well and finished off with a slightly cheeky chip over the Norwich City goalie.

A 5th Win in a Row

Now who can argue with that?

The Negatives

Gervinho’s Flick

Can’t help but say this. What an a**hole! A funny guy he is, trying to put the ball into the net in that fashion, and I personally think that he really deserved a scolding for doing that, but luckily he was saved by Robin van Persie right behind him, whom slotted it into the back of an empty net. Gervinho’s flick, cocky, cocky, cocky.

Pretty much served him right that he didn’t have a goal to his name, but otherwise, he had a pretty good game. His dribbling and movement caused problems for Arsenal FC both on the left and right flank, and I love his fluorescent yellow/green boots he was wearing, looked absolutely sweet.

What the H*ll was Mertesacker Doing?

Sorry, I can’t help but say this. But that was just absolutely horrendous defending from Arsenal FC’s summer signing Per Mertesacker. The question remains: what was he trying to do? You really shouldn’t see that in top level football, not least at Arsenal FC. Call it slow decision making, call it being in an awkward position, he should have got the job done, that being to clear the danger.

That’s two mistakes this season, and I personally won’t be surprised if Arsene Wenger decides to swap him out of his first team XI, with Vermaelen and Koscielny being my personal favourites for playing at the center of defence for the Gunners. Kudos go to Morrison though, because he produced a fine finish and showed lots of determination to earn himself that gift of a goal.

You Have to Give It To Norwich

Russell Martin Had a Great Game

A fantastic game for the Norwich City defender, saving his team on more than a few occasions. His clearance for what should have been a definite Theo Walcott goal was really unreal, him producing a miraculous overhead kick-esque clearance away from his goal. His other two clearances were spectacular as well, with both looking to have gone in without his intervention.

Norwich Imposed Themselves on the Game

This was in no way a game which Arsenal FC thoroughly dominated, it was unlike usual. Norwich City themselves had long spells on the ball and hit Arsenal FC quite hard on the counter attack. Their resilience was shown through Morrison, whom absolutely ran for his life to get to that ball and pressurize Mertesacker.

Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal FC

FINAL Score: Norwich City 1-2 Arsenal FC

Norwich vs Arsenal FC: After Effects of the Interlull?

Arsenal FC head to Norwich City today, in hope of another win to boost their Champions League hopes for next season. 

The Gunners have finally hit a good patch of form and it seems that all is fine in North London. It even looks likely that they’ll overtake Liverpool FC over the weekend, with Liverpool FC headed to London to take on Chelsea, whilst Arsenal go to Norwich, with 3 points perhaps the minimum that the Gunners will expect from the game.

Arsenal FC’s formation looks pretty settled right now, most people already earning themselves the automatic places on that Arsenal FC teamsheet. I personally reckon that the Gunners will line up pretty much like this against the Canaries:

Szczesny
Santos-Vermaelen-Mertesacker-Koscielny
Song-Arteta-Ramsey
Gervinho-Walcott
van Persie

It’s really a “Keep Calm and Carry On” scenario thing for Arsenal FC, with them really NEEDING to continue their unbeaten run they had initially started before the interlull, in a run which garnered them 4 wins out of their last 4 BPL fixtures, although their away form leaves a lot to be desired, reason being that they have only earned a measly 4 points from a potential 15 points.

So no key misses for the Gunners following the International Break, but one thus wonder whether the fatigue from the International Break will indeed affect this Arsenal side going into this game, with the Canaries boasting a decent record at home, with 8 points from 15.

My Prediction? Well, I will have to go with a 3-0 victory for the Gooners today.

What Are the Gunners Missing? And Other Good News

Arsenal FC finally look to be the squad that should be once again, racking up the wins on the trot, even catching up with Liverpool in such a short time span given the point difference all those weeks back.

So well, let’s start with the good news. Jack Wilshere, well, he’s pledged to stay with Arsenal FC for, well, forever. When popped the question about whether he would promise interviewer Kugan Cassius whether he would promise to stay with Arsenal FC forever, he answered:

I promise that, yeah. I’ve been at the club since I was nine and learned to love it. From the Vieira days, to Bergkamp, Fabregas, I’ve watched them come through and move on. There’s a crop of new players Ramsey, myself, Kieran Gibbs…hopefully we can really create something special. I love the club and I want to be part of its future

Jack Wilshere

Look at about 1:48. Wilshere’s a legend.

Well, to the other purpose of this post, addressing what Arsenal FC really need if they are to even challenge for that Champions League spot come the end of the season, and to me, that’s definitely squad depth.

Arsenal just don’t have the strength in depth to continually challenge in all competitions. As Man City say, “We have two squads capable of challenging for honours’. That definitely can’t be said to be true for Arsenal.

Arsenal, as seen earlier in the season, can be very weak once the injuries kick in. The Gunners are having a good recent injury track record (with the exception of Jack Wilshere), as a result, we’re having this good run of form.

Arsenal lack the depth, but that’s the only key issue that’s lacking. The lads have proven that they have what it takes to beat the better teams, such as Chelsea FC when there is a fully fit team available.

Andre Santos’ constant improvement is only good news to all Arsenal FC fans around. He offers a significant attacking contribution, with his ability to play neat passes, and he couples that with his growing confidence at the back. The same can be said of Jenkinson, whose crosses are so god d*mn accurate.

A Glimpse to the Future: Arsenal FC [PART 1]

Arsenal FC’s Carling Cup encounter against Bolton a few weeks ago provided a taster to what will come from the Gunners in the future, with Arsene Wenger going with his usual tactic of playing his youngsters in the League Cup.

Wenger opted for youthfulness in his squad, having just enough experience to back that up and to get past Bolton, so here are the names that could be Arsenal FC starting XI players in the very near future.

PLAYER PROFILE| Ignasi Miquel (Arsenal FC & Spain)

Age: 19Favoured foot: Left Position: CBValue: €1,000,000


Attributes: 
Composed, Physically Strong, Good Passing

Height Club Weight
Place of Birth
Former club
 1.93m Arsenal 85kg Barcelona Cornella

Ignasi Miquel was snapped up as young as 15 years of age, and it’s not hard to see why. His passing from the back is composed and his marking is excellent, although it needs some working on. He does seem to have all the attributes required to succeed in the English game.

Making his debut against Liverpool FC, albeit helping with the conceding of one of their goals – his clearance his Ramsey and went into the back of their net – but it doesn’t seem to have deterred him, making an assured display against Bolton last night, bullied a little by Bolton’s loan signing Gael Kakuta, but managed to pick up the pace later on.
PLAYER PROFILE| Nicholas Yennaris (Arsenal FC & England)

Age: 18

Favoured foot: Left

Position: RB

Value: N/a


Attributes: 
Pacy, Composed, Good Tackling

Height Club Weight
Place of Birth
Former club
 1.74m Arsenal 70kg Leytonstone Arsenal

Nico Yennaris made his Arsenal FC senior debut yesterday against Bolton and provided Arsenal FC just a glimpse of what he has to offer. The fact that he played in defence instead of his usual comfort zone in the midfield proves he is willing to do anything to get into that first team.

Yennaris was more of a right wingback, tracking back when he could and stifling out the threat of Tuncay from the left hand side of Bolton’s attack. He looked fairly comfortable throughout and didn’t really put a foot wrong. A splendid debut from the youngster.

Part II is coming out soon!

Arsenal 3 WBA 0 [PLAYER RATINGS]

Arsenal FC managed a convincing 3-0 win against West Brom at the Emirates just yesterday to extend their winning streak in the Premier League. Here’s how the Gunners got on.

Wojciech Szczesny

Had barely anything to do, but he got the job nonetheless. The game saw him catch a number of crosses, and he managed a good stop late on to ensure the clean sheet.

Player Rating: 6.0

Carl Jenkinson

A very good attacking performance from the youngster down the right flank. Put in a lot of quality crosses into the penalty box and outshone Walcott on the right flank both offensively and defensively.

Player Rating: 8.0

Laurent Koscielny

Cleared the ball well and kept West Brom as far from his goal as humanly possible. Growing in confidence by the week, even with a rampaging run right at West Brom in the second half nearly earning Arsenal a goal.

Player Rating: 7.5

Thomas Vermaelen

Imperious in the air, winning most of the aerial battles that he was involved in, even earning himself a goal. Did well to block some of the West Brom shots.

Player Rating: 8.0

Andre Santos

Neat. His passing was neat and his tackling abilities weren’t questioned throughout the game, a solid game from the leftback.

Player Rating: 7.0

Aaron Ramsey

A good display, distribute the ball well, whilst keeping it well as well. A solid game from the young Welshman.

Player Rating: 7.0

Mikel Arteta

Produced a defence splitting pass to Walcott to help Arsenal FC open the scoring in the first half. A good goal as well.

Player Rating: 7.5

Alex Song

Did a good job in the ‘destroyer’ role. Stopped West Brom’s attacks quickly and passed the ball well. Was part of the build-up to the second goal.

Player Rating: 7.0

Theo Walcott

Arguably the weakest link in a very fiery Arsenal FC squad. Lost the ball on a number of occasions due to a poor first touch or just bad execution.

Player Rating: 5.5

Robin van Persie

Top of the class. Another goal coupled with two lovely assists. The Dutchman is really in form right now. If Arsenal are going to have a chance at a Champions League or even Premier League victory, it’s all down to him.

Player Rating: 9.0

Gervinho

Marked pretty heavily, but did well to bring defenders away from attacks. Linked up with the midfielders well and utilized the space on the wings well too.

Player Rating: 6.5

Arsenal FC 3 WBA 0, The Dutchman Scores Again

The recovery is truly on now for West Brom, picking up yet another 3 points against Roy Hodgson’s men at the Emirates this afternoon.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Arsenal 3-0 West Brom FT
(HT 2-0)
  • Van Persie 22
  • Vermaelen 39
  • Arteta 74

Arsenal FC comfortably swept aside West Bromwich this afternoon to continue their good run of form, whilst Robin van Persie managed to notch up his 29th goal of the 2011 calendar year. Not only did he do that, but he also set up the other two, putting Arsenal FC on the right track for the win.

Arsenal’s captain returned to the Starting XI following being rested in the Gunners’ Champions League encounter with French side Marseille, that one resulting in a 0-0 draw.

Arsenal FC played the waiting game, and they were rewarded in the 22nd minute, after fantastic build-up play. Aaron Ramsey managed a delicate pass to split the West Brom defence to find Theo Walcott, whom saw his shot blocked by Ben Foster, but Van Persie was there to finish off the rebound and make the score 1-0 for the Gunners.

At world class there were always only four or five players in that category but I would put van Persie into that calibre.There is some quality there. And of course, certainly Messi will win the best player in the world award, deservedly so, because he won everything.
Arsene Wenger in his Post-Match Conference

The goal was a catalyst for Arsenal’s further dominance in the game, with Arsenal beginning to threaten more, with Carl Jenkinson being a constant threat with his deliveries from the right, with defensive duties not the order of the game for Arsenal, given their constant attacks.

A second goal was knocking on Arsenal’s door, and it duly came due to a Vermaelen finish. Alex Song crossed the ball back into the box following a cleared corner, only for Van Persie to steer towards Vermaelen, whom applied the finish. 2-0 to Arsenal FC before half time.

Arsenal pressed on in the second half, continuing where they left on, albeit in a more casual manner, keeping the ball and trying to find the gaps in the West Bromwich defence, trying to waste some time as well.

Substitute Rosicky came on and made an impact on the game, finding van Persie inside the penalty box, before the Dutchman passed it on to Arteta, only for the Spaniard to fire into the back of the net, making it 3-0 to Arsenal FC.

This result simply means that Arsenal are 7th now, but level on points with Liverpool FC, whom dropped two points following their draw with Swansea City this weekend. That’s all for today, folks!

Arsenal FC v West Brom [BETTING GUIDE]

Arsenal FC have the 2nd best home record there is, garnering a total of 4 wins and 1 loss at the Emirates, so you can most certainly bet on an Arsenal FC win this weekend.

Bet365 Odds: Arsenal FC Win 2/5

My verdict: Don’t take that bet, low winnings ultimately means that there isn’t much of a point of betting, especially when Arsenal FC sometimes come up with that very surprising draw or loss in such games.

Bet365 Odds: Arsenal FC 3-1 Win 17-2

My Verdict: Sounds more sensible to me, but there are some better bets out there, this one is definitely worth considering, this one being my personal guess for this encounter.

Bet365 Odds: Van Persie to Score 2 or more Goals 11/4

My Verdict: I would personally go with this one, the Dutchman is in a very rich vein in form, so you can count on the striker’s reliable strike rate to show again and score against Roy Hodgson’s men this weekend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arsenal FC vs West Brom: Time To Extend the Streak

Arsenal FC head to West Brom in a very rich vein in form, with the Gunners’ mid-week draw in the Champions League providing many positive signs for Arsene Wenger’s men.

Arsenal are now all the way up in 7th place in the Barclays Premier League table, with their run of 3 wins in a row leaving them just 3 points adrift of the Champions League places, given their imperious form in recent weeks.

This would have been almost unthinkable just a few weeks ago, given Arsenal’s defensive woes, problems getting the goals, losing their two midfield superstars for relatively big sums of money in the summer (even one to a rival, that being Manchester City).

Unfathomable.

They’ve caught up with the likes of Liverpool FC and Tottenham, and I personally wouldn’t write them off for those Champions League places at all, if their victory against Chelsea last week is a sign of anything to come in the next few months for the Gunners.

Andre Santos is improving at an immense pace, him even earning a goal against the Blues last weekend, Gervinho is showing very good value for money, with incredible dribbling ability and finishing, whilst Van Persie, simply in stunning form, the Dutchman.

All this really points to an easy win for Arsenal FC this weekend against West Brom. After all, they were dismantled by Liverpool FC last weekend, I shouldn’t see Arsenal FC having any problems at the Emirates this weekend.