Friday The 8th May, 2015
Welcome to Thank Bergkamp It’s Friday – where members of the Gunners Town writing team gather to take a look at the Arsenal week that’s just passed. It’s a simple format, really – each week, a smattering of our eclectic scribes will select a HERO, a VILLAIN, a HIGHLIGHT, and a LOWLIGHT from the previous seven days.
Lastly they will share what is in their ‘HEADLIGHTs‘, which could be a player to watch, a worry for a forthcoming match, a potential banana-skin to look out for….
We’d love to know what you think: do you agree/disagree? Did we miss something? If you would like to participate, please add your selections in the Comments below…
-~• HERO •~-
A shout out to a person/organization that you feel has done something praiseworthy in the past week.
Anu: Alexis Sanchez. I couldn’t be more grateful about our Chilean Tasmanian Devil. In only his first season for Arsenal and in what is arguably one of the toughest leagues to settle into, he has proved his quality and class. And what is exciting is that this is just the beginning!
Dave: Easy to say the team or the midfield against Hull but that would be a cop out. Everything we did well started with Santi. You have to feel for Ramsey and Wilshere with the form of the Spanish maestro neither will play where they want to – or at all – while Cazorla is in the form of his career. You will not see a better pass this year than the one he played for the Ramsey goal, and his face after the goal told you he knew it
Alex: Lionel Messi for me – the Argentinian single-handedly destroyed Bayern in 17 minutes – no small feat. Made Neuer and Boateng (World Champions) look like Almunia and Squillaci.
Steve: Rambo, for adapting to the right side midfield role, allowing Mesut, Alexis & Santi to excel in their natural positions.
Awolowo: Santi Cazorla. It’s his season. Simple as that. The deep role has done him a world of good.
Woody: Ruud Gullit for calling Chelsea boring.
Matt: Aaron Ramsey. In short, he was tremendous at Hull City. Despite being stuck out on the right wing and suffering that horrible challenge from Michael Dawson, which I thought would bring an end to his night. He took his goal superbly, his assist was awesome, and he generally looked in the mood to remind everyone of why he was so raved about last season. He’s looking good.
Andrea: It’s virtually impossible to choose one individual, honestly. Our first-half performance during the game against Hull was just magnificent, with all the silky passes, penetrating moves, back-heel touches and goals, of course. Since I have to choose one, I’ll go for Aaron Ramsey: he’s been lucky with his goal but the way he picked Alexis Sanchez running behind Hull defensive line was majestic. Welcome back, Welsh Jesus!
Jamie: Mesut Ozil‘s performance against Hull only got voted a 6 in some newspapers but the German playmaker was majestic again. His back heel flick to set up Alexis Sanchez was worth the entrance fee alone.
HERO of the Week: Rambo
-~• VILLAIN •~-
A shout-down to a person/organization that you feel has done something shameworthy in the past week.
Anu: It is becoming rather tedious but so is the media and pundits clambering to prove a conspiracy against poor ol’ champions Chelsea. Boring boring much?
Dave: Mourinho’s continuing the ridiculous spat with Arsenal’s fans and and the media’s going along with it. It’s just terrace banter, you muppets. Maureen and Chelsea fans need to get a sense of humour.
Alex: Cesc Fabregas – on top of leaving us in the manner he did, joining Chelsea and diving at the Emirates he now named Borinho the best manager. The Spaniard is dead to me.
Steve: Mourinho. Just wish he’d keep his mouth shut & mind his own business.
Awolowo: Thierry Henry. For trying to be Michael Owen on TV.
Woody: Jose Mourinho – for being, well, Jose Mourinho.
Matt: Lionel Messi. What he does should be illegal. It’s not fair.
Andrea: Stewart Robson’s bitterness is sensational. It’s been s a while since I heard a word from this man (I guess we were performing too well…) but then he popped-up with this nonsense about Jack Wilshere leaving to learn more about the game at…Chelsea or Manchester City! Anything’s good to stick the knife, isn’t it?
Jamie: Tom Huddlestone, the former Tottenham heavyweight nearly took out Aaron Ramsey with a nasty challenge in the first half against Hull. This gave the Welshman some good motivation to pick apart their defence later on in the game.
VILLAIN of the Week: Moroñho
-~• HIGHLIGHT •~-
The most memorable or poignant moment of the past week. Typically an event, rather than a person/organization.
Anu: Scoring three beautiful goals and playing some very Arsenal football versus Hull. That it cemented our position and brought on St. Totteringham’s Day is a lovely bonus.
Dave: Securing the 20th anniversary of St. Tott’s Day with 4 games to spare and Champions League at the same time. Now we must finish 2nd.
Alex: Juventus deservedly beating Real at home. I was surprised by how organised and calmly Juve played – they really deserved a wider margin. The second leg is going to be heated. The Italians now stand a very real chance of going through.
Steve: A bit obvious but celebrating our 20th consecutive St Totteringham’s Day.
Awolowo: That cozy 1st half performance at Hull.
Woody: The two B’s, Barcelona and Bournemouth – two sides kicking ass while trying to play entertaining football. Sure – throw Pep in there too, going to Camp Nou with 3 defenders.
Matt: That Mesut Özil flick was sexy, and is just an isolated celebration of all the wonderful things he does on the pitch.
Andrea: As I said, the way Aaron Ramsey assisted Alexis Sanchez for his second goal of the night was wonderful; however, that back-heel touch from Mesut Özil to free Alexis Sanchez on the left wing was definitely something else. Those moments of pure class, mixed with the more and more influence in our passing game, are finally convincing people that Mesut Özil can lift this team.
Jamie: Confirming for the 20th straight season our dominance and superiority over our rivals from down the road. As expected they had their cup final on February 7th.
HIGHLIGHT of the Week: Happy St. Tott’s Day!
-~• LOWLIGHT •~-
The most forgettable or disappointing moment of the past week. Typically an event, rather than a person/organization.
Dave: The low views for my superb St. Totteringham’s Day blog and song. HaHa! I was so confident in the outcome I wrote the lyrics in March!
Alex: Chelsea winning the title and all the disgusting behaviour of their fans in the aftermath. Classless club.
Steve: Watching a racist scum lifting the title, along with the Chav scumbags abusing Rio.
Awolowo: Chelsea winning the league of course.
Woody: Chelsea winning of course. With 8 defensive players on the pitch, on a sunny afternoon, at home, on a day where you can claim a league title, against Palace.
Matt: If only Santi Cazorla could have finished that chance to make it 4-1 at Hull. The move was captivating and deserved a goal, but Cazorla’s effort was tame, and it isn’t the first time I’ve said that about him in recent weeks.
Andrea: Danny Welbeck injury is this week’s lowlight for me. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, we can’t afford to lose any player going into a very busy schedule; we’ll need to rotate as we are playing three games in ten days before the FA Cup final, his presence and pace can be very useful.
Jamie: The yearly news of how many tickets for the FA Cup final will go to the ‘football family’ leaving real fans of Arsenal and Aston Villa scrambling around for a ticket to the big game. If only the FA cared about the two participating teams as much as their football family.
LOWLIGHT of the Week: Chelsea Buying The League
-~• HEADLIGHT •~-
A prediction or warning for the week ahead. Perhaps a banana skin that we need to look out for; the return of a player; something you are looking forward to…
Anu: Finishing our season strongly is key before we can turn our attention to the cup final. Post their Liverpool and Man City wins, Man Utd have collapsed. They are wounded and in what appears to be a combination of bad form and lack of confidence. A game against us might be just what they need to get all fired up. We need to be focused on winning and do what is necessary, no complacency.
Dave: The various permutations in team selection over the next few games as Wenger looks at his options ahead of the Wembley decisions. You can say as much as you like it’s a squad game but only 14 of 20 plus fit players can play in the FA Cup Final. It sis a squad game but NOT on May 30th
Alex: I’m slowly turning into Arsene Wenger here, but I really think our game against Swansea is of utmost importance. We no longer have to pay attention to Chelsea or what’s happening outside the top four, however both Manchester clubs are still in the race with us. United have potential for dropping more points playing Palace away; City are unlikely to be robbed at home against an almost-relegated QPR. So our win on Monday should be the main focus.
Steve: 4 games, 4 wins, 2nd place. Not bad for a team that was 7th at best according to the tabloid press.
Awolowo: Looking forward to seeing the same XI for the 5th league game in a row, on Monday.
Woody: Be warned, I sense a silky season of epic c@ntishness this year…
Matt: The debate as to who should start at right back heading into the FA Cup final. Ramsey doesn’t stretch the play enough if shift out onto the right side of midfielder, but he works there if he has Héctor Bellerín tearing it up to the outside of him. Mathieu Debuchy is more defensively sound, but doesn’t offer as much in attack. The Reading semi-final was the perfect example of that.
Andrea: The win against Hull meant we secured top four finishing for another year, a win against Swansea on Monday could mean that we secured top-three finish – which will result in Champions League football without going through the heart-killing playoffs. No chance we slow down now, Gunners!
Jamie: Something I am looking forward to in the next week or so is nailing down second position against Swansea and then a trip to Old Trafford to really finish of Manchester United’s season. No Champions League qualifier in August would be a great relief.
HEADLIGHT of the Week: Silver. (It’ll do.)
Special thanks to this week’s contributors: