Do you think Chelsea could replicate the ‘Invincibles’?

Chelsea is a team on form. So far they are unbeaten in the league. Having played 9 games, they have won 7 and drawn two away games at both Manchester clubs. Many pundits have fancied the current team to match the achievements of Wenger’s men in the 2003/2004 season.

As a Gooner, I don’t think any team will ever match the ‘Invincibles’. The ‘Invincibles’ were characterized with pugnacious attacking football. This style is incongruous with any of the Mourinho’s side despite the attacking talent in his current team. Their late goals against the Manchester clubs show that Mourinho’s mindset is to protect the lead by defending. The same could not be said of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’.

It is still early in the season but football experts have not shied from comparing the current Chelsea team to the famous ‘Invincibles’. Do you think the current Chelsea team is as good as the ‘Invincibles’?

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English flavour at Arsenal again

It used to be a French revolution at Arsenal but now the club bares a distinct English appearance, with a large part of Roy Hodgson’s England team formed under Arsene Wenger.

There were five Gunners in the party to play San Marino and Estonia - Kieran Gibbs, Calum Chambers, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere and Danny Welbeck. It would have been six if Theo Walcott was fit and while some of them are home grown at the Emirates Stadium and some have been bought in, the fact remains - no team supplied more players to the England squad in the last round of internationals than Wenger’s. Arsenal’s England players aren’t merely making up the numbers either. Gibbs is evidently a rival to Leighton Baines for the left-back spot, starting in place of the Everton man against San Marino. Chambers has been touted along with the Toffees’ John Stones as the future of the England defence, a tag Oxlade-Chamberlain has carried for a while in midfield. Wilshere is no longer a player for the future after the retirements of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard and Welbeck is the foil to the captain and main striker, Wayne Rooney.

They all have crucial roles to play, be it now or in the future, and the same is true at club level. Gibbs, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere and Welbeck are four of Arsenal’s highest-scoring EuroFantasyLeague players. Chambers numbers are affected by the fact that Arsenal have kept only one Premier League clean sheet all season but the ex-Southampton youngster is still learning at this level. Give him time and he should become one of the highest-rated defenders anywhere.

Wenger had often said he wanted his Arsenal side to have more of an English flavour. At times it felt almost like tokenism, a way to keep at bay critics of his foreign imports. But the manager has proven a man of his word and it’s no exaggeration to say Arsenal are setting a trend that, if it was followed by other clubs, would leave the national team in much better shape.

Walcott’s return to fitness will only help matters further. The 25-year-old is back in training and, having been around the Arsenal and England set-up since 2006, is something of a young veteran. The prospect of Walcott linking up with Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere and Welbeck is an appetising one for Arsenal - and better yet, it can be replicated for England too.

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Arsenal need more players of Sanchez caliber

The expensive signing of the Chilean from Barcelona FC has justified his value for money. His fighting spirit is admirable. You cannot doubt his commitment. The Chilean is the top goal scorer for Arsenal with 8 goals in all competitions.

The Chilean has been on form. Hitting goals right, left and center. Amid the sluggish performances around his teammates, Sanchez has refused to be dragged down the mediocrity path.

The Chilean has showed the spirit highlighted by Aaron Ramsey in the previous season. Arsenal players should use him as a template to improve their performances.

The latest Arsenal news below.

Arsenal Legends and Misfits: Would they have what it takes to play poker with the world’s elite?

As Arsenal fans, we’ve all enjoyed witnessing Lukas Podolski stick it to Spurs this week when he offered a riposte to a BBC tweet that suggested he may be on his way to White Hart Lane. If anything it offered a little light-hearted comedy for a season of indifferent results, thus far.

So, with Podolski’s jibe in mind, we thought we’d offer a feature with a slice of light hearted comedy itself and look back at some of Arsenal’s legends and see if they have what it takes to mix it in the world poker.

It has been well publicised the amount of ex-professional footballers who have ventured into the professional ranks of poker once they hung their boots up. Ex-England striker Teddy Sheringham had a stint on the European Tour circuit, former Leeds United flop Tomas Brolin briefly flirted with poker after his premature retirement and also Dwight Yorke, not one to avoid flashy events, tried his luck too.

But maybe one of the most interesting stories was that of Gerard Pique this summer when he played at the World Series of Poker event in Las Vegas. Following Spain’s early exit from the competition, Pique decided to go up against the world’s elite to combat the disappointment of his national team’s performance in Brazil.

Although there aren’t many notable ex-professionals from Arsenal that have made a name for themselves in the world of the poke, it could possibly be only a matter of time. After the poker boom pre-millennium, the launch of the first online portal InterCasino followed which transformed the sport into a more mainstream and accessible hobby for many sports fans. Since then retired sportsmen and women have seen poker as an opportunity to continue in professional and competitive sport.
But which of the Arsenal legends to we think would excel in the world of poker? However, throwing the legends into the mix may be a little mundane, so we’ve thrown some wildcards in there, too.

Robert Pires – The flashy French winger was known for his flair and trickery and this would no doubt transcend to the poker table. Fearless when faced with his opposition, Pires would fit right in with the grandeur lifestyle a poker professional leads.

Sol Campbell – Calm under pressure, Campbell would be at home in heads-up situations where he would be cool and calculated. Methodical behind every move, Campbell would have the temperament to perform among poker’s elite.

Niklas Bendtner – Erratic, mischievous and completely unpredictable, Bendtner would be the European equivalent of poker loudmouth Phil Hellmuth. His annoying behavior would no doubt upset his opposition and he would be a nightmare to read.

Ian Wright – Loud and boisterous, Wrighty would definitely be fun to play against. However, would he use such patter to distract his opposition? Wrighty was underrated by many in the game during his stint at a pro, so maybe people would be foolish to do the same at the poker table.

Thierry Henry – Much like Pires, if anything Henry would bring class and confidence to the table. Never intimidated by opponents and always willing to take risks to accomplish his goals, you’d expect Henry to throw a few bluffs in with some uncompromising play.

What Arsenal players past and present do you think would perform well in the world of poker? Leave your comments below.

Per Mertesacker: Style need to change

Per Mertesacker has had his say on the current form of Arsenal. He says that Arsenal has not started the season in a fashionable way as they would have liked. Currently, the Gunners are 11 points off from the top in EPL.

Per is of the opinion that the Gunners passing is not as sharp as in the previous year. The Gunners have been accused of sterile dominance over the opponents. They are not able to convert their domination into wins.

Per said, "The passing game is not as efficient as last year. We are not at our best, we have to admit that. We have to be honest to ourselves and train harder.’’

Arsenal will face Sunderland at the stadium of light on Saturday. Good luck boys.

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CL: Gibbs and Podolski save Arsenal blushes

Arsenal struggled for the major part of the match. In fact, before they scored they barely troubled the opponent’s goal. It was a dull, flat and uninspiring 88 minutes of action from Arsenal FC.

Arsene Wenger will remain worried in the manner which Arsenal is impotent in front of the opponent’s goal. In the yester night game, against a club that has won 2 of their last 33 CL games, Arsenal cannot be considered as favorites for CL unless they improve. Their defensive frailties were evident for everyone to see.

When Anderlecht scored in the 71st minute it seemed all over for the Gunners. However, late late goals from Gibbs and Podolski ensured Wenger’s birthday celebration was not ruined. It was a remarkable comeback.

At the end, what matters most is that the 3 points went to the Londoners. So was it Arsenal class or Anderlecht nervousness that won Arsenal the three points?

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Arsenal face another injury ahead of CL tie with Anderlecht

Arsenal will have to deal with another injury blow. This time it’s the Colombian goalkeeper, David Ospina. The goalkeeper has been ruled out for the trip to Belgium to face Anderlecht.

With Szczesny suspended and the injury to Ospina, this leaves the rookie goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez as the remaining option. Despite the injury crisis Arsene Wenger is confident that Arsenal will get a result in the away trip.

The North London side will, however, need to up their game given their recent results as well as their away record in the Champions League. Good luck to the boys. No excuses this time.

The latest Arsenal news below.

Do you still believe in Wenger?

A dark cloud hangs over Emirates. The situation was confirmed by the Hull draw. After the Chelsea defeat, I bragged to my friends how we would go a long winning streak given our upcoming fixtures. It is not happening. Even the confidence of dominating ‘inferior’ teams is no longer there.

Recently, Ivan Gazidis said Wenger is irreplaceable. It is a statement to hard to agree with. With all due respect to Wenger, I don’t believe he has the same touch he had 10 years ago. I don’t see any other big club allowing any manager to stay on with only an FA trophy to show for 10 years! It is inexplicable. There is a strange form of mediocrity that has engrained Arsenal such that coming fourth severally is considered progress.

Bar from the Villa victory, Arsenal has been pretty awful. Players do not look spirited. Perhaps they are contented. ‘’With what?’’ one may ask. Shambolic performances have been coupled with ‘sterile’ dominance. One begs to ask, ‘what has happened?’

The predicament facing Arsenal is not new. It is the same old problems. Problem #1 is injuries. This is not new. Problem #2 is failure to address obvious weakness areas. This is not new either. Problem #3 is our style. The passing game seems to suit our rivals. Do you realize how easy it is to defend against Arsenal? How many times have you screamed ‘shoot ‘ while watching our games?

Crisis is a cliché but I am afraid that what is facing us. The manager and the players need to look themselves on the mirror. Nobody will help us from this crisis but ourselves.

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Arsenal left wobbling after Hull draw

There you go fellows, another draw. Another abject and inauspicious performance. Another season we are out of the EPL challenge yet it is only the 9th game.

I now believe in time travel. It feels like 2011-2012 season again. At least in the mentioned season there was little hope. 2014/2015 was a season I expected Arsenal to be genuine league contenders. Paradox moments there. With the current trend, I even doubt we will get the perennial fourth spot.

It is frustrating seeing us concede p*ss goals. It is even more frustrating to see the team fail to convert its possession dominance into goals. The lack of ruthlessness in this Arsenal team is delirious.

It is now one win in the last seven EPL games and eleven points behind the league leaders. Seriously, I cant!

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Wenger confirms Kolscieny is out

Arsene Wenger has confirmed the worst news to Arsenal fans. Laurent Kolscieny will not recover in time for the Saturday clash with Hull City. The Frenchman injured his Achilles on international duty with France.

His injury adds to the mounting injuries around Emirates at the moment. With Chambers suspended, Arsenal could face Hull City with a back four of Per, Gibbs, Monreal and Bellerin.

On the positive side, Arteta, Walcott and Gnabry are back in the squad.

The latest Arsenal news below.

Gazidis: Wenger is irreplaceable

Arsene Wenger is currently the longest serving manager in the EPL. Recently, the Frenchman celebrated his 18th anniversary as the manager of the Gunners. In his reign, Wenger has won 3 EPL titles and 5 FA cups. Gazidis has claimed that it is almost impossible to replace Wenger at Emirates.

Speaking to the club’s website, Gazidis said: ‘’The biggest challenge we’re going to face as a club is that, when the transition from Arsene to the next manager of our football club happens – and I don’t know what that’s going to be – that we come through that strongly.”

Do you believe that Wenger is irreplaceable?

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The Walcott return could reignite the spark at Arsenal

The biggest encouragement for Arsenal is the imminent return for Walcott after missing action for a lengthy period. He suffered a knee injury during the FA match with Spurs.

Walcott has been an important player for Arsenal. In fact, his absence from action contributed to lack of pace in the team. The direct approach by Walcott injects pace in the team.

Actually, his absence from action has been linked to the poor form of Ozil. Ozil’s ability to pick a pass is well exploited by Walcott’s ability to bust beyond the opposition’s defense.

Arsene Wenger will hope that Walcott quickly returns to full fitness to fire Arsenal in search of another trophy.

The latest Arsenal news below.

Injuries, why Always us?

Recently, and as the case has been, when you peruse the sports papers, there is news about an injured Arsenal player. Ozil and Kolscieny are the recent culprits. What did we do to the football gods to deserve this?

So far these are the current injured players: Kolscieny (to be determined), Ozil (12 weeks), Debuchy (10 weeks), Giroud (10 weeks), Ramsey (6 weeks), Arteta (2 weeks), Sanogo (2 weeks), Gnabry (1 week) and Walcott (1 week).

With an accumulative total of 890 injuries since 2002 shows that something is seriously wrong. One has to question the training methods as well as the medical team. How many times have we been told an injured player is a few days away from action only to suffer setbacks ruling him out for a lengthy period?

Call it bad luck but something needs to be done.

The latest Arsenal news below.

Wojciech Szczesny: Chelsea are favorites for the EPL title

Szczesny has labelled Chelsea as the favorites to lift the EPL title on May. The Arsenal Goalkeeper admitted that Arsenal were beaten because of the ‘brilliance’ of the Blues.

Szczesny, speaking to reporters said: ‘I thought it was a very even game but Chelsea have an ability to keep clean sheets at home and I thought they were very good, they took their chances with two brilliant moments’.

The Gunners now remain 9 points off the leaders with 10 points from a possible 21 points.

Hi Gooners, Do you agree with Szczesny?

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Arsenal undefeated run halted by Chelsea

It was a derby full of tension and action. A derby highlighted by dubious referee decisions, shovings and so forth. However, in the end the more clinical team was handed the victory. Arsenal sterile dominance didn’t help much.

Arsenal did not perform that bad. Actually, Arsenal matched the Blues in the whole game. The only difference was the brilliant run by Hazard to win a penalty and convert it.

It was not another capitulation for Arsenal but it leaves nothing to cheer about. In such a game, we expect our star players to shine but they don’t. Like I have always said, in such a game any goal will count. It doesn’t matter how it has been scored. Arsenal will tend to ‘walk it in’ which makes it impossible especially in well-organized defenses.

Arsenal are now 9 points behind the leaders. Mourinho extended his unbeaten streak by Wenger to 12. Are the Gunners already out of the EPL title race? We wait.

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It's time Arsenal beats Chelsea

Arsenal will lock horns with Chelsea in a hotly contested derby tomorrow. It’s a derby that Arsenal will look to revenge last season’s 6-0 drabbing by Chelsea at Stamford.

Arsenal have not done well against sides who have finished above them. Actually, Arsenal has won once and lost 16 games in their last 20 away matches against teams who have finished above them. Horrible stats there.

Arsenal can beat Chelsea. However, for this to happen there is need for change in tactics. Observing a high defensive line is an obvious no. Wenger should urge his full backs to play more defensively against a team like Chelsea who are lethal in counter attacking.

Leadership will be crucial. In the absence of Arteta (captain), there is dire need for a leader on the pitch.
Good luck to the Arsenal. It is that time that Wenger breaks that duck against Mourinho.

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Has Wenger done enough since his 1,000th match at Chelsea?

When Wenger was marking the anniversary for a millennium matches as the manager of Arsenal, things turned out sour. Arsenal were thrashed 6-0 by Chelsea in what was the 1000th game for Wenger. Like they say, in football anything can happen. However, failing to learn from mistakes is unforgivable.

The Gunners will travel to Stamford this weekend full of confidence after a confident victory over Galatasaray. The Gunners should expect a different game from the London rivals. So, has Wenger done enough to prevent a repeat of the previous shambolic performance at Stamford?

The Blues will, obviously, like the other top teams target our weak spots. The Gunners are sharp in attack but technically inept in defending. With Flamini expected to anchor the midfield, he needs to be on top alert to negate the threat offered by the Chelsea attack.

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Arsenal too good for Gala in CL

As Arsene Wenger marked his 18th anniversary at Arsenal, he couldn’t get a better gift than the Arsenal exquisite performance that blushed away the Turkish side. The obvious star of the match was Danny Welbeck who scored a hat-trick with glorious finishes.

In the build-up of the match, Arsenal were lamenting the number of injuries around the team. However, yester night not even the flares thrown on the field by the Gala fans could obstruct the flair of Arsenal play. It was great stuff in all fairness.

The win ensures that Arsenal puts pressure on BVB for the top spot.

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