Category Archives: Contributors articles

Miyaichi Interview: “I am so glad to join a big club like Arsenal”

Miyaichi is looking forward to his first season with Arsenal

The name Ryo Miyaichi is one becoming increasingly familiar to Arsenal fans and is a player of whom great things are expected in the future and earlier this week caught up with Ryo to get his verdict on his progress so far.

Ryo, This is your first pre-season with Arsenal. How are you finding it?

“I am so glad to join a big club like Arsenal. So I really want to be prepared to play for them.”

You are a ‘new boy’ into the team. How are you bonding with the rest of the team?

“Everyone is welcoming and warm. They are trying to speak to me but my English is not at the good level yet. However I am trying to speak to them in English if possible.”

What are your thoughts on Arsène Wenger now you have had your first proper training sessions with him?

“I am so glad that Arsène Wenger appreciates me. I am very happy that he wanted me to join the training camp. I want to play with confidence and play to thank him.”

How much does it help to have manager who understands Japanese culture and the Japanese people?

“Arsène was with Grampus Eight so the Nagoya people know he is a great manager. I am from near Nagoya so I feel close [to them] and Arsenal coach Boro Primorac used to live quite near to my home.”

How do you describe yourself as a player?

“I am a player who wants use my speed to go past defenders. So it is about making use of my speed.”

What are your opinions on the skills of your team-mates at Arsenal and who in particular stands out?

“Arsenal play in one of the top leagues in the world. Everybody has great skills here. I feel that I can learn from everyone. I am just enjoying the chance to practice and to learn.”

How do you look back on your loan spell at Feyenoord?

“Of course this was my first year as a professional. I had a very good experience there. I was glad for the opportunity at Feyenoord. I really appreciated the fans and all the staff there.”

Did you make a big jump forward in standard because before you had been playing high school football?

“Technically I thought I improved. I was putting in effort to get a result. But it was not only technical. On the mental side I was aiming to get to a high level. I hope the effort I put as given me a high level now.”

Now you are back at Arsenal, what aims do you have for the coming season?

“I hope I can contribute to the team. I just want to work hard to do my best.”

Earlier Bacary Sagna had this to say about Miyaichi & Carl Jenkinson

“I thought they played their own games, they weren’t scared to play. They were full of confidence and that’s good for the team. I hope they will push us because we need this kind of players”.

Thomas Vermaelen also had this to say:

If you look at Ryo [Miyaichi], I’ve seen him a few times in the Dutch League because I follow it really well and he did well at Feyenoord. The people, the crowd loved him.

Some friends of mine played with him and said he’s a good guy and technically he’s really good so I’m looking forward to know them better when we play more games and train more with the ball”.

While Wenger had this to say about the Japanese winger:

“I rate him personally [and] it’s a good opportunity for him to show that he has the talent to play for Arsenal Football Club. He has an opportunity to show that [he is good enough for the first team].He has done extremely well at Feyenoord and wehave so many good reports. It will be interesting to see him play”.

By Ayaan Farah


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It’s time to establish our intentions

Is this the season where Arsene Wenger will finally change his principles? For us to compete on any front next season, he simply has to.

Post Champions League final, 2006, Arsene Wenger ripped up his rulebook & tried to teach Sir Alex Ferguson something about management, five years later, nothing has come to fruition. He injected all of his faith into youth and we have since been unable to break our trophy duck under the new philosophy.

Is it just me that feels this is the defining summer? If he fails to bring in the required players, we’ll struggle to maintain our Champions League status, never mind competing for the Premier League title. This is without even mentioning the possible departures of our captain, Cesc Fabregas and one of the Premier League’s most outstanding performers in 2010/11 – Samir Nasri.

At the time of Patrick Viera departing Arsenal, we had an adequate replacement with Fabregas, but if he is sold, will we reinvest the money? I’m not so sure, do we have an adequate replacement? Again, I’m not so sure. Consequently, I don’t want us to sell. Even if people say his heart isn’t there, he illustrated in his performances last season that he still enjoys playing for Arsenal, he gave 110% in every game he participated in.

Nasri’s situation though, is unconfirmed. He has yet to tell Wenger he wants to leave, as far as I’m concerned and no quotes have been issued that have stated Nasri’s unhappiness at Arsenal.

Irrespective of where Fabregas & Nasri end up come August 31st, just persistently remind yourself, no player is irreplaceable.

Written by Dominic Lostitch


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Contributors Article: Where Does Arsenal’s Defensive Flaw Actually Lie?

Same old story, same old story. Another season of disappointment has finally come to an end, a season of ups and downs. Many Arsenal fans around the world still thought that this was a season to remember, a season when we finally managed to break our trophy duck… February was when all went wrong. Getting to the Carling Cup final, beating an almost “unbeatable” Barcelona on home soil, progressing in the FA Cup, and trailing Manchester United in second place, we looked set to have a season to remember.

Our season started to slip down drastically, a defensive mixed-up caused what seemed to be the easiest goal to win a final match. We lost against Birmingham, some gooners had imagined what it would feel like to be favourites and lose. We did lose. After that, it was predictable mental breakdown. Look at these players, they’re young and fragile. Imagine promising a big thing to a little child and then not fulfilling it.

Some optimistic fans (who weren’t many) could still move on and said, ‘Don’t worry, we still have 3 trophies to win’. Some desperate fans kept looking for a scapegoat they could blame on regarding the shocking loss. Jack Wilshere expressed his disappointment on his twitter account, everybody did. But they all sounded much less dejected than they looked, they tried to keep in mind that there were still 3 major trophies to win. Unfortunately, young players are young players. We were thrashed out of the FA Cup and Champions League in quick succession, and instead of overtaking United, we went further down to fourth.

Defense, if you asked most Arsenal fans, they would say that defense was our main issue, which was pretty much right. According to the statistics (as shown below), among the top 4 finishers, we conceded the most. We conceded 43 goals.


Manchester United








Manchester City







2010/2011 season saw Laurent Koscielny, Johan Djourou, Sébastien Squillaci, and Thomas Vermaelen being our choices for centre back position, and with Thomas Vermaelen being sidelined for almost 8 months, it left us with only three of them being our centre back choices. Earlier in August 2010, Sébastien Squillaci finally signed for Arsenal from Sevilla, everybody expected him to be the typical French experienced defender that could be the answer to Arsenal’s weak defense. Despite wearing number 18, previously worn by Mikael Silvestre, he was believed not to end up the same way as Silvestre did. He was believed to offer physical presence and cope with aerial balls well, he was believed to be a star.

I am not into superstition, but 18 doesn’t seem a good kit number in Arsenal. Back to Squillaci’s story, he did SEEM to do well in 2010, Koscielny (who had partnered him most of the times) put in decent performance which apparently shadowed and blurred Squillaci’s error, but his true form was being slowly revealed going to 2011. An own goal to Wigan, 2 points wasted, a not necessary red card in an FA Cup match against Huddersfield, and some shaky moments. That doesn’t sound like how an experienced defender should perform.

Then Johan Djourou managed to rise up through the ranks, offering the “real” physical presence and height, he was often seen to deal with aerial balls very well. Injury hampered him again, everyone started to panic like he was the man whom we wouldn’t win without. That showed how important Johan was. I said “was”, because in the last 3 fixtures, he wasn’t himself anymore.

Defensive uncertainty has been a MAJOR issue within Arsenal FC, several players were brought in and were hoped to put it straight. Mikael Silvestre, Sebastien Squillaci, Laurent Koscielny, Thomas Vermaelen, even a member of the “Invincibles”, Sol Campbell was re-signed.  They were all hoped to form a strong defensive line. But the fact had never been unusual, NO players could even be half as good as Tony Adams or Steve Bould. In fact, Squillaci and Silvestre are the worst flop ever. All Arsenal fans had been moaning about our defenders not being able to deal with set-pieces. Going into statistics, their complaint was proved to be right.  According to Opta Joe, we condeded a higher proportion of goals from set-pieces (53.5%) this season than any other in the Premier League. I’m not a person who takes information straight away, I did my own research and going through our 43 goals conceded in 2010/2011 season.

It may be useless and a little stupid for me not to believe the stats Opta Joe gave us, but my research went a bit shocking. All I know about set-pieces is when the ball is played after stoppage, such as corner kicks, throw-ins,  free-kicks, and penalties (can’t mention more than those).  I did go through all the goals and I COULD be very wrong but here is the result…

Goals conceded through open play=

–          Liverpool’s 1st (A)

–          Blackburn Rovers’ 1st (A)

–          Bolton’s 1st (H) *through header

–          All West Brom’s 3 goals (H)

–          Chelsea’s 1st (A)

–          Birmingham’s 1st (H) *through header

–          Spurs’ 1st (H)

–          Fulham’s 1st (H)

–          Aston Villa’s 1st (A)

–          United’s 1st (A) *through header

–          Everton’s 1st (H)

–          West Brom’s 2nd (A)

–          Blackpool’s 1st (A)

–          Spurs’ 1st and 2nd (A)

–          Stoke’s 2nd and 3rd (A)

–          Aston Villa’s 1st and 2nd (H)

–          Fulham’s 1st (A)

–          Fulham’s 2nd (A) *through header

–          Newcastle’s 2nd (A)

That already counts 24 goals conceded through open play. I’m saying this one more time, this is only relevant to my own understanding of open-play which I have a big chance to be wrong about. Now, going to our goals conceded through set-pieces

Goals conceded through set-pieces=

–          Chelsea’s 2nd (A) *Alex’s free-kick

–          Newcastle’s 1st (H) *Carroll’s header

–          Everton’s 1st (A) *Cahill’s goal started out from a corner-kick

–          Spurs’ 2nd (H) *Van Der Vaart’s penalty kick

–          Spurs’ 3rd (H) *Kaboul’s header from a free-kick

–          Villa’s 2nd (A) *Ciaran Clark’s header started out from a corner-kick

–          Chelsea’s 1st (H) *Ivanovic’s header from a free-kick

–          Wigan’s 1st (A) *A penalty

–          Wigan’s 2nd (A) *Squillaci’s own goal

–          Newcastle’s 1st (A) *Barton’s penalty kick

–          Newcastle’s 3rd (A) *Barton’s penalty kick

–          Newcastle’s 4th (A) *Tiote’s volley started out from a half cleared free-kick

–          West Brom’s 1st (A) *header from a corner-kick

–          Liverpool’s 1st (H) *controversial penalty-kick

–          Spurs’ 3rd (A) *penalty kick

–          Bolton’s 1st (A) *Sturridge scored an indirect goal from a corner-kick

–          Bolton’s 2nd (A) *their winning goal, a header from a corner-kick

–          Stoke’s 1st (A) *Jones’ goal from a free-kick

–          Sunderland’s 1st (A) *Bent’s goal, started out from a free-kick

19 goals were conceded through set-pieces. I’m just giving my opinions of set-pieces goals, I would really love to receive any objections regarding my observation. Feel free to leave comments.

2010/2011 season also saw us conceding 9 penalty kicks, in which 2 were saved (Manuel Almunia’s save in a game against WBA and Szczesny’s save against Bolton),  1 was missed (Rooney’s penalty miss), and 6 were scored.

If my data is correct , then where did Opta Joe get that percentage from? I really want to see where I did wrong. And again, now a big “IF”, if my data is correct, let me put it this way… our defensive weakness didn’t only highlight in set-pieces, but pretty much our open play defense was something to fix.

Apart from my argument, I personally believe, unless Arsene splashed the cash on some decent defenders, we would be likely to stretch our trophy less season.

Written by Rhesa Ananta


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Contributors Post: Jay Emmanuel-Thomas – Why he should be promoted to the first team

He was born in Forest Gate, England to a St. Lucian mother and a Dominican father. He has been at Arsenal since he was 7 years old. He went on to become the captain of the under-18 youth team when he was just 16 years-old and became a professional in 2008.

In 2008 – He was one of the stars of the FA youth cup success.

In 2009 – This versatile youngster was on loan to Blackpool. The midfielder scored his first ever senior goal in the 3-3 draw with Doncaster. The quality of the run and finish left everyone wondering how far this kid can go.

In 2010 – He made his Arsenal debut when he was selected in the starting eleven against Stoke in a F.A cup 4th round match on 24th January. Later, he was sent on loan to Doncaster Rovers. He scored 5 times in 12 starts and 2 substitute appearances.

In 2010 – 2011 season he gave some excellent performances for Arsenal reserves and was handed out his 1st league appearance for the senior team against Chelsea on 3rd October, when he came on as a substitute for Jack Wilshere. He joined Cardiff City on loan in January.

He has played at numerous positions for his teams. He has played at Left back, as a left winger as a central midfielder and as a striker. Looking at some of our goalkeepers, I wonder why Wenger didn’t give him the gloves as well. He prefers to play as a striker though. He is big, strong and skillful – a rare combination. He regards Sol Campbell as his Idol and sees Abou Diaby as a player very similar to him (Only a better version of Diaby I think).

He showed the world what he is capable of, when he scored a wonder goal against Everton reserves in November, 2010.  The goal talked about over here was his second goal of the match. He cut in from the right and beat two Everton defenders with an outrageous peace of skill, and then beat the goalkeeper with a low shot in the corner. It was known as the Hocus – Pocus skill (Don’t look at me that way, I Google-d to confirm it). The Arsenal website described it as “With his left foot he somehow seemed to shift the ball around the back of his right leg and leave the defender behind in one graceful swooping motion before firing a low shot into the bottom-right corner from just inside the area. A piece of skill almost beyond words.”

Given his versatility he can play nearly anywhere on the field, but I would like to see him at the top.  We may hate Adebayor for all his antics, but he was something Arsenal needed Last season. Someone who is big, strong and can bully the defenders and score goals, and that too plenty of it. Van Persie, well for all his talents he spends nearly 6 months of every season on the treatment table. Terribly sad for a wonderful player like him and more so for Arsenal. Chamakh started out well then faded away with the season. I think he needs more time to settle in. Bendtner is on his way out – thankfully. For all our fancy once touch football and great build ups – Last season at times we didn’t have someone at the end of those moves, to provide the finishing touch. Especially against smaller teams, who go out there and “Park the Bus” in front of the goal (courtesy Jose Mourinho), we didn’t have a striker who can knock defenders down instead of getting knocked out himself.

Emmanuel-Thomas should fit in the team perfectly.  Wenger at times have shown reluctance to go in with two strikers, he won’t break his 4-3-3 system. JET as he is better known as can play either side of the front three and can also provide cover for Van Persie for the six months that he usually misses with Injuries. I don’t see Wenger going out and buying another striker even if Bendtner leaves. When was the last time you knew that Bendtner was there anyways? We were linked with a move for Benzema and most recently with Defoe. While Benzema is determined to stay at Madrid, as he won’t find niñas in London. Defoe’s transfer is bit more complicated, I think Arsenal should buy Defoe only if Tottenham buy Almunia and there should be a special clause where the spaniard has to be made there captain. On a serious note – why buy Defoe when you have such talents as JET in your reserves? Benzema would have been a great buy but surely not Defoe. IF given the proper chances that he deserves, I think we have a player who is ready to step up and be counted. The raw power that he will bring is needed in the Arsenal ranks. I hope he is not sent out on loan again. It has been reported that Cardiff is interested in bringing him back again. In Arsene we trust – Its time for Arsene to trust in Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, because it was foreboded by Wenger himself  “When his fitness is right, Jay will be not only a good player but a great player.”

Here is the goal against Everton for the reserves if you have not seen it! Leave a comment on your thoughts about the goal!

Written by Amlan Majumdar


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Contributors Post: A Gooner Gotta Dream!

Every time the footballing season comes to an end, it signals the start of transfer rumors. As usual, it is annoying for us gooners. How so u ask?

Well it’s because there are more news on players linked away from our club than those linked to us. Yes, we’ve already signed Carl Jenkinson, which is a great thing for the club’s future, as he is a young, talented, tall player. Mind you, most importantly he is English and a big gooner. We know whenever he takes the pitch he will give his all, at the moment we don’t have many of such players.

What is annoying me more is, the uncertainty of players like Nasri and Clichy, who have got just one year to go in their contract and Cesc Fabregas’s eventual return to Barcelona. To be honest, I would love if Wenger resolves Nasri’s situation soon, I seriously can’t stand united fans drooling over our French gunner.

Does Nasri deserve the wages he is asking for? Well, considering the rest of the stars at arsenal will be paid less than him, then no. He at least deserves an wage increase, we can’t loose him, and certainly not to united, it will just be disastrous. He has been fantastic this season, a little bit inconsistent but he single handedly won us games, we should keep him, we should keep our main stars.

On the other hand, Fabregas’s situation is inevitable; he will leave us sooner or later. I think by now Arsenal fans around the world have accepted that. Personally I would love it if Wenger kept him for one more season, buy well established players and aim higher next season so that we will be able to give Cesc a proper send off by winning trophies. We at least owe him that after all he has done for us.

We have to remember, transfer windows barely fulfill our expectations so it’s safe if we don’t dream big. We are used to it after all. But I feel it’s going to be different this time, this window seem different, and Wenger is under huge pressure to spend. He actually was ready to pay big for united bound Jones, that sure states intent.

Now that Carl is our first signing, we expect few more to follow. If the rumors in the papers are anything to go by, we will be signing Gervinho next week and we are in talks to sign both Samba and Cahill. Even so, we still need a DM and CF. I say sell, Nicky, Denilson, Diaby, Almunia, Clichy, Eboue and Buy De Rossi, Baines and Benzima.

Just imagine what Arsenal could be with such a strong team and it just get stronger if u take a look at the reserve team, we have Miyaichi, Wellington Silva, Lansbury, JET, Miquel and whole lot of young guns who are ready to fight for a place.

I know am just setting myself for a disappointment for dreaming big, But a gooner gotta dream, right?!

Hang in there beautiful gooners, glory day will be hear soon!

I leave u with a pic of our new recruit and a die hard gooner.

Written by Alias Astur – I’m new on the site, check out the ‘About’ tab to find out more about me.


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