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Remember, remember the month of November

Remember, Remember the month of November.

The month that’s always filled up with mixed results for Arsenal Football Club. It was the month where Robin Van Persie suffered a five-month injury layoff in a meaningless international friendlybetween the Netherlands and Italy thanks to that Capo called Giorgio.

In the 2008/09 campaign, Arsenal lost away to Stoke City thanks to two throwing line-to-goal missiles by their pelter-in-chief, Rory Delap. Arsenal then recorded a bore draw against Fenerbahce in the Champions League before Samir Nasri scored a brace in the 2-1 win over Manchester United. Shortly after the elation of defeating the defending champions, Arsenal secured back-to-back defeats against Aston Villa and Manchester City before ending the month on a high with a 2-1 victory against Chelsea.

In the 2009/10 campaign, the month was a lot happier for Arsene Wenger’s men but the club was stunned by an incisive Sunderland at the Stadium of Light before two Didier Drogba goals and a Thomas Vermaelen own goal saw Chelsea run out as 3-0 wins at the Emirates.

Last season, Gael Clichy’s studipity at the left flank made Darijo Srna steal the ball from him before giving Eduardo a pass and the rest was history in a 2-1 loss to Shakhtar. Andy Carroll in a Newcastle shirt compounded Arsenal’s misery with a header that was enough to hand Alan Pardew’s side all three points.

Lukasz Fabianski inspired the side to two away victories on the trot against Everton and Wolves but Tottenham inflicted the worst possible injury to the Gunners that month after coming back from two goals down to win the game. SC Braga received a whooping in their visit to the Emirates in August but they came up against a surprisingly lack luster Arsenal and a brace from Matheus put Arsenal’s Champions Leagues hopes on a thin thread.

A league victory over Aston Villa followed by a Carling Cup quarterfinal win over Wigan was enough to end the month on a positive note.

This season, Arsenal starts November with a game tonight against Olympique Marseille before hosting West Brom on the 5th of November and it’s well worth noting that West Brom stunned Arsenal at the Emirates last season in a game that cost Manuel Almunia his jersey. He was equally shambolic in the second leg in March.

After the West Brom tie, Arsenal will visit newbies Norwich City before an all-important clash against German Bundesliga champions, Borussia Dortmund. Fulham comes up next before  ending the month with a spicy Carling Cup quarterfinal fixture with high-flyers Manchester City.

For tonight’s fixture, I expect Wojciech Szczesny to be between the sticks while Carl Jenkinson and Andre Santos will provide ammunition from the full back positions. Thomas Vermaelen is fully fit again so I expect him to partner the in-form Laurent Koscielny in the heart of Arsenal’s defense.

The midfield will belong to the impressive trio of Alex Song, Mikel Arteta and the resurgent Aaron Ramsey. These men have been ever-present in Arsenal’s squad this season and their performances have been top-notch.

The attack will be led by the man on fire, Robin van Persie and he’ll have the trickery of Gervinho and the raw pace of Theo Walcott to support him.

Enjoy the match wherever you are.

Sayonara

the voting for the Gooner Daily awards of October hasn’t ended yet. Click here to vote.

Gooner Daily launches its facebook page

On the 26th of November 2010 four graduates from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria decided to see each other for the first time since they left school. The meeting was scheduled for 11 am in Maitama, Abuja. The participants of the re-union were Bo$$ VOE, Jubrizzy, Pimpin Tomasz and the Enigma that was born on the 10th of June thereby forming the Twitter handle @enigma106. After a few drinks and long dialogues about old school stuff, girls and money making plans for the foreseeable future, the latest trending topic was about the team we support, Arsenal FC. Jubrizzy is a red devil though.

The 1st Arsenal blog I had ever seen written by a fellow Nigerian was Bo$$ VOE O2ice so the Bo$$ himself and Tomasz advised me to start my own Arsenal blog because Tomasz knew that when we were still in school, I visited arseblog more than I visited google and I’ve always had in-depth knowledge of Arsenal FC because I always won arguments when it came to Arsenal, its history and of course its players past and present. Bo$$ VOE recommended WordPress for BlackBerry for me and after spending over 15 minutes looking for a name I settled for Gooner Daily because I’m a gooner and I was pretty sure that I could blog on a daily basis because as a graduate I have all the fucking time for it.

I’ve also had this crazy but funny habit/talent of giving nicknames to all my close friends so the gunners were not going to be any different but after some advice from GGMT Morris and Tomasz himself, I cut down a bit on the nicks because I had the target of getting Nigerian as well as international readers.

154 days, 122 posts, 158 comments and 3086 readers later, I’ve decided to expand my Gooner horizon by opening a page on Facebook so that my esteemed readers can also be notified when I publish my posts as well as adding Arsenal photos, videos, links and notes so if you’re reading this blog right now and you own a Facebook account, I’ll be extremely grateful and honoured if you go to the search tab and type “Gooner Daily” then like the page. I’m working on adding the like badge to the widgets sidebar on the right hand side so that it’ll be a lot easier for you to check it out.

You can also follow the blog on Twitter @goonerdaily. Anytime I get followed on Twitter, my BlackBerry plays one of my favourite rock songs, Hysteria by Muse. That’s the ringtone I used for my new email notifications. This means that I’ll follow you back moments later. Besides, we are one big Goonerific family. I also mention some of my followers anytime I publish a post so if you want to be part of the list, just mention me or send me a direct message on Twitter.

I’m also very interactive with my followers so if you have a piece of info you want to share with the Arsenal World, tweet it but mention me so that I can see it. Let me give you a classic example.

@DaygeeDr: I think that the team that’s presently in fourth place is known as Man Shitty” www.manshitty.com Cc @goonerdaily

By that Cc I’ll be able to see the info and use a way to add it to the blog but if I already know that Man Shitty exists that’ll be a different case. @DaygeeDr was the one that showed me a link how Chelsea’s Rugby helmet wearing Keepsinger James Blunt said that we had bottled up our chance while @ChuksBass has been more than helpful times without number.

The not so royal wedding I’m about to attending is ongoing but I and my sister intend to go for the reception around 6 that’s why I had the time to write today’s post. Don’t forget that you can also subscribe to this blog with your email so that you’ll be notified anytime I publish a post. It’s on the widget sidebar on the right hand side.

Thanks for reading today’s post and don’t forget to tell other gooners about…

Gooner Daily…Your daily Arsenal digest.

In my blog there’s a widget for the Gunner of the Month. Wilshere was the Gunner of the Month for March so I intend to put up a new Gunner there. I’ll also put up the poll on the page then ask my followers on Twitter.

The Gooner Daily nominees are: El Capitan, rVp and current holder Wilshere

Man Utd’s preview comes up in tomorrow’s post.

For the girls who seek royal weddings after witnessing yesterday’s own, they could meet a guy whose English name would be William who is also the prince of his village.  The wedding would be royal but she shouldn’t expect everyone to wear hats or wave flags for her. She could also console herself by playing K’naan’s waving flag.

At least she would hear the sound of someone telling people to wave their flags.

Sayonara.

Cup “distractions” are finally over…time to gun for the Premier League

Another Monday is upon us again. The last fortnight will not bring any fond memories for the Arsenal faithful. We are 10 weeks away from two possible outcomes. Either we win the Premier League or we go trophyless for the 6th year in a row.

The only unfortunate thing about our final surge for the league is that we’ll go into the home stretch of the season with Johan Djourou and Wojciech Szczesny.

Johan Djourou will definitely look back to this season in his latter years as his breakthrough season in Arsenal Football Club. After a series of patchy performances in his early years, his career was almost blighted by that horrific knee injury he suffered that sidelined him for almost a year.

He started this season as our 4th choice center back behind Vermaelen, Koscielny and the Squisha.

Vermaelen was the 1st to go with his famous “3 day” Achilles injury. When he was introduced in the Carling Spoon 3rd round encounter, he was quite shaky but as soon as he started getting games under his belt, his confidence levels soared. He then emerged to be our best defender by a mile this season with his dominant performances. There used to be times when a simple ball over the top was all the opposition needed to destroy our defense. Djourou’s height and physique played a major role in quelling that threat. Sagna’s accidental clash with him on Saturday meant that Arsenal will be without Injourou’s services for the remainder of the season because he has dislocated his shoulder. In Football Manager you’ll be out for 4 months. Good luck to the brown mohawked lad as he starts his long road to recovery.

Wojciech Szczesny on the other hand has gone to see a specialist. The specialist may advice for a surgery to fix the tendon problem. The initial diagnosis for his injury stands at 6 weeks but if he undergoes surgery Wojciech will be out for the rest of the season.

These 2 players have sent thoughts through AW the Alchemist’s head. It’s now left for him to decide who’ll be behind the sticks on a permanent basis next season. I’m positive that it’s going to be a Pole. I don’t know if it’ll be the older or the younger.

We are now left in the last hurdle. We need our players to stand up and be counted. Our goal hungry attackers have being shooting blanks in recent weeks.

There is no more talk of “fixture congestion”. We play our games on Saturdays and Sundays so I don’t see any reason why we can’t win all our remaining games till the end of the season. The last time we were faced in a situation like this, Count Houllier’s Red Vampires came to Highbury. A Henry hattrick resurrected our challenge and we went on to our only trophy that season. The Premier League. We even went unbeaten.

I don’t need rVp to score a hattrick on Saturday against WBA. All I need is a routine victory. That’ll put us on 60 points. Blackburn will be the next to visit the Emirates. Arsenal’s goal scoring wife Paul Robinson will be between the sticks again. We don’t have to pump 6 past him this time. All I need is for us to enough to get 3 points. That’ll put us on 63. Our next trip will be against the adventurous outfit known as Blackpool. We drilled 6 past them in August. I’ll settle for a boring 2-0 scoreline. That’ll put us on 66. Count Dalglish will come with his Red Vampires from Anfield Transylvania in a sunny afternoon. His Vampire’s don’t thrive well at the Emirates. A late Bendtner header will be enough to take us to 69 points. We’ll then head up North to battle Owen Coyle’s Bolton. I wouldn’t mind a Wilshere brace. That’s 72 points. The next game will undoubtedly be our game of the season on the 30th of April. A rVp free kick and an Evra own goal should do the magic. That’ll be 75 points for us and probably a healthy gap extended. Our grit and guile will be tested in Delap’s Brittania Stadium. There’ll be lots of towels for him but a Fabregas penalty should be good enough to take us to 78. We then host Aston Villa with a chance to go 81 up. I hope they won’t be among the bottom 3 when we play them because I don’t intend us to be “forgiving”. The curtain closer will be in Craven Cottage, London. It’s either they clap for us as we enter or the podium will be set after the game. That’ll put us on 84.

84 points is more than enough to secure the Premier League title. Let’s not forget that there’s a revenge game in hand against our bitter rivals Twitch FC so a win there will put us at 87 points.

I’m not a clairvoyant, I’m just a die hard optimistic fan.

It’s not obvious that all the cup “distractions” are over.

Arsenal FC, do it for Aw the Alchemist, the man that has been more than a father.

Our very own Capuan Lanista, who has built the finest gladiators.

Doctore Fabregas, Sparta van Persie and Crixus Nasri, we need you more than ever.

Please, stand up and be counted.

Sayonara

If you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and……..try again

I had so much Guinness yesterday morning and I entered Guinness drinking “season 2″ yesterday night. All I could see in my dreams were bottles of Guinness jumping up and down in a meadow. I’m fully awake with a very bad headache but I still have to write my blog. I guess no amount of induced alcohol could stop me from doing what I love.

So many anti-Arsenal fans were in orgasm in our defeat to Birmingham. I watched the match in a “viewing center” in Owerri. The ratio of the gooners to the anti-Arsenal fans was a staggering 1:5.

We all know how the Carling Spoon was lost so there’s no point dwelling on it. On Sunday, Arsenal was the only English team that was still participating in all competitions.

A win would have brought smiles to gooners worldwide. A win also have made me write my happiest post ever but I guess I’ll save all my “happy posts” till May. I enjoy what I do so I’m confident that I’ll still be feeding my readers with my Arsenal digest at that time.

As a die hard fan of the Arsenal, I subscribed to the official newsletter from Arsenal.com. AW the Alchemist had a few words to say to gooners worldwide. The note is really long so I’ll point out the main quotes of our manager’s words of wisdom.

“Congratulations to Birmingham, they took advantage of the mistake we made and they took the trophy which hurts us tremendously. We have to continue with our belief, pick ourselves up and face the other challenges we have”.

“The team is very disappointed and we will face a lot of questions after that mistake at Wembley but we have to be strong enough to stand up. It is a good opportunity to show that we have the mental strength to respond to the situation like that”.

“Both Koscielny and Szczesny felt destroyed afterwards and we have to lift them up again and help them, that is what a team is about”.

“It is a massive disappointment but we have massive challenges in front of us. The Carling Cup is five games but a championship season is 38. We will not throw 38 games away because of one game”.

I’ve taken these 4 quotes and I will elaborate on them a bit. The first talks about our opponents Birmingham. Even if we were sure-fire favourites to win, their goalie was in inspired form and played a major role in their victory against us. Besides, they didn’t just appear in the final. They had a run from the 3rd round like us. He ended that quote by saying that we have other “challenges” to face. We are still in the title race, we have a 5th round tie tomorrow and we still need to go to Krypton to play those Aliens in the Champions League 2nd leg.

The second talks about the mental strength of the team. After Monsieur Tuck-In Evra labeled us as a “training centre” in December we went to Old Strafford and lost with a solitary goal from Korean action film hero Wong Fei-Hong. That was our last league defeat. There was talk that we couldn’t perform in “big games” but in recent weeks the pundits and media Vultures alike have been made to swallow back their vomited words like ruminants. The two most notable victories were against Carlo the Cannibal’s Cashlings and the BarcAliens.

The third quote talked about the two guilty parties in the crime that was committed in the 89th minute at Wembley. Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny. He said that we are a “team” and we need to lift them up. Szczesny conceded only one Carling Spoon goal all season. It was in the semis 1st leg against Ipswich. Koscielny on the other hand scored his only Carling Spoon goal in the 2nd leg against Ipswich and has been one of the most overused players this season. He has featured in all competitions and hasn’t gotten good rest. We also have to remember that this is his first season in English football so we have to admire the way he has adapted to the physical game. I still don’t know who will get the nod to partner the Verminator when he returns to full fitness. I’ve run out of superlatives for Kos100%tackle and Injourou

The last quote is still the most important of them all. The Carling Spoon was a 5 game adventure that started in September and ended 2 days ago. The Barclay’s Premier League however is a 38-game grueling competition that has only one victor. As Nelly says in his hit track #1. 2 is not a winner and 3 nobody remembers. The team that wins a league is the team that deserves to win the league. You play 19 home games and 19 away games. The only way you can win a league is by accumulating the highest amount of points by winning and drawing your games.

AW the Alchemist showed his title winning intent by featuring his best XI in the Carling Spoon final. If El Capitan and Walcott were fit they would have played.

In other news, our flying red hot Dutch man might not play in the Nou Camp on the 8th. What saddens me is that he got injured while scoring the goal yet we couldn’t win the competition for him and El Capitan. Wald Bezt Bendtner has gone above Chamakh in recent weeks so I pray that he gets his scoring boots on and fill rVp’s hot shoes. He should also remember that he’ll be playing in his “favourite” center forward position so he should just stay up front and leave the wings alone. He’s not Thierry Henry.

Our Aztec Warrior Carlos Vela scored a late equalizer against the Rugby boys yesterday. At least our loanees are doing well in their respective clubs.

They say that the best motivation is pain.

As Aaliyah said in her song,”If you don’t succeed, dust yourself up and try again”.

Gooners no more sulking.

My bloody head still hurts.

Maybe I’ll cure with one more bottle of Guinness

Sayonara

“O nas nas, what’s his name” signs a new deal and Rambo remembered.

I’m not going to apologize for the lateness of today’s post. I was doing what men my age do when they aren’t watching soccer. Trust me, I’m not telling.

Aaron Ramsey was born on boxing day, 1990. He broke into the Cardiff setup in the 2005/06 season before AW the Alchemist acquired his services in 2008. He scored on his Champions League debut in the 5-2 victory against Fenerbahce. He found his footing in the 2009/10 season.

February 27, 2010 was a horrible day for gooners worldwide. This was the same month that Eduardo suffered that horrific ankle injury in St. Andrews. We visited the dreaded Britannia Stadium for an away league encounter against the Rugby outfit Stoke City. Rory “Springhands” Delap launched his trademark missiles to our box. After a goalmouth scramble, a bloke called Puke scored the opener. Bendtner equalized with a brilliant header. Vermaelen and Fabregas settled our nerves in dying moments of the game. Every game in football is remembered for one moment. It can be a moment of magic, madness, elation or deep sorrow.

You can talk of magic if you remember Arsenal vs Porto in the 2009/10 season. I still don’t understand what Nasri did with those able-bodied defenders. The magic trick probably worked on me watching it from my TV. You talk of madness if you remember Man Utd vs Arsenal in the 2003/04 season. After Ruud Boy slammed the bar with his penalty kick the ref ended the game. Our players went berserk and an assault on Ruud Boy followed. I miss that crazy ass lot. You talk of elation if you remember Arsenal vs Barcelona this season. I can’t remember the last time those Aliens lost a game after scoring first.

The deep sorrow moment took place a year ago in the Britannia Stadium. Just as French fans will never forget the name “Materazzi”, the name “Ryan Shawcross” will be in our minds for a long time. Just like Dan Smith and Martin Taylor, the Rugby player snapped Ramsey’s tibula and fibia with a clumsy tackle. Rambo’s legs was hanging on his socks. His countryman Glenn Whelan held his hands till Colin Lewin and the team of physios took him to the hospital for further treatment.

It’s good to see that Ramsey is getting back to his best and with Arsenal involved in many fixtures due to the fact that they are in every playable competition football has to offer, a return might be on the cards for young Rambo.

Arsenal’s hot snood wearing shot Samir Nasri has agreed a bumper new deal with Arsenal that will ward of any potential suitors who may have been hoping to lure the midfielder away from the Emirates this summer.

It has been reported that El Rufai has reportedly struck a deal with the Gunners that will be worth at least £26 million – that’s more than £100,000 a week.

This is amazing news. We knew what happened to the Flaminal in the 2007/08 season. A player of his quality was sold to Milan for relatively nothing. This was because a new deal wasn’t offered on time.

First Theo Walcott was ruled out of the showpiece match at Wembley and then skipper Cesc Fabregas swiftly followed suit after a bruising encounter with Stoke in midweek.

This contract will spur Nasri in tomorrow’s game.

The Carling Cup final preview comes up in tomorrow’s post.

Till then let’s all be happy for “o Nas Nas, what’s his name”.

Samir Ben-Said Nasri

Our very own Zizou

Sayonara

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