TBIF – The Weekly Gunners Town Crew Review
Friday The 20th March, 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.
Andrea: Olivier Giroud deserves a mention for his great performance against West Ham in the league, he scored a wonder goal and set up the second with some great link-up play. I’m not a huge fan of this man but he really deserved these praises.
Darren: Olivier Giroud. Although most of the plaudits went to Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla for their performances at Monaco, and rightly so, I felt Giroud had a great game and was clearly up for making amends for his performance in the first leg. I think he may have let that get to him more last season, which adds to his all round improvement this season. His work rate sometimes goes unnoticed too, and he put in a cracking shift on Tuesday.
Awolowo: Welbeck – Gave us a realistic chance of a dramatic comeback with an all action performance against Monaco. His combination play is beginning to improve consistently.
Daniel: Mesut Ozil. The German is in great form and is world class. We should all look forward to what he can bring to our team because his touch is just exquisite. He controlled a ball vs. Monaco and it was just oozing class.
Woody: Ollie Giroud, for his general demeanour and play since the nightmare he had v Monaco in the first leg, undoubtedly helped by another hero in Aaron Ramsey returning as they seem to bring out the best in each other.
Clive: My Vote goes to Giroud. A player so desperate to make up for the Monaco home game he ran himself to a standstill. His goal vs West Ham was crucial and he backed up a MOM performance then to absolutely give everything in Europe. He was very unlucky. But eventually that luck will change. I was always taught “the harder you work – the luckier you will get”
HERO of the Week: Olivier Giroud
-~• VILLAIN •~-
A shout-down to a person/organization that you feel has done something shameworthy in the past week.
Andrea: English Clubs being eliminated from all European competition that early deserve some finger pointing. After Everton crashed out against Dinamo Kiev in the Europa League, we had confirmation that Spain and Germany will keep dominating continental football.
Darren: The FA, for whatever reason they decided to not announce the dates for the FA Cup semi-finals until after the tickets had gone on sale.
Awolowo: Alexis – Seems to have lost his way a bit, probably due to fatigue. Think he needs a few weeks off. Something I believe we CAN afford to give him.
Daniel: Adrian Durham and most English journalists. The attack on Arsenal Football Club is too obvious for everyone. People like Durham and other journalists don’t like to see consistent, well managed football clubs and love corruption. The attack on Arsenal and Arsene Wenger isn’t fair at times and it unsettles the fans and the team. It is time they stopped talking about Arsenal and looked at all the other English teams’ performances in Europe.
Woody: this could be the same for me every week – Mourinho and Chelsea, for their mere existence.
Paul: Theo Walcott: he’s not doing himself any favours these days. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the famous number 14 vacated this summer…
Clive: Villain is a strong word but for me it’s ITV Sport, Paul Scholes and Andy Townsend and the lazy narrative when commenting on Arsenal in Europe in relation to Mesut Ozil’s performance. As soon as the game starts it seems to be the only point of interest. Arsenal have won 20 out of the last 25 games and beaten MUFC and MCFC away this calendar year and yet none of that matters. It’s all about Ozil. I saw the game and I know what I saw from Ozil – Just say what you see and stop the agenda.
VILLAINS of the Week: The British Cunditry
-~• HIGHLIGHT •~-
The most memorable or poignant moment of the past week. Typically an event, rather than a person/organization.
Andrea: The football we produced against West Ham was a real treat; our sharp, incisive passing game was simply impossible to handle for Big Sam’s team, the famous Wengerball is always a pleasure to watch.
Darren: The all round performance on Tuesday night, despite ultimately not being enough.
Awolowo: Obviously, the moment we scored the second at Monaco. The turnaround looked very realistic with 11+ mins to go.
Daniel: Despite us going out of the Champions League due to that miserable first leg, our performance vs. AS Monaco was excellent and everyone worked so hard to win it. Its a shame we missed so many chances and couldn’t really get that third goal, but the teams performance was promising none the less.
Woody: Without doubt Wayne Rooney getting knocked the fuck out, just a shame it wasn’t a referee that did it.
Paul: Turning the screws on the moneybags above us by beating West Ham over the weekend.
Clive: Mesut Ozil tracking back in the last 15 minutes in Monaco. It was him showing a desire to lead to drive us forward and when others were not in position he was not too precious to do the dirty work. I thought it was his best game for us and so hoped he would get rewarded.
HIGHLIGHT of the Week: West Ham Wengerball
-~• LOWLIGHT •~-
The most forgettable or disappointing moment of the past week. Typically an event, rather than a person/organization.
Andrea: A simple one, being knocked-out of the Champions League was the lowlight of this week. No more words needed, I guess.
Darren: Just falling short of the “Monaco Miracle”!
Awolowo: Theo’s misses against West Ham. Denied Giroud and Ramsey some quality assists.
Daniel: Going out of the Champions League in the round of 16 for the 5th year in succession. We played against top top teams in the past, but this year we got the easiest draw and we should have beat Monaco. I still believe Arsenal will surprise many in the Champions League in the very near future though.
Woody: Obviously, Monaco, and having that bastard Bono’s face appearing on the TV during it.
Paul: Bowing out of the Champions League – again – with a glorious failure. This was supposed to be our chance to prove that our money’s been well-spent. And an opportunity to progress past the second round… Losing to Monaco still hurts.
Clive: The final whistle in Monaco. I try not to care about the CL but it’s like a woman that is out of your league. You know she is but you still love her anyway. Each time you see her up close she scrambles your normal thought process. That is what the CL is to me. I pretend I don’t care but secretly I want it more than anything and let’s be honest – Arsenal have a gap in its history when it comes to Europe.
LOWLIGHT of the Week: Monaco Lowinski
-~• 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…
Andrea: The month of April will be decisive for our season; the FA Cup semifinal will be squeezed between Liverpool’s and Chelsea’s visits to the Emirates Stadium, we have no time to regret our Euro exit. As Aaron Ramsey said, we are still on for a successful season!
Darren: Time to forget about the cup competitions, both the one we have just gone out of and the one we are still in, and concentrate on the league again for now. Our form has been great lately, and we can now look at aiming for more than fourth place this season. Let’s look at the performance in Monaco as a positive, even though it wasn’t quite enough, and see it as a continuation of our good form, which on the night it certainly was.
Awolowo: Newcastle need to be taken more seriously than what the media’s making out. If we go there without a battling approach we’ll only have ourselves to blame at the end.
Daniel: The remaining fixtures in the Premier League are all Cup finals, along with the Semi Final vs. Reading. The team should win all remaining games and win the FA Cup again. If we finish 2nd and retain the FA Cup, it will help us finish on a high and we will then work out our weaknesses for next season. At least this summer we don’t have a world cup to worry about!
Woody: They say the English league is getting weaker, when in actual fact, the crazy money that the English clubs are paying for foreign players, is allowing the rest of Europe pass them out. They pay for scouts and get them young, and pass us the ready made, overpaid declining players, simples, and watch it get worse.
Paul: The second-leg performance against Monaco gives an indication of our potential. We have to be more clinical in converting chances, though, if this season is to be a success.
Clive: All about Newcastle – Liverpool are waiting to take us. They believe they are better than Arsenal in all aspects. It’s vital we stay ahead of them particularly as they have a style an age profile in their squad, an identity and a history to explode. We have to ensure they do not go past us. Arsenal 1 Newcastle 0
HEADLIGHT of the Week: HEADLIGHT WINNER
Special thanks to this week’s contributors: Andrea: