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End of Season Report – Compilation of the rest of the squad

June 1, 2012

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain Born

  • Born August 15, 1993 Portsmouth
  • Position Striker
  • Squad Number 15
  • Previous Club(s) Southampton
  • Joined Arsenal August 08, 2011

Big fee, lot’s of hype and expectation. Another young man brought from Southampton and said to be the next big thing.  Arsene said of his new signing

“We are delighted that Alex has decided to join us. “He is an exciting young player who will provide us with creativity and offensive quality. Alex is a versatile player who can play in a number of positions. He can play as an attacking centre midfielder, or wide left and right. “Alex is a perceptive passer of the ball and has a great understanding of the game and looks to be a very good team player.”

He was a sub against Newcastle & Liverpool, though not used. Strangely Arsene decided to bring him on at Old Trafford when we were getting our backsides spanked for his debut. Oxo played against Shrewsbury with a cracker and the Olympiacos in the Champions league

 “I always used to watch Arsenal and I loved the way they played football,” he said. “I think it was the manager, stadium and fans that sold it for me.”

His next two games were both in the Carling Cup against Bolton and Man City, then in December he played well in the away match in Greece to Olympiacos. Alex started three matches for the Gunners during the month – playing a starring role against Manchester United in the 2-1 home defeat :

“He looks to have [the same fearlessness as Rooney],” said Arsene Wenger. “Now he has to show that he can play all the time but I believe he can. We have produced more players in the last 15 years than all of the top clubs in Europe put together and we are not scared to play players when they are of the level. I believe he has [that level].”

Alex featured six times over the course of the month, and scored his first Premier League goals in the 7-1 defeat of Blackburn.

“He’s not someone who thinks about negatives, just positives and you can enjoy the game like that. I had that as well when I was younger,” Robin van Persie said about the teenager

Alex played his part in an excellent month of March for Arsenal, featuring in five of the team’s six matches. He impressed in a central role against Italian champions AC Milan before starting against Newcastle six days later.

“I just feel part of the squad now, I am really comfortable with all of the lads, the fans and feel a massive part of it,” said the 18-year-old. “Maybe not so much now but I can see myself being a part of Arsenal’s future. That is where I would like to be anyway and I am going to work as hard as I can to make sure I achieve that.”

Alex featured in all but one of Arsenal’s matches but was used mainly off the bench. His one start came in the goalless draw against Chelsea after substitute appearances against Manchester City, Wolves and Wigan Alex appeared as a second-half substitute in the 3-3 draw against Norwich. There can be no doubt that this lad does look to have what it takes. Physically strong, Unlike Theo and does not get brushed off the ball easy. Good passer of the ball as well and also has a good shot. No lack of confidence means that when he comes on, you expect things to happen. Picked in the England squad for the Euro’s I am hoping he gets some playing time. Looking forward to seeing more of him next season.

Marks out of 10 – (6)

Andrey Arshavin

  • Born May 29, 1981 Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • Position Midfielder
  • Squad Number 23
  • Previous Club(s) Zenit St Petersburg, Zenit-2
  • Joined Arsenal February 03, 2009

Whatever happened to Mr. Arshavin? So much skill and yet so lazy for the last season and a half, before his loan back to Zenit. Talk about a player that looked like he could not give a Gareth Bale. Andrey had a few highlights over the time he was at the club. This season he scored the winner at home to Swansea, scored and an assisted against Bolton in the League Cup. Also got an assist for RVP in the home game v QPR.  Finally his cross that gave TH12 he injury time winner away at Sunderland. In Feb he returned to his former club on loan. A player that Arsenal fans took their hearts and for such a little footballer seemed at the start of his Arsenal career to have a big heart. Sadly it all went down hill and against Man Utd, Wenger took of the Ox and replaced him with Arshavin, who then did not track back and United scored their second and winning goal. The crowd then booed Arshavin (should NEVER boo players), which more than likely meant the end of him at Arsenal. It looks like Arshavin is happy back in Russia and I say good luck to him in a nice way. When he did play well, he was a joy to watch and I’ll never forget that 4-4 draw at Anfield or his goal against Barcelona, one of the highlights of the Emirates era.

Marks out of 10 – (4)

Abou Diaby

  • Born May 11, 1986 Paris, France
  • Position Midfielder
  • Squad Number 2
  • Previous Club(s) Auxerre, Paris Saint-Germain
  • Joined Arsenal January 13, 2006

Abou the incurably injured footballer that has never got over the Smith incident. I mean who when your 3-0 down in injury time of the last game of the season make a tackle like Smith did on the half-way line?  Abou is definitely a player and for a big lad has plenty of skill and ball control. Looked to be a good replacement for PV4, but the injuries have hampered him. It always seems that the club allow him a fair amount of time to get over injuries and yet as soon as he is back in the side, he is quickly back on the treatment table. Very frustrating for the fans, manager and Abou himself. It is strange to say he is a physical player with all these injuries, but that is the way I see him, a dynamic player when he is on song.

 After not playing for the first three months of the season, he returned for the Champions League win over Dortmund as a substitute. He came off the bench against Fulham, before a minor hamstring problem ruled him out of the Carling Cup defeat to Manchester City. Abou was out of the side up to March when he came back against Liverpool  as a sub and also had another set back playing only 17 mins of the game. I can only hope that a long summer break will give him time to recover and come back firing on all cylinders for the start of next season. If only he could stay fit, we’d have a big, big player on our hands.

Marks out fo 10 -(2)

Marouane Chamakh

  • Born, January 10, 1984, Tonneins, France
  • Position Striker
  • Squad Number 29
  • Previous Club Bordeaux
  • Joined Arsenal May 21, 2010

A mystery of a player. What did the management see in him? Started his time with us reasonably well, scored a few goals.  I can see that with RVP being back from injury and surprisingly playing in so many games that Chamakh did not get much of a chance to feature in the side. However, when he did, just like Arshavin, he looked disinterested and did not do himself any favours with the fans. Marion has played 39 times for the club in total and also 29 sub appearances scoring 12 goals, which I suppose for a player who is at best an in and out of the side player, who never really gets a chance to have a run in the side, that’s not too bad.  He scored his first and only goal of this season away at Blackburn in the 4-3 defeat. The rest of the season, he was almost unused. One player who I would not be too disappointed to see leave this summer. Sort of makes a mockery of waiting a whole year to get him on a free. Still whatever we sell him for it’s a Brucie bonus.

Marks out of 10 – (2)

Ju Young Park

  • Born, July 10, 1985, Daegu, South Korea
  • Position Striker
  • Squad Number 9
  • Previous Club(s) AS Monaco, FC Seoul
  • Joined Arsenal, August 30, 2011

South Korea captain, who played in both the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, scored 25 times in 91 appearances during three seasons in Ligue 1. This was enough it seems with maybe a little panic buy for Wenger to sign him right on deadline day.. Upon completing the deal for  the 26-year-old Arsène Wenger said:

“We are delighted to have signed Ju. He will add true quality to our attacking forces and will be a valuable addition to the squad.”

Yeah right! Arsene…

Made his debut in the Carling Cup against Shrewsbury. Scored his first and only goal v Bolton in Carling Cup. Hardly played again for the rest of the season.  A complete waste of time buying him  the way this season has panned out.  I do not lay too much blame at Wenger’s doorstep, but I do on this getting this player. Definite panic buy.

Marks out of 10 – (3)
Thierry Daniel Henry  born 17 August 1977  in Les Ulis, Essonne (a suburb of Paris)

Position Striker

Squad No. 12

Previous clubs, Monaco, Juventus, Arsenal, Barcelona, New York Red Bulls, Arsenal (loan)

Look at the photo above, scoring against Leeds. Classic old skool TH14.

TH14/TH12… After training with the club during the MLS off-season, TH12 signed a two-month loan deal  January. This was to provide cover for Gervinho and Chamakh, who were at the ANC.  TH12 made his second Arsenal debut as a substitute against Leeds in the FA Cup and scored the only goal. (He only went and bloody did it!!)  TH12 then scored our 7th in the 7-1 home against Blackburn. Then the dubious goals panel went and took it off him. (seriously these people need to get a life). In his last game on loan, he scored the winning goal in stoppage time in a 2–1 win against Sunderland, from a lovely chipped pass from Arshavin. It was brilliant to see him back, even if for only a short period. It lifted the crowd, it lifted the club and the players. A true Arsenal legend, who turned his 226 into 228. It’ll be  agreat day when he comes in some sort of coaching capacity. Never sure about manager. With the way fans lose their knickers over any defeat, I’d hate to see him hounded out of the club.

Marks out of 10 – (8) for lifting the club, players and fans when they just about needed it.

Sebastien Squillaci (sounds like a posh member of the Mafia)

  • Born August 11, 1980 Toulon, France
  • Position Defender (use the term loosely)
  • Squad Number 18
  • Previous Club(s)Sevilla, Lyon, AS Monaco, AC Ajaccio (loan), Monaco B, Toulon
  • Joined Arsenal August 27, 2010

Above – That’s Squillachi putting the ball in his own net. OK! he was a bit unlucky.

I am sure there must be a player in there somewhere. OK! managers make mistakes and I think we can all safely agree, this was a mistake of Richter scale magnitude 9… What were you thinking Arsene?… Seb, has even played in a Champions league Final (sub) , though Monaco lost 3-0 to Porto. Seb played against Olympiakos in his first proper game of the season as we lost 3-1. His first Prem match was away against Fulham, where we lost 2-1 after he came on a Sub and saw his headed clearance fall to (it’s) Zamora for Fulham’s late winner. He then came on as a sub in the away FA Cup match at Sunderland where he defected a Richardson shot into his own net…  I can’t say anymore as I am sitting on the 5th floor of the office and don’t want to feel tempted to jump.

Mark out of 10 – (please leave)

Carl Jenkinson

  • Born February 08, 1992 Harlow
  • Position Defender
  • Squad Number 25
  • Previous Club(s) Charlton Athletic
  • Joined Arsenal June 08, 2011

Carl joined the Club from Charlton last summer and settled in well during pre-season, where he went on the summer tour of Asia. A tough tackling right back, good on the overlap and can put in a good cross has caught the eye. A promising defender, mainly  a right back but can also play at centre half.
 Carl qualifies to play fort both England and Finland. What I have seen of him I have been quite impressed. Apparently a Gooner fan as well and from my town of Harlow. Plays like he cares when he pulls on the shirt. I see him more in the Lee Dixon mould myself. Started four of Arsenal’s in August and ended it with a red card at OT.. In October he started against Sunderland, Marseille and Chelsea and we won them all. A back injury kept him out for a while but he did play well in the 3-0 home win over WBA. After a couple of months out he came back as late sub in the 5-2 win over the old and greedy down the other end of Seven Sisters Road. Five mins as a late sub was all the football Carl got until he stated the 3-2 win over WBA in the last match of the season.

Made 9 appearances and 5 sub appearances.

Marks out of 10 – (4)

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