Tag Archives: Arsenal F.C.

Fixture List for Next Season Released: A look at the first few Weeks. Liverpool FC and Arsenal

Well, there are a lot more weeks of summer, but fans are already waiting on another exciting season of football when it kicks off come August.


Arsenal have arguably the hardest start to the 2011/12 BPL season. Put it this way, they are up against Newcastle United in Week 1, before two pretty vital games against first Liverpool FC and then Manchester United in the following week up for the Gunners.

Arsenal started pretty well last season, although starting off by dropping 2 points against Liverpool on week 1. They picked up a full 6 points for their next two games against Blackpool and Blackburn Rovers. A good start is crucial for Arsenal, who could find themselves out of the title race early on should they drop many points at the start of their season.

Liverpool FC

The first fixture for Liverpool next season is really interesting already, with Jordan Henderson set for an early meeting with his old friends, with Liverpool set to welcome the Black Cats to Anfield on Week 1.

Jordan Henderson will certainly want to make his mark for Liverpool next season to justify the massive transfer fee that came attached to his transfer to Merseyside in the summer. With Dalglish around, Liverpool will want to put in a better start to the season, especially compared to the one they had last year.

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A Manager’s Guide: How to beat Arsenal

It’s ‘A Manager’s Guide’ again here on our website, with our first edition being on how to beat Barcelona just a few weeks ago, this week the subject of our interest is Arsenal FC.

It’s all about taking your chances against Arsenal, because when you are up against a team whom keep possession well, you are always going to have to make the most of all your chances throughout the course of the game.

Pressing is Key
Against a team like Arsenal, you NEED to pressurize the players, and to close them down, otherwise they will simply find space. I personally think that the difference between Barcelona and Arsenal is the work ethic.

Barcelona have incredible movement when on the ball, they simply create so much space for each other. Arsenal on the other hand, besides Walcott, they don’t seem to have the pace moving forward. Look at it this way, even Xavi gets into the act when Barcelona attack.

Pressing would cause the players to panic a little, and potentially wrongly place/weigh the pass, hence Arsenal losing the ball.

And for Attacking
I think that against Arsenal, you have got to do it either one way or another, and the two methods of doing so is through either playing a game which includes a lot of crosses for your strikers to get on to or simply to outthink Arsenal, Koscielny sometimes, in my opinion is a bit too erratic in his tackles.

And personally, when I watch Arsenal play, I think that Koscielny gives away way too many penalties thanks to his tackles. So that’s what you really have to do, to sort of sniff around the edge of the box and simply looking for an opening, because one will certainly open up.

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Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool 2011/12 Kits: All of them right here [PHOTOS]

A special issue here on TLFs, with me showing you guys what EVERYONE is wearing for next season. A few interesting bits and blobs, so let’s get to it!


Going in alphabetical order here and Arsenal have pretty interesting kits for next season, with perhaps their goalkeeper jersey being my personal favourite. The home kit has a (sort of) redesigned crest.  Click on the photo itself for viewing the kits in it’s full glory. Want it? You can head right over to Arsenal.com to pre-order/order your kit. The away kit is also pretty interesting , being pretty bold, with it being bold and black.


Chelsea FC

Continuing on with Chelsea’s new kit, and a very notable change in this season’s kit, with them removing the red colour collar from their shirt from this season. They made that bit white and it looks pretty good. Their away kit, well, it looks like either having solar panels or being a goalpost, well, you guys decide. As again, click on the photos to see them in their full glory.

Liverpool FC

For all you people asking over and over and over again, Liverpool’s home kit will in fact be the same for this season, with it set to totally change next year, with Warrior Sports set to take over at the production line at Merseyside for next season on a mega deal. And their new away kit is pretty cool, and here’s a stat about it: the kit has already broken the record for revenue from a single away shirt for all-time. Now that’s a stat. As again, click on the image for the full sized image.

Manchester United

Manchester United have a pretty neat home jersey for this season and it does look like something that the Red Devil fans out there will like. Their away kit is rather interesting, I myself am not really sure whether I like or dislike it. It’s pretty interesting, with a bold pattern of blue and black. Well, check it out in all it’s glory by clicking on it for the full sized image!


Filed under Arsenal FC, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC, Manchester United

The June 13th Transfer Gossip

Well, a rather early release of our transfer gossip column, but I guess I had the time today, so I thought my as well get it out of the way earlier in the day.

So let’s get straight to it!

All You Need to know about the Phil Jones Transfer Deal

This deal really should have been concluded a long time ago, Manchester United paid the release clause, Jones did a medical with them, and the Blackburn defender has agreed the basic personal terms of the deal. So that’s all the makings of a transfer, right? NO.

Well, Liverpool apparently came in with a bid of 22 million pounds for the English defender. Now that’s some money there, and that is way over the 16.5 million that Manchester United paid to trigger the release clause. So Blackburn’s owners are now trying to sell their prized asset for as much money as possible.

Rovers are unhappy that United – and other clubs – were aware of a ‘price clause’ in Jones’s contract. The Rovers regime were willing to stand firm and make Jones stay with them and see out the rest of his contract, which still has four years to run.

United believe they have done nothing wrong but could offer more money to speed up the transfer.

Today’s Issue of The Daily Mirror

Manchester United have indeed increased their offer to just over 20 million pounds and it indeed looks like enough to push the deal through for Blackburn to sell. Now that’s quite a lot of cash for a rather overrated young centerback, don’t you think?

And Sanchez

With Phil Jones’ transfer saga already put away (for now), we turn our attentions to Alexis Sanchez, the Udinese winger. Apparently, Manchester United are still hoping to beat Barcelona to the prize, which is Sanchez. Now here’s a line from The Daily Mail:

Manchester United are still hoping to pip Barcelona for Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez.

Today’s Issue of The Daily Mail

And chances of this deal happening has increased for the Manchester club following Barcelona’s signing of a right sided winger just yesterday night, with that being Kiko Femenia from Hercules.

And Away from Manchester United, Neymar’s Developments

Could potentially be awarded the “Most similar transfer to Fernando Torres’ transfer” transfer in the summer. It looks like Chelsea are set to (finally) meet the asking price of Santos as apparently, the Metro has claimed that Abramovic and the men at Brazil are very close to an agreement.

The original asking price of Neymar was in fact around 40 million pounds, however that has been dropped by Santos chiefs following perhaps suggesting the impossibility of a move happen should the fee be that high. Well, so that’s done and dusted.

Money’s not an issue for Nasri Leaving Anymore

Well, let me get this clear, that this move has not been made by Arsene Wenger. Although that can already be easily understood, with Arsene Wenger normally more than reluctant to use the resources available to him to their full. Two examples being contract issues: Clichy and Nasri.

Stan Kroenke has come out with a statement claiming that he will practically offer Arsenal’s French contract rebel (Nasri, not Clichy) whatever he wants to keep him at The Emirates. This comes amid interest from their rivals Manchester United.

That’s it for today guys, so come back tomorrow for more!

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4 Lost Gems: Four Who Have Lost Their Way

Today, we look at the potential bargain buys of the summer, the players who have a lot of talent, but all that talent has been somewhat lost this season.

1. Diego Ribas

I think that noone can really come closer to the term talents who have lost their way this season. A Brazilian legend in the making just several years ago with Werder Bremen, but following a move to Juventus, everything turned very sour for the talented Brazilian.

Had several bright sparks at the start of his career in Turin, with him being deployed as the playmaker (aka: just behind the two strikers) giving him room to roam and dictate player. But an injury and loss in form to a very lost Juventus squad meant a managerial change, and newly crowned manager of Juventus, Luigi Del Neri, didn’t like the 4-3-1-2 formation that Diego works best in, he was personally a fan of the 4-4-2, thus signalling the end of the talented Brazilian’s Italian adventure.

2. Yoann Gourcuff

Had a very short stint at drawing comparisons to the likes of Zidane, etc. But everything has gone wrong this season for the Frenchman. Following a move to Lyon, the goals and assists have dried up. Put in this way, last season he racked up 9 goals and 10 assists in a total of 43 games.

This season, he has only managed a rather mediocre total of 4 goals and 6 assists in 34 games. And even he has noticed this change to his game. n early February 2011, Gourcuff admitted that he was “disappointed and frustrated” with his performances with Lyon since joining the club stating “”I expected a lot more of myself” and “It’s clear that my attacking contribution is not enough”.

A former Arsenal target that has in all honesty looks to have given himself no hope at all of a potential move to a big club anywhere else after his dismal season.

3. Joe Cole

Definitely the biggest disappointment of the season, even though he arrived on a free transfer. It has to be remembered that he is currently holding out at Liverpool for a huge pay packet. There was a huge buzz around Liverpool fans when Liverpool signed Joe Cole, with him being claimed the one that could potentially send Liverpool up the table again.

But ever since the Arsenal game, nothing has worked out correctly. At least in his point of view. Red card against Arsenal, countless injuries, lack of match fitness, all this has resulted him in only being able to play a part in their largely disappointing Europa League campaign, where he less than impressed.

4. Fernando Torres

Ever since the World Cup, he simply hasn’t looked like the kid that we knew from 12 months ago. Lack of goals, with his pace dropping quite a bit since his hamstring troubles from the time he was at Liverpool and his 50 million pound move in which he hasn’t shown anything of much importance to Chelsea’s campaign.

Form is temporary, class is permanent is the cliche, so he, along with the rest of the players on this list will certainly hope for a better 2011-12 campaign, as this has been one for him to forget. Made a mockery from all angles, what can I say other than what I have?

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How to beat Barcelona

It is one of the most asked football questions, and it’s still a mystery to managers all over, and here’s what I think on how you should approach a game against the mighty Barcelona

Step 1: Close Down The Attacking Trio
It’s the ultimate strike partnership, you get Lionel Messi’s dazzling dribbling and mazy runs, not to mention his delicate chips over the keeper, then you get the skill of David Villa, cool and composed in a one-on-one situation. And then you get Pedro, the hardworking wideman who cuts in very often.

Many times, teams go out there and basically triple mark Messi, that is not the answer, in my opinion. I think that there shouldn’t be ‘exclusive’ defending for Messi. After all, the only result of that can be him finding space where you’re not supposed to be playing, and leaving that place open.

Let me explain that: for example, you’re a  left-back marking Messi. He cuts into the middle, that leaves the whole right wing open for Barcelona for Daniel Alves and Iniesta to expose. That is why you do NOT man-mark Messi, he breaks free anyway. To me, the answer can only be zonal marking.

Yes, there are many skeptics, but it is a tactic that works against Barcelona (if you have a decent enough side). That way you always in some way or another stand behind the Barcelona strikeforce. And just a piece of advice: don’t play the offside trap. that’s the worst idea ever.

Step 2: Shutting Up The Midfield
To me, it’s all about hard work that will stop the Barcelona midfield from operating properly. We certainly saw that in the first few minutes of the Champions League final between Manchester United and Barcelona. Although, the cons of this: your players get tired.

But you must do this to prevent the defence splitting pass that Iniesta and Xavi are more than capable of producing. Perhaps the one that takes his time the most for Barcelona is in fact Sergio Busquets, their midfield hardman.

The key idea we had was to pile the pressure on their defenders and not allow them to bring the ball out of the back.

Manolo Jiménez; Beat Barcelona 2-1 on 5 January 2010 with Sevilla
Step 3: The Attack

Against Barcelona, the key thing that I would exploit as a manager is the wings. Reason being Abidal is too slow to keep up with pacey wingers, and Daniel Alves often ventures way too far out to aid the attacking front.

Second reason: Puyol and Pique aren’t what I call the fastest players around either. During Spain’s inconsistent short run after the World Cup, it’s because people realized that they weren’t as colossal as they seemed, that their speed was a strong flaw in their game.

You want someone who’s a good finisher and a good header in there. That’s how you can break down the Barcelona defence. And if you look back at several tapes, most crucial goals scored against Barcelona are in fact started/finished or even both on the LEFT WING.

Daniel Alves is the player you want to exploit.

So you guys got anymore ideas on how to stop the rampaging champions of Europe. Straight to the comments section below!

As seen on our partner blog, You Pass You Shoot


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The June 12th Transfer Gossip

Sorry about yesterday, had some things that I had to do over yesterday, and as a result, no transfer rumour column yesterday, but I’m back today!

Manchester City in for Luka Modric

The Daily Mail are claiming they are ‘set to spark a three-way auction’ with a £30m bid for the Tottenham playmaker. And they are fighting with their neighbours Manchester United over who will win the transfer auction for the Tottenham man. With Champions League football secured at Eastlands, Modric might consider a move to Manchester City in the summer.

Along with Champions League football, Manchester City are set to increase the Croatian’s wages up to around 16o,ooo pounds a week. So well, should Modric move to Manchester City or wait for a better bid from Manchester United? I personally think that he should wait on Manchester United.

Besiktas set to sign Manchester United and Arsenal strikers

The two are in fact Manchester United’s Bebe and Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner. Both are in some way or another are unsettled at their respective clubs and Besiktas apparently have some cash that they have inherited from somewhere. A loan deal for Bebe looks imminent, with an option of a 2 million pound buy-out of his contract at the end of his year with the Turkish giants.

Bendtner on the other hand, is set to move there as well, after The Daily Mirror has reported that Besiktas have come in with a mega bid of 12 million pounds for the Danish striker.

Liverpool Sign (another) Jones

After missing out on Phil Jones, Liverpool have sealed the signing of Plymouth centerback Lloyd Jones. Apparently, he impressed Liverpool FC scouts during a short trial with the Merseyside club. Phil Jones’ namesake is in fact 15 years old, and although he  hasn’t even made his name with Plymouth, he is reported to have ‘immense talent’.

So I certainly hope that’s a good deal. So that’s the end of today’s paper round, so come back tomorrow for more! (if I’m not busy XD)

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