May 022012
 

It is one of the big mystery’s of this season as to why Arsene Wenger has refused to give Chu-Young Park any regular chances in Arsenal’s first team. Even the out-of-confidence and out-of-form Marouane Chamakh has been given one start in the Premiership this season while Park has been superglued to the bench.

Wenger first started saying that Park needed time to settle into English football, but by December the French coach announced that the Korean captain was now ready to step up once Gervinho was away at the African Nations Cup.

Then immediately afterwards Wenger brought in Thierry Henry as support and backup for Robin Van Persie instead, leaving Park playing the occassional few minutes at the end of games. He did start in three Carling Cup games (scoring a good goal against Bolton) but was still ignored for the Arsenal first team, and was even overtaken in the pecking order by the young Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Now that the Gunners have announced the arrival of Lukas Podolski, Park now has the German international to contend with, as well as The Ox, Gervinho and even Chamakh ahead of him.

Surely that can only mean the end of the line for Park, who must now be wishing he had chosen to go to Lille last summer instead of Arsenal.

Jan 202012
 

The young Japanese winger Ryo Miyaichi was so impressive on loan last season at Feyenoord that Arsene Wenger decided to bring him back to join the Arsenal squad this season.

But Miyaichi has only been used by Wenger in a couple of Carling Cup matches, but the 19 year-old believes that he is improving and is preparing to fight for his place in the team.

“I think I’ve made big strides.” Ryo said. “Once you come to a big club, you can’t walk into the team – I have to work hard every day so that I can play well in the future,”

“Even so during training, being able to practise alongside superstars can only be a good thing. It’s important to try to get noticed.

“All I can do is believe in myself and work hard. Otherwise it’s up to the boss so I’ll just do what I can.”

Having seen some video highlights of this youngster in action, I can’t wait to see him step up and mesmerize opposing defences. I think Wenger should be playing more youngsters like Ryo and The Ox on a regular basis. Man Utd would be more scared of them than the predictable Arshavin anyway…..

Dec 292011
 

The Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been more than happy with the events of 2011 and is looking forward to improving even further in 2012.

This time last year he was still at Southampton and after his move to the Emirates he has impressed in his few first-team games, but he intends to carry on improving and force Arsene Wenger to give him further chances in the future.

“It’s been exciting for me this year joining Arsenal, I’ve loved every minute of it so far and I wouldn’t change a thing,” Oxlade-Chamberlain said.

“I enjoyed the end of last season with Southampton too so I can’t really complain about how this year has gone. I’m looking forward to 2012 and hopefully it can bring good things for this club and for me personally.”

“The stuff Wenger says to me, to the team, just makes so much sense,”

“It’s just little things like that you can always pick up stuff. The main thing he’s said to me is that I’ve got the ability to play at this level and it’s just how much I want it. That just sums it up for me really.

“I know I just have to keep working hard, get my head down and keep pushing to put pressure on him to select me. It’s encouraging to hear him say that to me because it’s always good advice.

“If it’s criticism it’s always constructive and I do go away and listen. My relationship with him since I’ve been here has been very good, the same with Pat Rice too. I’m still young and I’m learning.”

Wenger has promised to give hThe Ox more experience in the early part of the year, and Arsenal fans have been clamouring for him to be picked ahead of Arshavin. Let’s hope that they get their wish very soon.

I don’t know much about the Chinese calendar, but could this be The Year Of The Ox coming up!

Dec 222011
 

Arsenal’s manager Arsene Wenger proved to be overly enthusiastic after Benayoun’s goal stating his admiration for the Israeli attacking midfielder which brought the three points for Wenger’s team.

“He is well integrated in the group, is a fantastic professional and has a great spirit,” Wenger told Arsenal Player.

“He is a very intelligent boy and tonight he did fantastically well when he came on. The changes who came on did very well and stabilised our game I think – Yossi came on and won us three fantastic points.

“You go to City and then to Villa and I have to give fantastic credit to my players, they have given absolutely everything in the last three days with two difficult away games.

“For us to respond well was vital. I was a bit nervous I must say because for us you have experience and history with us coming to Aston Villa – it is always these kinds of games where it is marginal to win or to lose.

“I was a bit nervous because I knew how important it was to win and I knew that it would be a difficult game.”

The question standing on everybody’s lips now is if Benayoun will manage to become a first team player, at least until the transfer season opens up again. Even though Ramsey wasn’t so bad lately he proved to be a bit weary at times, so improvement can be made on that position and perhaps Yossi is the man. What do you think?

Dec 062011
 

Emmanuel Frimpong snubbed all the rumours which have been written about a possible loan in January. According to the midfielder he’s not interested in any other move except creating a regular first team spot for himself at Arsenal.

“I knew I would come back to play football after the injury but I felt I would never get the chance at Arsenal again,” he said.

“I had my chance and things were going well then I got my injury. At that time there were [other] players who were injured and I thought that they would be fit when I got back. You had Song, Diaby and Ramsey all injured.”

“[I thought] by the time I was back all these players would be fit so I didn’t think I would get a chance.”

“But in football you can’t predict anything. I came back and I carried on from where I left off. Now I have to continue to play well to force the issue of playing in the first team. That is all I can do.”

“I worked really hard to get my fitness back. I still don’t believe I am 100 per cent fit yet but hopefully when I am I can show that to the fans and give more to the team. At the moment I’m just happy to be out there and it’s a pleasure to be playing with these great players at the moment.”

Performances like the ones he had lately will surely earn him the wanted spot in time, but the midfielder must correlate that with a better behaviour on the field and with fewer outbursts like the one he had against Manchester City last week.

Dec 022011
 

Many Arsenal fans may not have heard of his name before the start of the season, or even until the recent Carling Cup match against Manchester City. Ignasi Miquel played well on his flank against the dangerous Adam Johnson and looked assured for the whole match bar the first few minutes. In fact, he was not on the pitch when Aguero scored the winning goal.

More impressively, he was playing out of position. Much like Koscielny for the first team presently, Miquel was playing on the wing (left fullback) instead of his usual central position.

Miquel himself commented on the change, “I played left-back again and I’m not used to that. I have been injured for the last two weeks and so my fitness wasn’t quite what it could have been either. It was quite a hard game. But if you get the chance to play for the first team you don’t care where you play. I know this is a hard position for me to move from centre-back to left-back but if I get the chance I really don’t mind.”

Moving forward, it would be great to have a talented and eager lad like him playing for the team. He seems to be hinting quite strongly that he might take the left-back role in place of Santos in future, which is something that is still very much in the air.

While presently he may not have an extended stint in the first-team, I hope that he has the patience to wait his turn. He looks a promising defender so I hope he will remain patient and wait for his opportunities. Very encouragingly he also acknowledged the need for him to work hard to win a place, “I think the main thing now is to work hard. You learn from your mistakes. I don’t think I can do much more. If I work and try to see what I’ve done wrong then I can only improve. It’s the only way to grow.”

That is all very much in line from the Spanish defender, who looks to be another star for the Gunners.

Sep 212011
 

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was the best player on the pitch on Tuesday against Shrewsbury Town scoring one goal and assisting another. The winger was very delighted with his performance and so was manager Arsene Wenger and every other Arsenal fan.

With performances like that one, Chamberlain will shortly become an Arsenal first team player, especially giving Wenger’s attempt to play him as a midfielder rather than an offensive winger. That could mean he may take Ramsey’s spot in the team with good games throughout the season.

The young star was enthusiastic about the performance of the team and stated:

“It was a massive game for us. Even though you may say it is against lesser opposition, we still had to bounce back from the result at the weekend, put a statement down and make sure we qualified for the next round. With a younger, less experienced squad we did that tonight.”

“I think it is a really good squad. I think we just need to keep plugging away and it will come right for us. There are a lot of quality signings here and a lot of quality in the boys that are already here. We just need to gel together now and kick on. I think we have what it takes to get to the final in this competition and put in a good claim in the Premier League and the FA Cup too.” (Arsenal.com)

The Englishman certainly isn’t backing down on enthusiasm, and Wenger might love that a lot. It’s tough to say what the future will be with Chamberlain, but I think that if Wenger really decides to use him as a midfielder, the lad could be a solution until Ramsey regains his form or Wilshere regains his fitness.

Do you think that Chamberlain could be the next big hit for Arsenal?

***Arsenal v Shrewsbury Carling Cup Highlights***