Showing posts with label Łukasz Fabiański. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Łukasz Fabiański. Show all posts

02 May 2022

Who needs Erling Haaland when we have Eddie Nketiah?

"No, Dec. Please. We're wasting valuable time."
Okay, okay, so that might be a touch hyperbolic and more than a smidge hasty. After all, Haaland hasn't played a single minute in the Prem so there's just no knowing if he could do what he's done on a cold, night at the Britannia Stadium. Considering that Stoke are mid-table in the Championship right now, he may never get a chance to prove that old cliche wrong. I don't know why I brought it up other than that it feels good to type "Stoke are mid-table in the Championship".  Let's get back to why I brought you all here, though. Eddie Nketiah put on his best performance of his young career against West Ham on Sunday. While he didn't score any goals, we've grown accustomed to that sort of thing around here. He did put four shots on target, and that, my fellow Gooners, allowed the 22-year old to clear a very low bar.

27 October 2017

Arsenal vs. Swansea: cakewalk or banana-peel?

Swansea. They've been a bit of a banana-peel over the years, one of those squads that we really should do better against than we have since they were promoted in 2011. However, they've frequently given just as good as (if not better than) they've gotten, even going so far as to win at the Emirates in two of their last three visits. As such, we'd do well to look past their recent form and focus on our own, which, Everton not withstanding, has hardly inspired confidence.

02 March 2016

Arsenal 1-2 Swansea: Vote for Player Ratings/MotM

Ashley Williams scoresArsenal took an early lead through a Joel Campbell goal but surrendered that lead late in the second half when Ashley Williams sneaked in front of Petr Čech to bundle it home from free-kick in the 74th minute. Long periods of frustration defined the match as we just couldn't find another way past our old friend Łukasz Fabiański, and five minutes of stoppage time looked to simply prolong our frustration and deepen already deep feelings of despair. Not even the knowledge that Liverpool thrashed Man City or that West Ham edged past Tottenham can ease the sting of losing at home when a win was absolutely vital. Even more than Sunday's setback, this result might drive home the final nail in what remains of our title hopes. Well, we'll have a closer look at that later. For now, get down to the poll and give our lads what they deserve...

31 October 2015

Can you put one past Fabiański? £10, Football Manager, or an Arsenal jersey if you can!

We face an old friend in Łukasz Fabiański today, and this gives my UK readers a chance to earn a few quid, Football Manager 2016, or even an Arsenal jersey if our lads can bag a few goals. Here's where you come in. In the comments-section, simply indicate which of the six cells below we'll score our goals. If you comment, "Joe wants A" and a Gunner scores to that area, you'll win £10. A second goal gets you a pre-order of Football Manager (to be shipped in November when it's actually out). A third goal scored there? Your choice of a 2016 Arsenal jersey (home, away, or third). See more of the rules below...


  • Each player is only allowed one square, no multiples
  • Entries will not be accepted from blog owner, contributor or employees of Paddy Power
  • Squares will be allocated to the first 6 people to comment on available squares
  • The BBC’s definition of which square the ball went into is final, this can be found on BBC Football news
  • Prizes are subject to availability
  • Only one prize per square
  • Only the first 5 goals are counted      
  • UK entries only
  • If the match score is 0-0 the first to comment on the original post will win the booby prize, a Danny Dyer Football Foul-Ups DVD
Got it? Good. I know we want our lads to score goals for only the purest of purposes—to deliver victory to the Arsenal—but it's nice once in a while to pick up a little swag for ourselves! Get tto it!

01 July 2015

Arsène LIED to Szczęsny, keeper is "devasted"!

According to former Poland national goalkeeper Jan Tomaszewski, Arsène Wenger lied to Wojciech Szczęsny over the lad's future as Arsenal's #1 keeper, deluding and damaging Szczęsny so much that his future with Arsenal and the Polish national team are now in doubt. The arrival of Petr Čech, according to Tomaszewski, has "devastated" Szczęsny. This seems to fit an emerging pattern in which other people associated with Szczęsny make boneheaded remarks that, if anything, only complicate matters for the very player they are purportedly trying to help. To Tomaszewski, then, I say,głupie gadanie!

12 May 2015

Łukasz Fabiański, we hardly knew ye...

Łukasz, Łukasz, Łukasz. It wasn't supposed to be like this. You helped us win the FA Cup in grand style, shutting down Wigan's penalties to earn us a spot in the final. Little did we know that you would prove just as good at stopping shots from six yards out when they're straight at you as when they're put either side of you. We should've known better. Instead, however, we put almost all of our 23 shots right at you or harmlessly into the side-netting. None of this is to take away from your performance; you dealt well with the pressure we did bring to bear, and we should take a moment to acknowledge that your'e a gamer—you've traded a back-up's spot for a lead-role, and that demands respect.

Arsenal 0-1 Swansea: Finishing School 101

Stop me if you've heard this one before: an Arsenal side, dominating possession and getting forward in relentless fashion, fail to finish, and emerge empty-handed despite facing an overmatched squad. It was all there: the deft flicks, the incisive through-balls, the well-timed runs. However, when we weren't sending shots harmlessly wide, we were putting them straight at Łukasz Fabiański, lionizing him when in reality we were rendering ourselves toothless. By the time Gomis headed home—to the far-post, of course—we had only ourselves to blame for squandering the chance. Still, all is not lost—yet. We still do have a game in hand over Man City...but it might be Man U that we have to pay closer attention to.

08 April 2013

What on Earth is wrong with Wojciech?

Our #1 keeper hasn't featured for us since the loss to Tottenham on March 3rd, and what looks like a signal-sending demotion seems at risk of becoming a much more serious problem. Szczęsny played today with the U21's against Liverpool and did not do well, conceding three goals against a group of Scousers who  might celebrate their victory today by buying their first proper shaving kits.

Sporting some kind of god-awful fauxhawk was one thing, but the fact that Szczęsny let three shots slip by is even worse. Actual statistics and highlights are hard to come by, as the match was played in front of a group of people just barely larger than the queue for the bus. Simply put, the lad looked bad. This might be understandable against Liverpool's actual team, but for it to happen against their U21s is troubling, to say the least.

06 April 2013

Rosický: A Tribute

Well, one thing is clear. I have to post about a player before each match and come up with a clever title that gets more annoying each time you read it. I posted on Rosický yesterday, predicting him to have a MOTM-performance with a goal or an assist, and he one-upped me by bagging two. Here, then, is a quick ode:

A ball, headed goal-ward,
The keeper looks on and despairs;
the Czech clears the line.

The Ivorian dances and jukes,
a defender spins like a top as
that Ivorian sends a cross
the Czech heads it home.

A Welshman sees an opening;
he puts it across the box.
The Czech blasts it, and blasts it
anew, putting it home again.

21 March 2013

Woj Takes My Advice, Tells Da to Pipe Down

It looks like Wojciech Szczęsny has all but followed my advice. The post below appeared earlier this morning (Chicago-time), to be followed by news of Wojciech Szczęsny's public statement, available below.
so, I'm disrespectful? Looks like I need to teach you a little
 respect. This will hurt you more than it hurts me, Wojtek...

I'm not Wojciech Szczęsny, but if I were, I'd be telling my dad to pipe down. Frankly, it looks more like desperation than determination for Maciej Szczęsny to criticize Wenger at this point. His points are not timely; they're dated. Wojciech started the season with an injury, paving the way for Mannone to fill in. Upon Woj's return, he performed well, if unevenly. As recently as February, he was talked up as a MOTM for his play against Sunderland. Yes, it's Sunderland, but the point remains: the criticism is coming a little late, and it sounds like a panicked reaction to Fabiański's recent performance than a timely assessment of Szczęsny's form since November.

15 March 2013

Arsenal vs. Swansea: Smashin' Time

First off, congratulations to Swansea on a great season. Winning the Capital One Cup in their 100th year must have felt wonderful. Laudrup has them playing well, playing a style that resembles ours, and so I do look at them as a kid-brother of sorts. Of course, we all know what kid-brothers are for--they're to be pushed around so they don't get too big for their britches. We might be proud of what they achieve--and this does include beating us once--but it's time to knock them  down a few pegs.

Coming off of the win over Bayern does give us some momentum and sends a signal to other teams on our fixture-list that rumors of our demise have been greatly exaggerated. Bayern hadn't lost at home since October 28th, and see where that got them with us. Swansea hasn't lost since December 8th. As I mentioned previously, Michu has slackened off of his pace from earlier in the season with three goals in his last ten games.  Sure, they have some other players, but I'm convinced enough of our quality and mentality going forward that I'm more interested in the players who take the field for us.

There's been some talk of selling Vermaelen and Szczęsny in the summer, talk that Wenger has quickly rubbished. I prefer not to indulge in transfer talk, but it was good to hear what Wenger said when he elaborated: "every position is up for grabs." Sure, you may scoff as you ponder who sits on our bench and how well they can compete for various positions. Is Giroud looking over his should after each fluffed shot and worrying that Gervinho is about to come in? Probably not. Three days ago, Szczęsny didn't have to worry about Mannone taking his place, not to mention Fabianski, who hadn't played for us since Redknapp was measuring the curtains for the office of England's national team manager. Now, however, the young Pole does have to worry about his position in the starting XI. Fabianski, I daresay, has earned the right to start against Swansea.  Szczęsny is a big boy. He'll figure out that he has to train and come back to earn his spot.

The same goes for Vermaelen. Even as our captain, he shouldn't come to feel that he can just roll out of bed and start each game; he, like everyone on the squad, should feel like he has to prove his quality, if not every week. Let him sit another match. Koscielny is strong, and he worked well with Mertesacker and Jenksinon against Bayern. With Gibbs out, Monreal should also come on, if only so that we can have four different nationalities in the backline.

In the midfield, I'd love to see Rosický come on for Wilshere. Similar drive, more experience, if less talent. His well-timed foul on Robben on Wednesday is the kind of guile and steel we need more of, and his tendency to press higher up the pitch could unsettle Swansea. In fact, why not just throw on the same XI that faced Bayern (except for Gibbs, of course)? People meshed and worked well in an environment much-more hostile than Liberty Stadium. For all of the celebration and plaudits given to Swansea thus far, including naming Laudrup as manager of the season and Michu the signing of the season, Swansea are still a fair-to-middling team at home: six wins, six draws, two losses. Then again, we are a fair-to-middling team on the road at five wins, five draws, four losses. Then again, you're only as good as your last game. Isn't that right, Arjen? Arjen, are you there? Hello?

14 March 2013

This Hangover Is Completely Worth It

The only problem with a hearty celebration is the aftermath. Through the cobwebs and haze, I remember a wonderful victory that verged on utter ecstasy. As it is, we're out of the UCL and have only Prem matches to occupy our thoughts from here on out. Perfect. I wouldn't have it any other way. As affirming as advancing on aggregate might have been, replicating the task against the remaining gauntlet is enough to ruin any team.  Instead of having to worry about that, we can now focus our energies, which we now have much more of, on securing that precious top-four finish.

With a visit to Swansea coming up, we might just want to stay with the crew that delivered us that 2-0 win. Koscielny, in addition to his goal, helped to solidify a back-line that looked stronger against Bayern's vaunted attack than it has looked against far-weaker opponents. Yes, we permitted some 21 shots, but only eight on frame. Even as Bayern pressed forward to secure a single goal to protect its aggregate, we held them. Robben's fast-break led to a shot inside the 18, but most (all?) of those other shots were launched from considerable distances. I might even be tempted to use catenacchio to describe the performance. This might be a bit of an exaggeration, but, yes, we were organized and disciplined and made none of the errors that have bedeviled us in the past.

However, I don't want to detrack from Fabianski's performance. He did have more protection than Szczęsny's had, but he also faced much more intense pressure without making mistakes. A few shots came directly to him, sure, but this is as much down to his position as it might be to the shooter's aim. I'm not going so far as to say we have a new number one, but we would be remiss to pull him from the Swansea match after his performance. Let Szczęsny rest up a bit and consider his role so that he can come back more focused and on-point.

Speaking of Swansea, it was gratifying to see the strength of Jenkinson's play. He's come a long way since being caught out by Michu earlier in the season; his performance against Bayern's attackers was consistent and reliable. In fact, the young Brits all had solid games--Ramsey worked and linked well to Walcott, whose assist led to Giroud's goal, and Ox came on late to add some vigor and pace. Only Wilshere--oh, wait. Walcott, of course, stands out. His assist was perfectly placed, nevermind the suggestion that he might have been shooting. You can see him size up who's where, and he places a right-footed pass that curls away from goal and into Giroud's path. Walcott's right leg finishes its swing by back upfield, all clear indications that he wasn't shooting. If it weren't for a god-awful offsides call against the lad, he'd have been in for a golden opportunity to have a proper shot. No guarantee that he'd score, of course, but if he did, we'd be hailing him from here to kingdom-come. Too bad, too, because scoring a goal like that in a game like this can vault a player's career.

As it is, we're still draped in some wonderful memories to propel us forward. Ten more games, and thirty points on the table. Suddenly, it feels like all of our games are in play and winnable. Eminently winnable.

13 March 2013

Arsenal 2-0 Bayern (w/ video): I'm Stupefied


I'm stunned and amazed. I spent the last week low-balling myself in the expecations game, and this happens. A 2-0 victory over one of the best teams in Europe at the height of its powers, and we just owned them. Well, "owned" might be a little strong in a game in which we were outshot 21-4, but then again, we outscored them 2-0. There were some nervy moments, to be sure, with Arjen Robben looking dangerous all over the place in the second half. I might even go so far as to nominate a certain Polish goalkeeper as my MOTM. He snuffed out several dangerous shots, not least of which came on a Robben breakaway. He parried Robben's shot, despite the distraction of a defender sliding in front to deflect. The scoresheet may list "only" four saves, but each of them was key--no muffs, no dangerous rebounds for second shots, just good, solid keeping. Well-done, Lukas; well-done indeed.

We almost pulled off something historic, which would have been even more momentous than Barcelona's 4-0 win over Milan. To have won 3-0 on the road? Are you kidding me? We almost did it, too, and I don't mean in the generic sense of 2-0 is one away from 3-0. If not for some poor officiating, we'd have done it. Ten minutes into the second half, Walcott burst free absolutely unmarked and had a one-on-one with Neuer. The side-judge flagged him offsides, but replays appear to show that he timed his run perfectly. Later, in the 78th minute, Gervinho had a glorious chance but put it just wide under tough pressure. It wasn't a typical Gervinho miss; he had a defender draped all over him, another sliding in, and a tight angle to try to curl past Neuer. Even so. he almost put it home. Maybe he should have just flopped a la  Bale or Suarez.

In a game in which yellow cards were slung like hotcakes, at least to Gunners, there was one yellow less than there should have been. Lahm took out Cazorla with a tackle from behind and scissored Cazorla's leg but didn't get booked--a similar tackle from Tomas Rosický earned him a yellow a few minutes later. Perhaps the ref didn't want to send Lahm off (Lahm picked up his first yellow at the end of the first half). We were looking just dangerous enough that a one-man advantage might have been enough to see us nab one if not two more goals.

Lest I get too caught up in ruing what could have been, it's time to celebrate a wondrous victory. Maybe this will inspire some momentum--it does, after all, prove that we have quality. Even as Bayern got desperate, we continued to manufacture chances. When Koscielny headed home in the 86th, you could see them panic. The scrum in the net as Neuer tried to keep the ball from various Gunners shows how freaked out he and his team now felt, and the energy on our side was off the charts. Ah, Koscielny. Even before that goal, having him on the back-line was a sight to behold. He snuffed out shot after shot and closed on defenders with aplomb. We actually looked strong on defense.

When three minutes of extra-time was called, I could see the fear in Bayerns' players. It didn't seem like they'd be able to hold us off. However, Robben almost killed the dream with a screamer in the 91st that Fabianski blocked terrifically, sending the rebound out a good 30 yards. However, the dream died out anyway. Robben got away with a ridiculous flop in the corner, and the time ticked off as Bayern dilly-dallied.

Oh well.  Doesn't matter. I clearly have some taunts coming my way after my earlier declamations regarding this game. I'm gonna go ahead and pretend I never denounced this match. I might even go back and delete a post or two.

Long story short: We are Arsenal, and we are back in business. Swansea, you're next.