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Monday, April 30, 2012

Szczesny backs Gunners quality

Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has backed his team-mates at the Emirates to end their long wait for silverware but there are still plenty of questions surrounding the current crop of Gunners at the club.
Arsene Wenger, since the day he walked through the door at Highbury, has brought with him a style of football that at times is unplayable and there are few teams better to watch in the Premier League than a Gunners side in full flow.
However after early success at the club, the trophies have dried up for the north London outfit, with the FA Cup in 2005 being the last thing Arsenal supporters really had to cheer about.
The soccer betting suggests the Gunners will finish in third place in the Premier League table, a consierbale achievement given their rotten football scores at the start of the season
However, they have been well off the pace of both Manchester United and Manchester City, who look like they could dominate the competition for years to come.
If Arsenal are to avoid going another seven years without silverware, something must surely have to change.
Whether it’s the club’s spending policy and their inability to attract the top top players in the world, or simply their lack of a consistently strong defence, something is not working.
However, Szczesny sees promise in the current crop of players at the Emirates and believes the club are on the verge of success.
The 22-year-old keeper said: "We all know it - we have the quality to fight for trophies in Europe and this country.
"It is just consistency that has been a bit of a problem for us this year.
"But the team is getting more experienced and hopefully we have got the experience to win trophies next year.”

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Early contenders for player of the season

The 2011/12 season hasn’t had a stand-out performer, although Robin van Persie has had a sensational season, netting 26 league goals already. Unfortunately Arsenal faltered in the mid-stages of the season, slightly taking the shine off van Persie’s achievements. Those assessing live dealer casinos will agree that Wayne Rooney has been as consistent as ever, scoring 28 goals in 35 games, including 21 league goals.

Goalkeepers have played a significant role too, with outstanding seasons from Newcastle’s Tim Krul, Swansea’s Michel Vorm, Arsenal’s Wojciech SzczÄ™sny and of course Manchester City’s Joe Hart. Central defensive frailties from the major clubs have highlighted the outstanding performances from Man City’s Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott and Micah Richards, Manchester United’s Johnny Evans, Newcastle’s back line led by captain, Fabricio Coloccini, and Tottenham’s zippy right back, Kyle Walker. Players like Blackburn’s Junior Hoilett and Swansea’s Leon Britton will almost certainly see the big clubs come knocking in the summer, having had superb seasons.

Robin van Persie scores when he wants, according to the Emirates crowd, and who could argue with them? Van Persie’s record in the Premier League this year has been stunning – 26 goals in 31 games. He has scored some extraordinary goals – the volley against Everton will surely win Goal of the Season – and his tenacity and ‘never say die’ approach has driven the club through a turbulent period, where manager Arsene Wenger’s style and tactics have been strongly criticised by many.

Manchester United’s striker Wayne Rooney has had yet another brilliant season, with 21 league goals in 26 games, including 8 in the last 10 games. He has matured into the whole package – speed, stamina, skill and mentality. He is England’s key player. The stand-out newcomer in this position this year has clearly been Newcastle’s Demba Ba, who ignited the league with his muscular style of play and explosive finishing. Although he hasn’t netted in his last seven games, he has still accrued 16 league goals this year.

Fulham’s Clint Dempsey is finally receiving the recognition he deserves. Having scored 12 goals last season, he has gone one better already this season, with 13 goals in 31 games. A successful partnership with Moussa Dembele and Danny Murphy in Fulham’s midfield has got the team into the top half, and Dempsey and his teammates will look to push on next year for a spot in Europe.

Manchester City’s rise to the top of English football has been built on the solid base of Joe Hart and Vincent Kompany. Both players are integral to the success of the club and have been superb for the last two years. Both will find themselves in the Team of the Season awards, and rightly so. In Hart, City has a keeper who pushed Shay Given out of the side and then maintained the world-class level of keeping.

In Kompany, City has one of the best young central defenders in the world, and a great captain to boot.