Writer: Shurayh Hafez
Date:Thursday November 27 2008
Bendtner`s 86th minute winner ensured that Arsenal got back to winning ways after a horrid week that saw the club in turmoil, on and off the field. After capitulating to Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium, the North London club was trounced 3-0 by the Arab owned club from Manchester. Sandwiched in between the two defeats was ex- captain William Gallas`s revealing comments, after he lifted the lid on the events that transpired in the Arsenal dressing room. The Frenchman was severely punished, with the manager stripping him of his captaincy, whilst also being dropped for the trip to the Eastlands. Contrary to popular opinion, Gallas returned to starting line up against Dinamo Kiev, after most Arsenal fans held the belief that he wouldn`t play again, if he were to lose the armband.
One man`s grief resulted in another`s happiness. At 21 years old, Cesc Fabregas was handed the almighty task of becoming the Arsenal captain. 5 years since his arrival from Catalonia, the Spanish midfielders rise to stardom has been nothing short of remarkable. Spotted by Spanish scout Francisco Cagigao at La Masia, Cesc was already one of the best players in his age group, winning the Fifa U17 World Cup, finishing with both the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe. Shortly after, Wenger used his famous persuasive skills to sign him up at Arsenal Football Club. 214 appearances later, he has become the general of the team. His performances also took an upward turn, after looking rejuvenated against the Ukrainians, putting in a MOTM display. For a large part of this season, he has looked sub-standard, so this was a timely and much needed improvement.
His first test will come up against league leaders Chelsea, on Sunday. The West Londoners are incomparable to the team that played under Jose Mourinho. Fast, exciting, brilliant are just some of the words bandied around Scolari`s outfit. Fortunately for Arsenal, an attacking opponent is usually better suited for Wenger`s men. Granted, the respective teams forms are dissimilar, with Chelsea leading table, whilst Arsenal already have 5 defeats to their name. However, Arsenals ability to step up against the very best cannot be overlooked. Beating the first of the other big 3, Manchester United at the Emirates. Arsenal have every chance of defeating Chelsea this weekend, despite not beating them at the Bridge since 2004.
Editor's note:- This is the first in a small series of articles from Shurayh with a view to becoming a more permannt fixture on the writing team. So please leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Date:Thursday November 27 2008
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