Category Archives: Monday Night Preview

Arsenal’s rising academy stars that could replace Aubameyang next season

Arsenal’s Hale End academy has witnessed the promotion of many youngsters to the first team. Players like Alex Iwobi, Joe Willock, Eddie Nketiah, Smith Rowe all graduated from the youth squad to the main team before some of them left for greener pastures.

Bukayo is currently the latest successful player produced by the famous academy, and certainly won’t be the last as there are some top teenagers who are close to gaining a spot in Mikel Arteta’s squad.

In this post, we shall be discussing on the top three youngsters who will likely make their first-team debut during next season. Who are the players?

1. Folarin Balogun

Folarin Balogun is a deadly striker who has a very bright future ahead of him. The 18-year-old is highly rated by the club’s hierarchies due to his goalscoring ability which saw him converted 25 chances in 19 Premier League (U18) matches last season. The England U19 international is a powerful striker who is comfortable using both legs. His dribbling skills and confidence in front of goal are other qualities that distinguish him from most of his peers.

In fact, some media outlets are tipping him to replace Pierre-Emerick Aubameyamg next season should the Gabonese striker decide to leave North London this summer. What’s the player’s chance of making his first-team debut next season? 70% I would say.

2. Miguel Azeez

Azeez, 17-year-old centre midfielder, was included in the Gunners Europa League squad prior to the start of the season, which further signifies how he’s highly rated by the North London club. He needs no introduction to many Arsenal fans because his beautiful goal against Aston Villa in one of U18 fixtures was well celebrated by the fans on social media.

The goal was enough to bring him to limelight and he has since been in Arteta’s list of youngsters to be promoted. Apart from his eye for goal and attacking potentials, Azeez’s defensive qualities are equally topnotch as he possesses the energy to make tireless runs during matches. Having featured for the U23 team, Azeez is really close to breaking into Arteta’s team and we believe he has 65% of doing so next season.

3. Sam Greenwood

Scoring 12 goals in 14 games is not an easy task to accomplish, but that was achieved by Greenwood while playing for England’s U17 team. His versatility remains his strongest potential as he can feature as a right winger, left winger or centre forward.

Greenwood has become one of the highly-rated youngsters in the Hale End academy despite joining the youth team last season. He is tipped to make it through to the senior team next season as we give him 70%.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Aubameyang, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Opinions, Premier League

Dani Ceballos deserves a lengthy spell at Arsenal

Arsenal’s display against West Ham United on Saturday wasn’t the best performance we’ve seen from Mikel Arteta’s men this season but they would be happy with the 1-0 victory.

The Gunners took the lead at the latter stages of the game as second-half substitute Alexandre Lacazette found the back of the net in the 78th minute.

Though the French striker deservedly made the headline for his inspiring cameo, one player was arguably the major reason why the Gunners maintained a clean sheet against the Hammers.

Real Madrid loanee Dani Ceballos continued his scintillating performance for the team on Saturday. Fresh from his man-of-the-match display against Portsmouth during the week, Ceballos was included in Arteta’s starting XI against struggling David Moyes’ side.

The Spaniard was brilliant at the middle of the park as he showed the defensive aspect of his game. He snatched the ball from West Ham players on 14 occasions ( The Sun)

Apart from acting as an unstoppable ball-winner during the weekend, the 23-year-old was equally important at the final half of the pitch.

He initiated many of the Gunners attacking moves which almost led to goal if not for their wastefulness in front of goal.

Considering the fact that he made 86 successful passes, he had 100 touches on the ball, and impressive numbers of interceptions against the Hammers, Dani Ceballos was obviously one of the best players on the pitch.

The Spanish star is currently in his best form since he returned from his two-month injury, and Arsenal fans are getting used to the player’s consistent performances on the pitch.

Unfortunately, Ceballos is just on a season-long loan from Real Madrid and he is expected to return to the Spanish side at the end of season.

His recent displays for the Emirates Stadium outfits must have caught Zinedine Zidane’s attention and the Frenchman will love to improve his midfield by integrating Ceballos into his plans for next season

However, It remains unknown if the North London Club can reach an agreement with Los Blancos to make him stay permanently ahead of the next season.

Since he joined the Gunners last summer , Ceballos has featured in 24 games and has been involved in three goals (two assists and one goal) in all competitions (Transfermarkt)

Arsenal fans will hope to see another great performance from their newly found unsung hero when they tackle Manchester City at the Etihad on Wednesday.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Opinions

How Spurs, Chelsea and Man Utd’s Match-day 28 results could determine Arsenal’s top-four hopes

Arsenal’s hope of qualifying for next season’s Champions League has received a massive boost following series of favorable results from other top-four competitors.

Chelsea needed a win on Saturday to boost their chances of laying strong hold on the fourth position, but Frank Lampard’s men failed to defeat 18-place AFC Bournemouth who have been poor all through the campaign.

Despite taking the lead through Marcos Alonso in the 33rd minute of the encounter, the Blues only managed to play a 2-2 draw as they conceded two quick second-half goals.

The Gunners, who are 10th on the Premier League table with 37 points from 27 games, have played a game fewer than other top-four chasers, and they now trail Chelsea with just eight points.

As for Tottenham who are also in the race for a place among the top-four clubs, José Mourinho’s men surprisingly lost 3-2 to Wolverhampton Wanderers in front of the Lilywhites supporters.

Though the result is not totally favorable to the Gunners’ top-four hope because Wolves are also in the race, Mikel Arteta’s side will be happy to see their local rivals drop important points.

Mourinho and his men are obviously missing Harry Kane and Heung-min Son’s services as they are yet to win a single league game since losing both players to injury.

They remain on the 7th position with 37 points, three points ahead of the Gunners. Arsenal won’t have difficulty overtaking them before the end of the season, judging by their current unimpressive form.

We move to Manchester United’s result against Everton in a highly controversial game that was played on Sunday. The Red Devils looked to have regained their confidence having won two consecutive Premier League matches prior to the encounter.

However, Carlo Ancelotti’s men shocked everyone as they took the lead through Dominic Calvert-Lewin in less than 5 minutes of action.

Winter signing Bruno Fernandes equalized for the away side before half-time and both sides settled for a 1-1 draw after some VAR controversial decisions.

The result means the Red Devils are in the fifth position with 42 points, five above Arsenal who should be able to close the gap when they play their one outstanding game.

As much as these results appear to favor the Gunners, Mikel Arteta’s men must make perfect use of this opportunity to close the gap between them and the three Premier League giants.

They must endeavor to win every match left in the season because every point is valuable at this stage of the campaign.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Premier League, Tactical Bollocks

EPL top-four race: Two players who can help Arsenal in a 10-club race

The race for the Premier League top-four finish is getting heater, harder and hotter as the season progresses, and no fewer than ten clubs still stand a chance of claiming a spot.

Barring a disastrous loss of form, it’s a forgone conclusion that Liverpool already have their place in next season’s Champions League competition as they will certainly finish among top three clubs.

The same can’t be said about Manchester City and Leicester City who currently occupy the second and third position respectively.

Both sides have been inconsistent in their performances all through the campaign. Nonetheless, they still have strong chances of finishing among the top four clubs.

The fight for the fourth position — which is the last Champions League qualifying spot — is set to go down the wire. With the likes of Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur, Sheffield United and Burnley all vying for a chance to claim the last spot.

Though Chelsea currently occupy the fourth position with 44 points, they are far from being untouchable judging by Manchester United and Arsenal’s present form.

The Red Devils have kept two clean sheets in their last two matches (against Chelsea and Watford), picking maximum points in the process. Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s and his cohorts will definitely want to maintain the tempo throughout the rest of the campaign.

Arsenal on the hand, have recorded six points in their last two games against Newcastle United and Everton. Although, they didn’t keep any clean sheet.

The North London club are currently sitting in eighth position with 37 points at the time of this article but you can’t rule them out of Champions League race due to their recent resurgence under new boss Mikel Arteta.

For the first time as Arsenal manager, the Spanish gaffer led the Gunners to a back-to-back victories on Sunday, and the North London club are growing in strong confidence as you could see in the performance against the Toffees on Sunday.

As much as all the players seem to have up their game in recent week, gooner news have come up with the name of two players who can help the team achieve their prime target for the campaign.

1. Bukayo Saka

The English youngster is fast becoming an assist king at the Emirates stadium, having provided 10 assists in all competitions.

Despite featuring in an unfamiliar left-back position, the 18-year-old has been an influential player for Mikel Arteta’s side.

His teammates, especially strikers, will definitely rely on his pin-point crosses to score more goals if they must beat Chelsea and other rivals to the last Champions League spot.

2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

The Gabonese centre-forward is obviously the most in-form Arsenal player so far this season, having scored 16 goals in 27 matches.

He scored a brace in a keenly contested fixture against Everton on Sunday, and his goals and work ethic will be hugely needed by the Gunners for the rest of the season.

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Aubameyang, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Premier League, Saka, UEFA Champions League

Gooner News: Five insights ahead of our next stop at the Dean Court

Hello folks…I hope the weekend is going on great!

Feels good to be back writing on the Gooner Republic after my long sabbatical leaves away from every affairs of managing the website on a daily basis.

A lot has changed within the Arsenal community over the years and the club’s fanbase as well as news sources for gooner news supporters on a day-to-day basis. However, I will be more committed to updating you all folks with two to three thoughts weekly here on the Gooner Republic for every gooner news enthusiast.

So yes, our next stop will be at the Dean Court against Eddie Howe’s AFC Bournemouth side for our 4th Round fixture of the FA Cup tournament.

Despite our draw against Frank Lampard’s men at the Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, we are still nowhere below or above 10th on the Premier League with just seven points above the Poppies in the ranking order.

That said, here are the five insights every fan should know as we head to Dean Court for our 4th Round fixture of the FA Cup tournament.

  • Our meeting on Monday night against the Poppies will be the first-ever FA Cup meeting and only 12th meeting overall over between us and the Kings Park-based club.
  • Arsenal has won only eight of their previous 11 competitions – won eight, draw 2 and lost one – sharing 1-1 draw in the most recent meeting in the Premier League against the Poppies back in December last year.
  • Eddie Howe’s men have only progressed to the FA Cup fifth round on four previous occasions, most recently during the 2015-16 season and 1928-29, 1956-57 and 1988-89.
  • As we all know, we have progressed from seven of our last eight FA Cup fourth round ties, with our only failure in the tournament in that run coming last season when we lost 3-1 at home to Manchester United.
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, not sure if he will play on Monday yet, has scored in three of his previous four appearances against Bournemouth – all happening in the Premier League fixtures – including netting in both games at their own backyard.

With these stats, the boys should find a winning easy to come by and who knows, it might be our year for another FA Cup trophy in the shelf!

That will be all for tonight fellas…..I hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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Filed under Arsenal, Arteta, Aubameyang, FA Cup, General Musings, gooner news, Monday Night Preview, Premier League