Highly-Rated Brazilian Youngster Set For Arsenal Trial

Vasco da Gama’s youngster, Indio, is set to join Arsenal for a week on trial, and is eager to impress.

He is thought to be one of South America’s most exciting prospects, and the highly-rated teenager is determined to make an impression, recognising the importance of his time in London with a huge prospect of him joining Arsenal permanently at some point in the future, though he is more focused on Europe in general than Arsenal in particular.

Indio’s real, full name is in fact da Cunha Gomes Matheus, and he will be 17 on the 28th February.

He spoke to Brazilian’s Globo Esporto stating, “I’m anxious for this new stage in my life.

“I’ll spend a week at Arsenal. It will be cool, I hope I enjoy it.

“Of course I have the dream of playing for a European club, but everything has its right time. It will be a good experience. I want to learn.”

Going on to add that he admired Theo Walcott:, “I like him a lot. His style of play is very fast, which pleases me.”

Should he be successful he will join the likes of Gnabry, Aneke, Afobe, Galindo, Meade, Yennaris, Toral and Eisfield, who will be vying to make it to the first-team in the future, even though few do. Szczesny, Gibbs, Wilshere, Frimpong and Coquelin are the only current first-team members to have progressed from the Academy during their tenure. But will any of the others follow in their footsteps?

View the Numbers – Sunderland 0-1 Arsenal

Wilshere out does the brute that is Cattermole

Find out what Arsenal managed to do well this weekend, and what aspects need improving. View the Numbers takes a look at the statistics and analysis’ them.

It was another weekend where Arsenal were required to dig in and get a well deserved and hard-fought victory, against a side who tried to out do us physically. The Gunners came through the storm in the final 30 minutes, as Sunderland bombarded the Arsenal box, showing our capabilities to cope with physical and aerial pressure once again. We did this when Stoke came to the Emirates last week, re-emphasising this new dimension to our game that is consistently improving, while
proving consistent as well.

Sunderland did defend reasonably well completing 14 successful tackles, 21 interceptions and 6 clearances. They also only committed 6 fouls, according to the referee at least but I’m sure Wenger and most Arsenal fans will tell you that they did in fact do a damn sight more.

Arsenal won 22/40 aerial duels throughout the match, to Sunderland’s 18. The height in the team has really helped in this area, but credit has to be given to the whole team and the back-four, who withstood a lot of aerial pressure in the last 15 minutes, especially Bacary Sagna who won 6 of these aerial duels, second to just Giroud and Fletcher (7).

Sagna also made 11 clearances which is truly incredible when you consider that the next best was Mertesacker on just 6. Again, the commitment Bac displayed, especially with his height, was just phenomenal.

Aaron Ramsey, perhaps surprising, was the single most successful at tackling during the match, with 5 completed. He thrived in that holding role and did a good job when asked to play right-back for the last 30 minutes. Credit where it’s due.

Moving on to passing, before looking at what is most in need of improving based on the Sunderland game.

Arsenal completed 515 passes, almost twice as many as Sunderland. You may think that Sunderland would have a better accuracy having a lot less passes carried out and completed, but you’d be wrong.

Arsenal had a 85% pass accuracy to Sunderland’s 76%. From experience, it’s very rare anyone would beat Arsenal in this area. It’s even more rare that Arsenal would achieve an accuracy of less than 80%.

And it was that pass-master, Arteta, who had a 95% passing success rate bearing he mind he also attempted more passes than anyone else too. Cazorla wasn’t too far adrift, but did complete more passes in the ‘attacking-third’ than anyone at 41 compared to Mikel’s 20, although Mikel only attempted 21.

As you would expect, it is inevitable Arsenal had 61.4% of the possession.

Another interesting fact is that the most common pass was from Arteta to Ramsey, which happened 23 times.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all great, and Arsenal committed 13 fouls, with 1 red card, and a further yellow. Which I didn’t feel was a true reflection of the game.

Furthermore, it was the shooting department that was most disappointing. 19 shots, and just 8 on target. A shooting accuracy of 42%. A shot on target doesn’t guarantee a goal, but the more shots you get on target the more chance there is of a goal. The finishing was poor.

Theo had 3 shots on target of his 5 which was the best of any Arsenal player. Despite Santi getting that all important goal, it was his only attempt on target. He hit 4 wayward.

Olivier Giroud, however, was the biggest culprit. Considering he is the main striker as well, and most Cazorla’s shots were from range, Giroud really should be doing better. He had 1 on target, but failed to even trouble the ‘keeper with 5, a few of these inside the box, one quite memorable which he drilled past the far post.

He also enraged Wenger by taking on a hopeless shot from outside the box when he would have done better to keep the ball given the circumstances late on.

Ramsey hit 2/2 on target, and Diaby had 1/1 on target although it was an easy save for Mignelot.

If you haven’t done so already, read the Match Report and Player Rating, with quotes from Wenger.

Arsenal Grind Out a 1-0 Win at Sunderland

It was a return of the 1-0 to the Arsenal once again this week, a result we haven’t seen twice in a row for some time now. A long-missed defensive solidarity that Arsenal fans have craved for 5 or 6 years now, although it is by no means proven or consistent as of yet.

Arsenal dominated much of the game, creating numerous chances and scoring just the one goal before Jack Wilshere was subbed off injured, and Jenkinson was sent off for a second bookable offence. Sunderland then piled on the pressure, especially in the last 10 minutes.

It was a bright start to the game, with Theo Walcott hitting two on target in the first 8 minutes and although Simon Mignolet was equal to them, Theo probably should have got one of them in.

Sunderland setting about their physical game, they knew it was the only way if they wanted to get something out of it and Cattermole’s return was surely the catalyst for their ‘dirty’ tackling in midfield against our technically gifted quad of Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey and Arteta. Cattermole was booked in 80 seconds after a lunge on Ramsey.

Unfortunately the ref didn’t give the protection that the Arsenal players deserved, especially Jack Wilshere. Arsene Wenger stated that,

I was a bit frustrated because I thought Jack didn’t get the free kicks he deserved. The referee let two or three things go that I thought were a foul on Jack. I just want the referee to give a foul when it’s a foul. I don’t want any special protection.

However, despite many bad tackles from the Sunderland players, it was Carl Jenkinson who would pick up the next yellow card after 18 minutes for a mistimed challenge.

Arsenal continued to press, and it was a great run from Jack Wilshere, charging through the midfield pass three players before he found Walcott, who controlled it then laid it off to Cazorla and with a crisp hit from his left foot it found the far bottom corner from the edge of the area and Mignolet was unable to keep this one out to his left, after a string of fine saves.

Jack Wilshere was taken off early into the second-half after a collision with N’Diaye who left his leg in, injuring Jack’s thigh. Diaby came on in place and added a physical presence and height that would soon be crucial when Jenkinson was sent off for an almost identical mistimed challenge down the wing.

After the challenges and fouls by the Sunderland players, it is frustrating that we should end up with 10 men. But it’s hard to argue that Carl’s tackles weren’t bookable offences yet you want the referee to be consistent, and against Sunderland, he just wasn’t.

This was to change the tides, and Sunderland would go all out attack to get an equaliser, bringing on Danny Graham to a great ovation. Last time he played at the Stadium of Light he was booed endlessly for Swansea, as he is a Newcastle fan. How fickle fans are.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. And that is exactly what Arsenal managed to do. Ramsey dropped in at right-back, and Sagna had his best game of the season playing centre-back, ironically. He even out shone Mertesacker, who has 86 caps for Germany in that position. He won more headers than most, and considering he’s a short fella, this was a great achievement.

I thought Ramsey played quite well too, and carried out his tasks well wherever he was asked to play, but Cazorla was on a different planet and some of his play was superb. He worked so hard to get box to the box in the last 20 minutes, trying to create things for Arsenal even though we were under constant threat. At 74 minutes he played through Walcott who hit the post, and this would have sealed the win more comfortably than we did. Wenger had this to say on him.

Top, top class. When you think that this guy is not a regular in the Spanish national team, it shows you how good they are. I think he had an outstanding performance today.

Giroud I was disappointed with. Not only did he miss a host of chances throughout the game, but gave little to collective effort, and in that last 20 minutes you want your tall, strong striker to be holding up the ball to bring others in to play as obviously they were all defending. But time after time he lost it, once even blazing one over the bar from long-range when Santi and Theo were options. Wenger went manic at this point, shouting and flapping his arms. It was a huge frustration and as with a good ten minutes left it was far from won.

But Szczesny really did save the day. A number of great saves that could have easily gone in, and we could have easily lost even, if it wasn’t for him. Mertesacker left him having to deal with a one-on-one. He produced a fine stop with his leg. Later he would be bombarded with crosses and headers, but in the last second he grabbed hold of the ball from Mignolet’s flick, and there was no way he was letting go.

The whistle went and it was a magnificent sight to see most of the players so emotional, shouting, hugging, and happy. It was such a battle and for once we didn’t capitulate. Some of the players like Santi were just bending down trying to catch their breath after working so hard. The passion was unbelievable and nice to see the players experiencing it as well as the fans, they seem like they are really going to grow together, as they are already, and this was without Jack or Vermaelen on the field as well remember.

Player Ratings /10:

Szczesny – 9/10

Jenkinson – 5/10

Sagna – 9/10

Mertesacker – 7/10

Monreal – 6/10

Arteta – 6/10

Ramsey – 7/10

Cazorla – 9/10

Wilshere – 9/10

Walcott – 8/10

Giroud – 6/10

Diaby – 5/10

Miquel – 5/10

Read my View the Numbers feature for an analysis of the game with statistics.