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Goal Of the Month - January

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January's Goal of the Month comes courtesy of manual maestro Rdotman, whose Rabona effort by Vladimir Weiss is your winner.
I caught up with Rdotman recently to get his view from the Bridge.

The Arsenal man, with the Chelsea Brand - how are you settling in to life at the Bridge, Rdot?

Who'd have thought it, ey? It's been tough to adjust if I'm honest but I've come to accept it. I've opted for Chelsea's retro strips - in particular the Coors sponsored jerseys from the 90's - in an attempt to help soften the blow and avoid donning that ghastly blue! Dare I say it, the yellow strip is almost tolerable, I did say almost. I must confess, I regret not pursuing a franchise during the window...

After coming close with that hit from the Bong, how does it feel to win your first GOTM award?

I'm chuffed with Vladimir's victory - I felt the overall calibre of the submissions this month would  make for an intriguing poll and it proved with a narrow victory. As I recall it MRB's manual effort during the August GOTM won it at a canter; the irony is, I had more confidence in Bong's effort that month than I did in Vlad's this month... it's all down to perceptions after all. Regardless, I'm delighted with the victory.

I wouldn't be so humble, it was a fantastic winner, congratulations - what's not to like about a Rabona, ey? tell us about the goal, if you will.

Thanks. The game between Blueyboy and I had been tightly contested and by all accounts looked set to end in a stalemate; defences had been on top. Both managers mused: it would take either a moment of magic or a moment of madness... and... well... what do you know - this had both! A poor throw from the Everton keeper, Yuri Lodygin allowed Vlad in to capitalise in magnificent fashion.

You can say that again!
It was a goal with added charm having been scored using manual controls - did the goal require additional control input as a result (of being manual) and is it something that you practice?

It's a technique that I have worked on, yeah. Understanding when to alternate between using the shoot button or the lofted-pass button has come with experience. I used the lofted-pass on this occasion fully aware that I would not be able to achieve the necessary power or trajectory required to score using the conventional inputs for a chip shot.

I must digress as the name on everybody's lips is Carrasco; news broke this morning of his impending arrival... where... how... when? You must be delighted?

Delighted? Certainly - Yannick is one of world football's brightest prospects. The deal itself came about as reports surfaced regarding an unsettled Koke considering his future following the clubs acquisition of Granite Xhaka. Coupled with the rather convenient cash injection courtesy of the GOTM victory, we were able to negotiate a package to benefit all concerned. Koke secured a move away whilst signing Yannick spells the end of our lengthy search for a reputable right-sided attacker to replace the revered P-G Ntep. 

GOTM winner Weiss has been a fantastic servant to the club but is his position in jeopardy with Yannick due to arrive?

Vlad is going nowhere at the moment, least of all because he plays on the opposite flank to Yannick!

Following a quite stunning undefeated run in the promotion charge last season, you are once again knocking on the door, what are the expectations for the remainder of Season 10 and can we expect a final push for promotion from your boys?

Truthfully, the plan all along has been to consolidate in Division One with one eye on Season 11. On current form we are on course and making steady progress according to the plan - if we can maintain our form a late push for promotion may well be on the cards.
I was a more accomplished player during Season 9 which took place towards the end of PES2016 - with this in mind, Season 11 should see me in good stead to mount a title challenge, and in the colours of a new brand!

Lastly, let's get back to the real world; as an Arsenal fan give us your thoughts on the Premier League - can Chelsea be stopped?

Well nothing is impossible - after all bigger points deficits have been clawed back before. As it's still mathematically possible, there's still a chance and where there's still a chance, there's all to play for.

Congratulations once again to Rdotman for his victory - an intriguing chat indeed. I shall be back with the mic, a strike and some more insight next month but for now, on yer bike!

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