Diaby Still Fit!

February 28, 2009

 

It’s unbelievable Diaby is in the squad to play Fulham today, he isn’t back, he hasn’t been away.

The poor lad, he has had enough injuries to last a whole career and hopefully we can see him have a month or two injury free before Cesc gets back, to really see what sort of player he is.

I must confess I don’t know what to make of him, some days like against Roma and Man U he looks a world beater. Then some days we wish Song was playing he is that bad. (for you London). We are again comparing Diaby to PV4 again, there are some similarities but Patrick was more direct and a better DM when needed.

Onto today, Arsenal in 5th place in the Premiership take on Fulham in 8th.. That doesn’t sound right does it? Fulham are over achieving under the managment skills of Roy Hodgson and are not under any pressure of relegation. Hopefully they wont be playing like a team whose life depends on it like some of the lower teams and we can take advantage of that.

wolfie_243x2782

                                            Fulham Supporter

We need to keep the pressure on Villa they are only 6 points ahead and if we get 3 this afternoon it is going to be sqeaky bum time for them and they have never had this pressure before and hopefully there team spirit will be lowered by there midweek defeat in the UEFA cup.

The Spuds and Villa fielding weakened teams in the week has lowered the value of that cup even more now and we should be determined to get a Champions League place and not lower ourselves by stooping so low as to drop into it.

I think the team will be.

                      Almunia.

Sagna..Toure..Gallas.. Clichy.

Arshavin..Diaby.. Denilson.. Nasri.

                      RvP………………….Bendtner.

Prediction 3-1 to the Rip Roaring Reds..

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Rome wasn’t built in a day.

February 26, 2009

After recent games that almost sent us to sleep, we  finally found our rhythm against a lacklustre Roma side, yet once again our finishing let us down. From 14 attempts on goal we only tested the keeper twice and we could only score from a penalty so although we played with fluidity and many of our players were in impressive form, I’m not jumping for joy just yet, there’s still a long way to go.1-03I still think 1 nil from the home leg is never enough to take into the 2nd, especially when we should of had at least 3, but the fact we scored and kept a clean sheet means Roma will have to come at us and play, especially on their own turf. We all know we struggle when teams decide to park the bus, but when they decide to play we can beat anyone, just ask Chelsea and Man Utd. I am confident if we get one goal at least,  the tie is ours. Our defence has been solid recently, Gallas has been world class and Kolo has been a worthy side kick, an early goal would mean Roma need 3 and I don’t think they will do it, so fingers crossed.

Onto the game, I said on the blog yesterday that if we were going to get a result we needed RvP and Nasri to be on top form, and they didn’t disappoint. Nasri was all over the place, it was like he was given a free role in the midfield and when hes central he’s awesome. Let me add if we did lose Cesc in the summer, I wouldn’t be worried, because in Nasri we have a suitable replacement and although his passing is not of Cescs standard, his overall attack play is better than Cescs and i’d love him to play centrally all the time. Robin was also class, he’s so clever with the ball, close control, tricky feet and the penalty was sweet. Robin won the penalty with intelligence and trickery. He rope a doped the defender into going to other way and made himself room for a shot, the slightest of clips and he went down, excellent forward play.

We had some excellent chances, Bendtner could of had a couple cough cough, Eboue also had a glorious chance cough cough, but do we expect anything less from them after the season they have both had?????

Roma were overpowered, outplayed and credit must go to wenger for the tactics on the night, for once he got it spot on, he made Denilson sit back all game and we looked solid for once when we didn’t have the ball, Roma never looked threatening and apart from a long range effort which Almunia superbly saved, we weren’t tested at all.

Almunia…7…not really tested but made a great save from a thunder bolt from 30 yards, came out for a few crosses and looked comfortable all night.

Sagna…7…I thought we saw the Sagna of last season. Went on bombing runs, keeping the Roma winger defending all night and his crossing wasn’t as bad as its been recently either.

Clichy..7..like Sagna, some good crosses also, but just needs to sort out his defensive play

Kolo…7…was Totti even in the game???

Gallas…7…same as kolo, never looked in trouble all night, the mans professionalism and class has shone through since earlier season activities, I hope he stays with us in the summer

Denilson…8…wow, excellent game, kept away from the attack and did what he was told and protected his back four with ease, won every tackle and swept up well, best performance I’ve seen from him, he looked like a little Gilberto. Its watching him in games like that which make me think he will make it as a good player.

Diaby…7…started well but faded towards the end but he has just returned from injury so I won’t moan. His control is excellent, hes a great player when he wants to be, going forward and backward there were times I thought I was watching Vieira all over again, its just a shame he doesn’t do it every game.

Eboue…7…I’d like to give Eboue 10 for effort, but trying and effort doesn’t make you a great player. His pace causes problems but he does nothing with it, he has no end product. There were times last night Eboue broke on the counter attack and his pace got him free and into space, but he can’t dribble, he can’t shoot and he can’t pass so he just runs into brick walls and dead ends and the chance has gone. The most we can wish for from an Eboue run is a free kick. Good effort though, at least we saw nothing from the circus.

Nasri…8…Main midfield man, absolute dynamo, creative, threatening and when he’s on form like this he’s  hard to stop and he’s still learning. We got a gem with this one.

RvP…8…Great penalty, won it well as I said before, caused the Roma defence problems all night with his trickery and linked up well with Nasri and Diaby.

Nikki (brikki)…5… Has the 1st touch of a brick wall, can’t  shoot, and wastes a lot of good play, was useless. He could of put the tie to bed but he can’t finish his dinner. He’s another Ade, we don’t need either of them.

subs

Song…5…Why?? whats the point???

Vela…6…This lad has impressed us with his finishing this season, yet he has to keep the bench warm because Wenger prefers brikki. His confidence looks shot in front of goal now but who’s wouldn’t having to watch brikki given his chance week after week. Some people say Wenger wont play Vela because he isn’t ready??? So brikki is???

Overall a good solid performance, we should of had more goals for our efforts but with Dudu out we lack finese in front of goal. We are half way there, same again in Rome and its ours.


Get on your Bike!

February 23, 2009

I think it was Norman Tebbit who said “if you want a job get on your bike” Well there was no defensive midfield jobs against Sunderland so Song and Denilson should have moved forwards and retrained to become attacking midfielders.

The thing I don’t understand is all this bollocks about each player has a “job”.

If Vieira never had any defending to do he would break forward and score goals, he was a footballer.
A DM when needed, a AM when needed.

                                                                                            vieira
If you put in 2 midfield players who only defend you take away from the attack..
For every action there is a reaction and all that. Thats why Flamini was so good last year, the attack broke down and he would bust a gut to get back and defend, once that job was done he would support the attack and quickly.

For 2 defensive midfielders to work we need to suck the opposition into our half and break quickly, like the team of 98″ with Overmars and Anelka. But we haven’t even got the palyers who can do that. We are a mish mash of slow attackers and holding midfielders  trying to pass the ball into the net.

Having said that we created loads of chances on Saturday and if one had gone in it would have been 4.  but that would just be wallpapering over the cracks at the moment.

I only watched the match on a stream and the highlight (singular) on MOTD but here is a rough match report and ratings.

Almunia.. 7.5 .. has looked good recently in front of a more solid defence, done a ridiculous Punch at one stage where he should have caught it easily.

Sagna… 7.5.. he seems to be taking the stick for our poor attacking performance, not really his fault we are just spoilt that the man is capable of both defending and attack and he was trying to do more than his share..

Toure… 7.5.. Looked solid in defence and even joined in the attack on numerous occasions trying  do what Denilson and Song didn’t even try to do.

Gallas… 7.. Solid as a rock but with little to do.

Clichy..6.5.. Not his best game in an Arsenal shirt, he is a fast attacker and he was made redundant by the system.

Arshavin.. 8.5 .. A brilliant debut from a player who hasn’t played since November. That was like a pre season match for him in terms of fitness, showed an eye for goal and very quick feet.

Song… 6… would have got a 7 but when I saw his laboured run to protect the defence he lost a mark solely on that.

Denilson.. 7.. Would have been okay with someone like Fabregas next to him, there is only enough room for one crab in the team, It seems like the penalty area has a force field around it that he is not allowed into, needs to take a attacking option now and again and do  a Short pass and run forwards to receive the ball back.

Nasri.. 7.5.. Not at his very best but if everyone was as creative we would have scored.

Rvp.. 7.. Missed a couple of chances that you would expect a so called world class player to take, talks the talk, needs to do the walk bit.

Bendtner.. 8.. Not a bad game at all, he has been looking strong and useful recently.

Subs..

Vela.. …6.5..We were expecting so much after his Carling cup performances, His finishing was well off , Has wenger built the pressure up on the guy?

Eboue..7.. Looked lively but the team was finished with ideas by the time he came on. Thought he was in with a chance of an Oscar last night, but he cannot win anything at the moment.

Gibbs.. 7.5 .. On very late in the game, needs more starts..

 

A far better performance than some of the ones before Christmas, the scoreline would have been big if Arshavins first shot had of gone in as Sunderland didn’t need to attack us. That was the main plus Arshavin, he looks a player.

Come on you fishermen tonight!!!!!


The Return of Eboue?

February 21, 2009

 I know you don’t want to read it and I didn’t want to write it but I fear that EE 27 is going to start today against Sunderland.                                                                                  crying

 

Arsene Wenger has been easing him back into the supporters good books on Arse.con, but I feel this could be the last straw for some Arsenal fans. There might not be booing to start with but there will be  plenty of tuts and gasps, then after a while the tension will make the players play worse then it will end in tears again as the situation gets out of hand.

Why risk it?  Mr Wenger may think that Eboue is the best player to play right wing today but a manager has to look at all circumstances, some supporters will feel will should support any team we field, but some supporters want more even if it’s impossible and it will affect the team.

Here we are three weeks after the transfer window shut and we still haven’t seen Andrei Arshavin play yet. There is only two and a half months left of the season so that’s like a third of the time he will be on the bench.
I suppose it will be a good period of time to have him tip top for next year.

The feel good factor of Monday needs to be kept and playing Eboue could destroy that in one hit. Please play Arshavin!

                        Almunia

Sagna…. Toure….. Gallas…. Clichy.

Eboue….Denilson..Song…… Nasri

                 RvP…..Bendtner..

I fear that may well be the team that starts today, If it is I will not bother trying to watch on a poor quality stream, I will wait for the game on sky this evening.

My prediction 2-0 to Arsenal.


A Perfect Night.

February 17, 2009

There are a few things I have seen at football games that will stick in my mind forever. Heysel, Hillsborough and right up there Eduardo’s compound broken leg and ankle disslocation.
Okay I know there was no loss of life, but what happened against Birmingham nearly a year ago affected me. I wanted to fight anyone who defended Taylor and had a few rows on the open blogs.

But a year later, I still have to look twice to believe the Brazilian Croation can walk , I even talked myself out of thinking he was that great before that tackle so he would live up to my expectations,  even if or when he leaves Arsenal he will always be someone I admire and have learned from.

                                                                                             dudu1 

On to last nights game, we looked like a team that had a freedom from the start, the old Arsenal that had the touches the energy and when Dudu tried a audacious chip from the halfway line it was going to be a carnival night.

Those who were lucky enough to go it was one of those nights that crop up at football that stand out and you will remember too, like when Sammy dropped his pants at the North Bank.  🙂

Setanta were giving it the “big un” before the game saying about Cardiffs new stadium and premiership football next year, and the sweaty was bigging up the Cardiff midfielders

We played with 3 up front with Dudu being the centre piece and Bendtner working as hard as I have ever seen him, perhaps he was angry at the dodgy newspaper reporting dropping deep and Vela heading out into the left wing position every now and again. Total football was back, the defence looked sharp Toure cleaning up for Gallas and Gibbs playing with Cardiffs right winger.

Happy days are here again …. please build on this for the rest of the season and a trophy will be delivered.

Fabinaski.. 7.5… Commanding and his quick distribution suits our game.

Sagna.. 7.5… Looked in total control some good crosses too.

Toure.. 7.5… As I said covered for Gallas and broke forward a few times, seems to be in love with us again.

Gallas.. 7… Solid performance, never looks happy but very professional.

Gibbs… 7…Doesn’t look much worse than Clichy, there is a compliment there.

Nasri.. 7.5…Looked bright and at home on the right, good work an very inventive.

Song… 6.5…Not his best performance to watch as he gave the ball away, but if the Cardiff midfield were any good he stifled that most of the time. 

Denilson…7… Hardly noticable but worked hard and tried a few shots at goal.

Vela.. 7.5…Very bright, one of the reasons we looked to have the energy that we have lacked all season.

Bendtner..8… This hurts me to say but apart from the miss that didn’t seem to affect him, he played really well took his goal well and if it wasn’t for our “new boy” would have been MOTM.

Eduardo..9… It has all been said Respect…

Subs..

RvP.. 7.5 …The game was all over, showed he had a point to prove.

Ramsey.. 7… Seemed a lot happier than last time not so much pressure.

Bichoff..7 .. Showed glimpses of his capabilities, not a total waste of money as some thought..

cheers to Matt, London, Steve nice to hear from you all along with the regular Roadsters…


Holy Moses! The Waves Have Parted.

February 16, 2009

The FA have rewrote the Cup bible, the road to the semi final is clear, we now know our next three possible opponents in the FA cup and they are very winnable.
We are on our way to Wembley (or we should be).
Mr Wenger OBE has never lost a game to a side lower than the Premiership and as long as he doesn’t start this season we will be  making our first appearance at the new Wembley Stadium. Okay the pitch isn’t as good as ours and the stadium probably isn’t that much better BUT the name Wembley still sends a slight shiver down the old spine.

                                                                                       wembley1

We are so far away yet we are in touching distance of a semi final place, like the stoke games in “71” and “72” or the dreaded Spud game in “91”. It’s funny really if we look over our shoulder we have only seen the 3rd round and we are already talking Wembley.

The more I think about it though the FA cup needs Arsenal as much as the other way around, last year and in some previous years it has been devalued with respect to Pompey and Cardiff they hardly draw big TV audiences.

I would expect a strong side tonight.

                       Fabianski

Sagna……..Toure……. JD……..Gibbs

Wilshere….Denilson….Song….. Nasri

       Bendtner……………….RvP

Or if Ramsey has a late fitness test he will replace Wilshere.

I think we should win 3-0 tonight as well with a goal from the comeback man Eduardo.

The only other headline is about Nikki Big Boots and he thinks he should start every game for Arsenal, sometimes the words confidence or arrogance could describe him. If he gets a hat trick tonight I will call it confidence. I cannot believe he has never seen Arshavin play though, what do these footballers do in there spare time? A little bit of homework on the man and he could learn what the player is all about.

Anyway tonight we progress……


This Is England!

February 12, 2009

So we need more English players in the Arsenal team?
After last nights game it is obvious to see why England never win anything, the attributes that make the English players good in the premiership, hard work strong tackling go out of the window when they put the England shirt on.

                                                                                                         three-lions-71471

Our players are technically inept and when they represent the country they become lazy and think they can outplay other countries, this is okay in the middle of winter but as soon as the temperature reaches 20 degrees plus (like it will in South Africa) we run around like headless chickens for one game instead of letting the ball do the work and we will be knackered for the rest of the tournament.

Also I don’t go for this one position bollocks, like a player  is a central midfielder and that’s it, a player with any level of intelligence should be able to cover 2 or 3 positions on a football field at least. It was good to see the traditional winger, tall good in the air centre forward combination working so well too. Perhaps Mr Wenger and his Wengerball total football is the future after all.

In 5 years time when the Shenley academy of football produces 75% of the England team perhaps Arsene will actually receive some credit for his vision into the future of football in this country.

Chelsea have sacked another manager, oh am I glad I don’t support a club with the morals of a cuckoo, when are we going to realise we have the best manager in the world at our club, the one who could walk into any other job in the world, but some still want him gone.

What would have happened if Hiddink was appointed Chelsea manager 3 weeks ago, would the Arshavin transfer have been derailed? I would say yes we got away with that one I feel.

Have a good rest of the week, next post will be before the Cardiff game..