Petrus 1988 – Highbury 2004: A Vintage Year for Wine And A Vintage Year for Football

Arsenal verses Alkmaar 2009: this was not a beery, blood and guts affair of Tottenham in the League or a high energy, alcoho pop fuelled Carling Cup encounter with Liverpool, this Champions League game was a fine red wine for the football connoisseur.

An excellent selection by Wenger: a blend of player that complemented each other with the depth of Gallas and Vermaelen and the much anticipated combination of Fabregas, Arshavin and Nasri. No sooner had the bottle been opened we knew we were in for some smooth, sophisticated, controlled football, nothing was done in a rush, all was measured. But, like all good wines they need some time to breath and the same was true to this game; for twenty five minutes we sat back savouring the aromatic football until in the twenty sixth minute it burst into life with a goal of precision, twenty five yards out from our noble Captain.

This broke the ice and gave the signal for the soiree to loosen up a bit, we didn’t have to wait long for the waiter to come around to top up our glasses again when a delightful pass from the Russian maestro found the returning Nasri who swivelled then poured forward before opening a low drive, with the power of a cork being released from a Champagne bottle, into the corner past the helpless goalkeeper.

The party began in earnest with the conversation largely made up of excited speculation of just how good a year this could turn out to be. The interval took nothing away from the tonight’s tasting — this game had depth.  More bottles were opened and more goals were scored; Fabregas being put through by Arshavin fired the ball home with aplomb.

The forth gave me the most satisfaction. This goal took me right back to Highbury: the back heel from Eduardo was pure Bergkamp, the run and the cross from Arshavin was Pires and the control and finish from Diaby was Henry – yes Henry.

The ball did not arrive in front of Diaby, it was slightly behind him, giving him a lot more work to do than should have been necessary but he did it superbly well, at speed; gathering it with his left foot before moving it to his right foot and then finishing in style, vintage 2004. This French phenomenon is not to everyone’s taste, many people argue it is too early, he is not ready. But, despite having been subject to a larger range of criticisms than there are wines in France, when he gets in front of the goal he rarely disappoints.

A special mention to Big Raddy, I wish you both happiness for the future.


27 Responses to Petrus 1988 – Highbury 2004: A Vintage Year for Wine And A Vintage Year for Football

  1. London says:

    Morning Roadsters

    No easy task trying to make that one interesting.

  2. peachesgooner says:

    London – that post slips down like the finest Gevrey Chambertin 🙂

    I concur with all your observations, Champions League football is of a different class to anything else we see, there were some fine silky skills on show last night and while I love the rough and tumble of a fight in the Premiership last night was for football connoisseurs. Interesting that the ground wasn’t anywhere near full 😦

  3. peachesgooner says:

    Morning all

  4. peachesgooner says:

    A word about Eboue – a few actually

    I appove of him being used as back-up for Sagna and I have to say that I love the energy he brings to the team. Its the running endlessly with the ball that drives me mad as he usually ends up so far up the pitch that nothing more comes of the move. He must be told to release the ball earlier, he is not creative so whats the point in him doing that. Several times last night he found himself almost in the box and with no pass on for him the move broke down. Headless chicken.

    And now on to Diaby

    I know he scored, I know he has some amazing skills but he was guilty of passing the ball to the opposition – thats not giving the ball away as in not protecting it – thats looking up and passing the ball to the opposition!!!!!!!! He will get us into trouble……very sad 😦

    But the joy of Cesc, Arshavin and Nasri together with Robin and Theo, Tomas, Nikki and Dudu is just mouth watering. How lucky are we 😛 😛 😛

  5. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, hope you managed to hobble along to the game ok Peaches.
    Thanks to London Transport I arrived later than I usually prefer but missed nothing.
    Onto the match, I noticed Gibbs got turned by the Alkmaar right winger in the first half but he seemed to tighten up that aspect of his game as time went on, also Diaby did seem to be putting in more effort and cutting out the self-indulgent runs that would culminate with him losing possession.
    The Alkmaar fans were in the ground early and we’re lagered up – they kept bouncing up and down, shouting and whistling even when they went 3-0 down and we gave them the “Are you Tottenham in disguise” chants. There seemed to be loads of them around after the final whistle as I seemed to be jammed in carriagefulls of them on the long, weary journey back. May have been knackered by the time I got in, I even managed to pull a thigh muscle somehow, but I was satisfied with the quality/class served up by the lads.
    Just one more game till the interlull and if we make sure we get all 3 points off Wolves then one of the 2 teams above us – if not both – will drop points at the Chavs gaff on Sunday.
    After which hopefully Theo will be back and maybe even Bendy, just for you Rico

  6. Rasputin says:

    Hi Roadsters,

    ….a cultured post London …..

    Stan’s got his 29.9% – this could be a pivotal day in the history of our great football club… 😦 or 😛

  7. Rasputin says:

    An observation re: Diaby … he generally plays well in european games as he is given more time on the ball, all of the premiership managers are aware of his weaknesses and will instruct their midfielders to close him down. He took the goal well yesterday and must have a very good strike rate compared to opportunities, but I still thought he and EE were our worst two players.

    EE gets overconfident and excited and thinks he can beat the opposition on his own. The captain should have a word with him on the pitch and tell him to keep it simple and look for the pass.

  8. Rasputin says:

    0.09 % to go – but look who sold him this latest batch of shares …… the plot thickens …. should we be worried?

    “LONDON (AFP) – American sports magnate Stan Kroenke has edged a step closer to a possible bid for full control of Arsenal by increasing his stake in the club’s holding company to 29.9 percent.

    That is just short of the 29.99 percent threshold at which British company law requires investors to make an offer to buy out all the other shareholders.

    Kroenke declined an opportunity to clarify his intentions at Arsenal’s annual general meeting last month, which fuelled speculation that a bid could be imminent.

    The latest increase in Kroenke’s stake followed the acquisition of 200 shares, half of which were sold to him by Peter Hill-Wood, the Arsenal chairman.”

  9. peachesgooner says:

    Sharp intake of breath and my mouth dropped open at that last bit of news rasp – Peter Hill-Wood – the plot certainly thickens……….

  10. Rasputin says:

    Hi peaches,

    I’m surprised that there is not more focus on this in the blogs today? there has to be something going on behind the scenes. Stan can add that 0.09% any time he wants. I like what I read about Kroenke’s attitude to sport and business, but would still much prefer that we don’t fall under the control of a single owner. It would be a shame when we are a couple of years away from being debt free, for a new owner to saddle us with extra debt ala mancs and pool ….

  11. Rasputin says:

    By the way my little man had a fantastic game yesterday – 3 assists. He’s unselfish as well as outrageously talented, and, contrary to some opinions, he does help out in defence.

  12. peachesgooner says:

    Yes rasp he was fabulous last night, he was lucky to be played up front with Robin, a position we know he wants to play all the time.

    By the way – you’ve still got pink boots 😀

  13. London says:

    Thank you for the kind words

    I do agree with the concerns, high-lighted above, about Eboue and Diaby, neither releases the ball quick enough and as Rasp says in Eboue’s case this could probably be solved easily by a quiet word in his ear from the captain. In Diaby’s case, prayers might be the only option left.

    The other player that used to be lumped in with these two is Song but he has deservedly been removed from the category; he was outstanding last night.

    As I watched him, I realised that there is only a tiny minority of people who do not understand what he brings to the team, this minority are close to being ridiculed as everyone else realises that they, laughably, do not know what they are talking about.

  14. London says:

    I might have to reconsider that last comment:

    Song: Truly the invisible wall tonight. Did everything that was asked of him. A very professional performance. 7

    Seems I will have to write in the singular in future.

  15. rico says:

    Afternoon Roadsters

    That’s a ‘corker’ London…

    Diaby and Eboue do frustrate me. Diaby was a lot better last night but he still has a long way to go, and I agree with the comments so far about Eboue suddenly thinks he can do a ‘Run Forrest, Run’ with the ball but sadly I really do sometimes wish he would just keep on running……

    Diaby finished his goal really well, just like a striker ??? ; You just never know with our manager…

    AA was back near to his best to, some of his passing was awesome ( thats me getting used to Stan 😉 )

    Great night for our club…

  16. rico says:

    I am amazed that PHW has sold some of his shares, that says to me the club are ready to hand over the keys to Stan – hopefully, if this has to happen, the sale of his ‘football’club in the States will give him millions and he puts it towards buying another CH, HM, Striker and a Keeper 🙂 🙂

    Lets all hope it gets sorted out before January, if a takeover is near…

  17. Gunnersgun says:

    Stupendous performance !!! the whole team played very well, 11 players stayed focus & worked hard for each other until the final whistle. A few players were electrifying. Keep up the confidence boosting performance on a regular basis.

  18. London says:

    Good assessment Gunnersgun, I like the uplifting sentiment. Come back and give us some more views in the future.

  19. rico says:

    See the latest news in the side bar 🙂 🙂

    Come on Fran, put you signature where your mouth is 🙂 🙂

  20. Freire says:

    Hello everybody!

    I just read the Kroenke’s notice. That would be a shame for us, selling the Club. Now i’m really affraid of it. Will Kroenke really make a takeover bid? Tell me he won’t :S

  21. rico says:

    Hi Freire

    Hope you enjoyed the game last night 🙂

    I think the writing is on the wall, but think positive, Stan is better than the big Russian fella 😉

  22. Freire says:

    Hey Rico,
    I liked the game and one more time I hated Almunia…but that’s ok.

    Well, is not Hill-Wood against selling the Club? Why did he sell his shares to Kroenke?

  23. Freire says:

    I always talk alone on this blog.

  24. rico says:

    No you don’t Freire 😉 We have been having to check on the animals because of all the fireworks 😦

    But, I am here, honest

  25. rico says:

    So now it’s my turn 😉

    Night folks, catch you tomorrow…

  26. Irishgunner says:

    Hi Guys,

    Great win against Tottenham – got to see that one live cause it was on at a reasonable hour. Fabregas is on fire at the moment.

    Didn’t get to see the CL game but by all accounts it was a good one. Should top the group although by the way things are going there could be some very tricky ties in the next round with Barca looking in slight trouble.

    As for Kroenke, Wenger and the board seem all for him so he can’t be too bad a thing. I don’t see them selling out the club to someone who would laden us with debt.

    As for the weekend, 1-5 to the Gunners.

    Catch ye all soon.

  27. rico says:

    Morning Roadsters

    Hi Irish,

    Hope all is well where you are and you are having a good time. I will put your comment on the new post..


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