The Cream Beat the Black Cats and Claw Back Up the Table..

February 21, 2010

Arsenal 2-0  Sunderland

I suppose this match was always going to be an anti climax compared to the run of games that we have just had, but how important it could turn out to be.
Everton had already given us a helping hand and a win for us would put us just 2 points behind the Salford’s.
I kind of sort of knew how the game would pan out even before it started. The ingredients were all in place, we were at home, just had a midweek game away in Europe with only two days rest, an average team coming to town, injury crisis. Blah blah, belief, blah blah..

When the teams were announced it brightened things up a tad. Ramsey in for Diaby, Song back to replace the Crabman, Theo in for Rosicky and what turned out to be the most exciting change Eboue in for Sagna.

The first goal came from great work from EE, he put it on a plate for Nikki to tap in from 3 yards out.

We did our usual 66% possession and missed a hatful of chances, It was one of those games where it would be better if the opposition scored first or equalised, then we would have focused, but the longer the game went on there was always that niggling doubt in the back of our minds that Sunderland could sneak a goal back and when they got a free kick when normal time was nearly up, I thought we could blow it.

Instead a minute later, Fabregas just got to the line of the penalty box and got tripped, I would have swapped it for the shout Rosicky had in the week, but none the less we were given something that was as rare as hens, Fabbie stepped up to do the business. I watched his goal celebration, he doesn’t look like a man packing his bags to me..

Almunia… 7.. I know he isn’t everyones cup of tea, but thank the lord he is back.. Did quite well when needed.

Eboue.. 8.5.. If he could play like this every week he would be the number one right back choice. We either need a more energetic midfielder who could cover him going forward or Sagna will always get the nod in the bigger games.

Vermaelen.. 7.5.. An excellent performance even though he looked a little awkward at times on the right hand side.

Silvestre.. 6.. One of his best displays in an Arsenal shirt, I am sure I heard the commentator say we have offered him a new contract.. Not the best plan for an ambitious club..

Clichy.. 7.. He went back to basics, he is a defender foremost and yesterday he defended, and quite well

Song.. 7.5.. He had another good game, he is setting high standards now and consistent. Would you swap him for Cana?

Fabregas.. 8.. Really he was the best player on the park, but for him a average performance, I don’t see how he managed to find his way into the refs book.

Ramsey.. 6.5.. He does some great stuff, yet his work can be undone with his over elaborate keeping of the ball in dangerous area’s.. He must wear different boots when he plays for Wales, he cannot hit the target for us.

Nasri.. 7.5.. A very tidy, but Hleb like performance.. End product please.

Walcott ..6.. Oh Theo, if only you could play the final ball, how many final passes did you cock up?

Bendtner.. 7.. When he stood in the wall defending the 89th minute free kick you could see he is clearly 6”-7” taller than either Vermaelen or Song, he just needs commitment and confidence he could be a monster in the air and with good feet for a big guy..

The Subs were not on for long so no marks given.

All in all a good days work, considering the midweek European hangover…

So all you gloom merchants plaster up you wrists and join us for a title run in and we are involved.. This is what supporting is all about, it doesn’t ever get much better than this. Enjoy the ride.

Come 3pm, we could be ten down.. bet the pundits don’t mention that!!

February 20, 2010

A lot went on yesterday in the news about our fine club and our illustrious leader had a whole lot of things to say….

Nowt changes there then eh?

He talked about,

Why he believes the play-off for the CL place could be pointless.
Why he believes in the goal keepers he has to hand
Why the FA should help Portsmouth but not bend the transfer rules on the way

Tell you what I think, why talk about Portsmouth? It’s not our problem Arsene, unless of course you are thinking of nicking David James on the cheap – or any other player for that matter?

To be honest though, the poor chap just heads off to do a press interview, gets asked stupid irrelevant questions, answers them in a very diplomatic way and then everyone dissects what he replies…

I would rather know HONESTLY why he hasn’t tweaked our squad and made it into a real winning side..

But hey, we have all done that to death, haven’t we?

We have what we have until the summer so let’s get behind them (even Denilson) and roar our support from the rafters 🙂

Sunderland arrive at The Emirates today full of confidence, not from their last run of results but more so from the result they earned when we played them on their turf.

We were poor that day, we must have been, either that or we turned up believing the three points had been secured and we got complacent – I am going for the latter!

So today has to be very different, the players have to walk onto the green green grass of home thinking they are 1-0 down, fight for their lives from the off. To have a chance of winning this league we cannot afford to drop points, especially at home and especially against a side who hasn’t won in yonks..

In fact its twelve games since Sunderland have won a game a football, already Steve Bruce has said he hopes the board are patient with him and give him time to turn around results – he fears he will be axed if he doesn’t sort things out soon!

Well I hope Steve Bruce does turn things around and go on a long run of winning games, what I do hope though is that that begins next week and not tomorrow 😉

So who’s in and who’s out….

Sunderland have fitness doubts over Reid and Henderson, Cattermole and Meyler miss out due to being suspended.

Arsenal – We are without Gallas, Diaby, Van Persie, Eduardo, Djourou, Arshavin, Gibbs, and Merida –
Late fitness tests are in stall for both Almunia and Song!!

If Song and Alnunia are declared unfit, that’s TEN players we have out, yes I know Merida and Djourou wouldn’t definately be starters, but they would be on the bench wouldn’t they??

Did you read that long list of injured players Sky Sports?

Nah, of course you didn’t, you always like to make a big fuss over Manure (aka Sky FC) having Giggs out injured, or The Dippers missing Torres!!

Big day, big game, and I expect a big result in our favour; let’s show the boys from up north just how good we are on the slick surface at the Emirates and send Brucie home without any kind of bonus.

Let’s not let Steve Bruce go home with a similar kind of smug face that the last Manc went home with!!

Secure the three points and get us right back in this title race – we have to stay in it to win it!

Eboue/Sagna TV Sol Clichy
Cesc Song Rosicky
Nasri Nik Theo

That’s it, no gossip, no round up, just utter garbage from me 😉

Well: We can’t blame Diaby this time..

November 22, 2009

After 2 weeks wait our team failed us, what went wrong?  I don’t really know, a slight attitude problem I would guess. We need more desire to win.  We need to believe..

If we still need to find a scapegoat  we cannot for a change point the finger at our favourite villains Diaby, Eboue or Bendtner.
If we were the darling buds of  the media we could blame it on our massive injury list.. But only Liverpool have top players out.. Instead we are just bottlers in their eyes.

I think the finger of blame should go to, well at least to some extent to Mr Wenger OBE, it wasn’t fair on Eduardo to be leading a line with Nasri and Rosicky as his strike partners. Now I love all three of these players but to expect them to lead the line was asking too much.
All three are still trying to recover their pre injury form.

Also with Dudu he is not a traditional no 9 type striker and to have him up top on his own is never his natural position, as I said when he was starting to comeback from his leg break, don’t expect too much from him, he wasn’t a world beater before the injury, but we made him up to be the greatest player on earth because we all wanted him to make a full recovery, but perhaps he became better than he really was in our eyes. Or could the media reaction to his definate penalty against Celtic affected him? He was shaping up okay until then..  I would have liked to have seen AA start even if he was a bit tired, just to take some of the scoring burden away from Dudu’s shoulders.

The other disappointment for me was Aaron Ramsey, we all saw the highlights of him playing for Wales against Scotland last week, he ran the game, but we never see him do the same for Arsenal, wouldn’t it be easier to fit into Arsenal’s sleek system rather than the longer ball way of Wales?  Is it that the Premiership is of a far higher level than the international scene or is he overwhelmed by playing next to such quality players?.. Who knows..

One thing is for sure we cannot keep losing games like this.. This is a squad of players that come around every four or five years and we have to make the most of it before they start an exodus one by one, leaving us to rebuild again like we had to when Hleb and Flamini left a few years ago.

But in fairness we were in such control in the first 30 minutes we should have put a chance or two away, the best one going to Eduardo but the ball was too far underneath him and he could not get a clean strike on the bit. But as usual we allowed the opposition to gain confidence and Sunderland were a half decent side in the second half.
Have we heard that before?

Almunia.. 6.. Never had much to do in reality, perhaps he could have come for the corner that lead to the goal, but I doubt if he would have got to it as it was curling away.

Sagna.. 7.. Was our main attacking threat from the flanks, I just wish he would cut inside now and again and do a give and go, his crossing is too predictable.

Gallas 7.5 Our best defender yesterday and he also has the winning mentality, it’s a pity some of our attackers don’t have the same desire.

Vermaelen 6.. A pretty average performance from him for a change, at fault for the goal. He lost a header to Darren Bent then failed to recover when the ball came back in the box.

Traore. 6.5 .. Without knowing it I think he may of put in a transfer request yesterday (Saturday) he isn’t as good as either Clichy or Gibbs so he is probably third in the pecking order unless either of the other two go. He wasn’t terrible (better than Silvestre) but he made some terrible cross field passes in front of our penalty area.

Song.. 7.5.. Played pretty well, The ref didn’t like his style of defending unless the boot was on the other foot and a Sunderland player did the same thing.  Done well not to be booked..

Fabregas.. 7.. Tried to play the captains role but frustratingly started to settle for long-range shots at goal…

Nasri.. 6.5 Tidy, but never really got into the game. He should have been fresh as a daisy after a rest, and with a few matches behind him, looked a little lethargic.

Rosicky.. 6.5.. Same as Nasri.. Never really got into the game as well as he can.

Ramsey. 6.. Forgot he was playing in some parts of the game, it was obvious he was going to be the one coming off first.

Eduardo.. 6. As I said earlier, I don’t think the role suits him leading the line as the sole striker.


Arshavin 6.5.. Never really looked too interested after he got dumped on his arse a couple of times, surely it isn’t too cold for him..

Walcott.. 6.5.. Looked lively, but just went through the motions, did a very good ball across the six yard box that no one latched on to.

Vela. 6.. Didn’t really look any different from Eduardo, left footed and a bit lightweight. Sky never managed to show a replay of the penalty shout mmmm.

So all in all a bit of a piss off, I just  hope normal service will be resumed next week.

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.

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.


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!!!!!