Well, I seem to have become a magnet for hate here in recent weeks, after simply questioning some of Arsene’s decisions.
Now, he’s not suddenly my hero but he and the players do deserve some credit after coming back from a crushing mental loss, to scoring 11 goals in three games. I have absolutely no problem giving it to him.
However, let’s not take this out of proporition. The game was peppered with little cracks all over, which if not addressed soon, may have long term implications and see our season affected much like last season.
As I am a moany git, I do have several complaints to make…
Strike partnership – It’s nice to see Ade and Robin play together for an extended period of time, and long may that continue. They both compliment each other and are flexible in terms of play. Ade seemed to be playing more centerally yesterday whereas Robin was drifting on the wings. Ade’s presence certainly caused problems. Personally, I can’t wait for the likes of Vela and Dudu to be added to the fray.
Away support – Simply fantastic, vocal, encouraging and they sang non stop. I tip my hat to anyone who was there. If only we could have this kind of atmosphere at home. I’m not buying this, supporters being outpriced line. Away games must cost a fair bit as well, when taking into account transportation, food etc. In my opinion, it’s simply to do with the acoustics of the Emirates. Not only have the clock end, north bank etc. been scattered around the stadium but the roof is too high to contain the noise and we’re too far from the pitch, and therefore the action.
Counter attacking football – It was like meeting an old friend after a long time. Especially at the beginning stages of the game, we were lightning quick, superb, exquisite. The Arsenal of old, hit the team with the early goal, sit back, wait for them to press and the BAM, BAM. We’re 2-3 goals ahead.
Manuel Almunia – Looking more and more like a top class number 1. At the beginning of the season I was delighted to see Manu get it, but would not have been opposed to see someone of real quality come in. I was of the opinion that whilst Manuel would not lose us any games, he would not win us any either. He certainly seems more confident, showing excellent positioning, quick reflexes and calm hands when dealing with crosses for the last few games. Not to mention his concentration has greatly improved and he seems more like a leader, organizing the defence well. I dread to think what would’ve happened had we conceded early to Blackburn.
Cesc Fabregas and Aaron Ramsey – Cesc showed that once again, he has matured. With more attacking options added to our squad and Denilson not really a defensive midfielder that he could afford to stay out of the spotlight a little, keep the play going and take up his defensive responsibilities.
Ramsey also, seems to have bulked up and showed good vision for his assist. Hopefully he can keep on improving and perhaps challenge Denilson next season.
Eboue – Has looked good all season. Surprisingly so. There’s no doubt that Eboue is a fantastic footballer, he’s just fucked up in the head. If that’s sorted then we have a real asset to the team and any potential winger problem solved really. Don’t think that was a dive at the end.
Four goals – Whatever happened at the game, we can’t really complain can we? We scored 4 goals, played a good passing game (not the most attractive at times) and generally did our job with conviction. A mention to the pitch, which looked superb and must have really helped with the 20 odd passes we pulled together for each attack. We can also thank the likes of Nelson and Warnock for being really shite.
Defence – Let’s face it. Kolo and Gallas were horrible. They let Roberts bully them and Santa Cruz beat them in the air constantly. There was little to no communication or leadership, they both went for the same balls and withdrew for the same ones. We can thank the gods that the opposition’s finishing was generally shit. I’m hoping that Silvestre can go in there and make a difference but I’m not optimistic. I’m more optimistic with Johan, but with our lack of a defensive midfielder, I would not complain if he was used in midfield. It’s a proven fact that the best defence wins the league.
Denilson – More of a moan at Arsene than Denilson, who I thought was pretty good. He’s showed end product in recent games and bar a misplaced pass or two, was pretty good. Lovely cross for Ade’s goal. But a defensive midfielder he is not. He is Cesc Fabregas in minature. It’s not that he can’t tackle – he showed he can against Madrid – he just doesn’t. It’s not the kind of player he is. He can play alongside Cesc occasionaly and in Cesc’s place whenever he needs a breather (which isn’t much of a problem really, to avoid Cesc having his customary dip of form due to being burned out, I hope Rozza, Nasri, Denilson and Ramsey can be used in the center occasionally). It’s not so much of a problem against teams like Blackburn, where Cesc can just play a slightly more withdrawn role, but against the bigger teams the defence will need some proper support. More so, I dread to think what will happen if we concede first in games. I don’t see much mental toughness in this lot and when that happens we need someone who can slot in and out of a defensive role to allow Cesc to be at his inspirational best.
Clichy and Eboue – Both injured and we’re two men shorter in an already thin squad. Silvestre injured so who will play LB? Gallas, Gibbs? Arsene needs to address the situation. Not really much we can do though, pure bad luck.
Theo Walcott – Hear me out before judging. I thought Theo was fantastic yesterday. Superb, mazy, sharp and had some end product. What disappoints me, is that he had 1-2 clear scoring opportunities and fluffed them. I’m hoping it’s not the praise going to his head, it’s probably not but am disappointed nonetheless. He took harder chances against England, so I hope we can attribute this to plain bad luck.
Adebayor – Yes, scored a hattrick and generally looked good but we all know the problem here. He plays a risky game with sticking to the last man and with his poor intelligence it generally leads to lost chances. Sort it out manu.
That’s pretty much the sum of things as far as I can see it. We were pretty good offensively, should improve even further when Rosicky and Dudu are back but our defensive problems are worrying me and could potentially fuck up our season. Against bigger teams, we would not have been so fortunate.
I’m not worrying to much about that now, after a tough few weeks we’ve shown some good form so I’m just going to enjoy it. Hopefully with a free transfer and 1-2 new players in January, we can have the league wrapped up by April.