Sad boring day over at the Emirates, here are Gunner Dude‘s thoughts and concerns (member of the forum) – match report will not follow today.
Enjoy and join the forum for more discussion: Goonerforum
This entry was posted on Saturday, February 21st, 2009 at 4:05 pm and is filed under Arsenal News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
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Dude, I hear you. It is either a stroke of brilliance and this team are all world-beaters waiting to happen….(and if they are it better happen soon).. or the management/board have got it wrong.
Lets hope a season in the Eufa cup next year will help to focus their minds.
I hate the thought of Eufa cup, we deserve better 😦 I hope we can just do enough to qualify to champions league – i think we can do well next season if our full squad is back next season fully fit with Eduardo and Arshavin in the sqaud aswell.
He would still need to extend in the summer transfer market though.
I live in swaziland, share a flat with a chelsea supporter!
Yesterday’s game shows just how bad we need to learn how to shoot!
I have faith in Song and Denilson-but don’t know for how long! Tuesday maybe the day I join the gooner singing off with their heads!
I just can’t accept being u eufa cup!
Living with Chelsea fan makes life a tad more difficult!
We really need to work on shooting!
Vela? Bendtner? All very well when inside 6yd box-but i dread seeing them with an open goal further out!
Song-testing my patience
Denilson- needs to be more aggresive.
The two are almost on my blacklist! (Silvestre-not a gooner in my eyes is top of blacklist)
Tuesday is Songs last chance 2 prove me wrong! For which i pray!
Intresting post from http://arsenalfcblog.com/arsenal-will-be-in-fourth-by-the-4th-of-april/
“Before I get labeled as a hopeless optimist and someone who doesn’t want to face the very real possibility of Arsenal finishing fifth, let me just say that Saturday’s game against Sunderland frustrated me immensely. It was another game without a goal, another missed opportunity and another painful exhibition of what we lack in the centre of the park.
But it was by no means a hopeless performance.
Arsene Wenger’s decision to start Andrey Arshavin surprised many people but the manager was rewarded with an individual performance full of promise. He was unlucky to not get a goal too, shooting agonisingly wide as early as the fourth minute and forcing the Sunderland goalkeeper’s best save of the game on the half-hour. He also set Nicklas Bendtner up with a lovely cross just before half-time before understandably fading out of the game as his fitness deteriorated, replaced by Carlos Vela.
Aside from the opening half-hour, when Sunderland forced Manuel Almunia into a couple of saves and looked quite decent on the break, we controlled the game and absolutely dominated possession. Absolutely. The fact that the Sunderland players were playing keep-ball in the corner with the scores at 0-0 with over five minutes to go indicated just how much they were overrun.
The problem was, as it often has been this season, the centre of midfield. But anyone who expects the performances of Alex Song and Denilson to be berated on this blog should look elsewhere. In contrast, I thought the pair did the job that they were set out to do admirably.
Creativity is not the pair’s strong point but in the absence of Cesc Fabregas all we can realistically ask is that they win the battle in the centre of the park. They did so comfortably and should be praised for it. By half-time they had made the centre of the park their own, such to the extent that one of the pair could have been substituted soon after for a more incisive, attacking player. That the manager waited until the 78th minute to bring off Song for Emmanuel Eboue and shuffle Samir Nasri into the middle was criminal. He could and should have done that as early as the 50th minute. His failure to do so cost the team badly as one scuffed shot by Vela was all Arsenal had to show for their efforts until Song was taken off.
Looking back on the game as a whole, I’m not overly upset with the performance. It was disappointing, yes, and extremely frustrating, but the signs are good in my opinion. We made plenty of chances in the first half – van Persie’s chipped shot, Bendtner’s header and the two Arshavin shots immediately jump to mind – and if any of those efforts had gone in it would have been a cakewalk. But once again we were made to pay for not scoring early as Sunderland effectively shut up shop.
Once we break our 0-0 rut, which is nothing more than an excruciating novelty in my eyes, we will be fine. Our defence looks strong and so does our goalkeeper. Van Persie again looked sharp, Bendtner is improving while Arshavin is more than capable of playing as well as he did against Sunderland in future games. Eduardo is back and Theo Walcott is on his way. We will start to score – it’s not a hope but a formality.
Arsenal’s next six Premier League games are three home contests against Fulham, Blackburn and Manchester City and three away trips to West Brom, Newcastle and Wigan. Aston Villa, on the other hand, host Stoke, Tottenham and FA Cup conquerors Everton and have to travel to Manchester twice and play Liverpool at Anfield. They will drop points. We’re likely to drop some too, but some quick maths indicate to me that we’ll be at least level with Villa by the second week of April. You read it here first.
And that’s all I want to say, really. I admit that another 0-0 draw is hardly the most satisfying result in the world, but aside from the continued frustration of the failure to score it was not a disaster. The defence looked solid, Song and Denilson did their job and if the manager had been just a little more proactive we would have won the game. He wasn’t and we didn’t, and it’s as simple as that.
Anyway, Roma is up next in what should be an excellent game. Keep smiling if you can.”
The difference was incredible. The difference between Arshavin and the other 21 players was quite incredible.
But you had to be there.You had to be in the stadium to really see it.
Truly, Arshavin was different class. Five foot five and stocky, he has a razor-sharp touch in both feet, and his vision puts him on another level. He was fantastic. It was a real thrill to see his debut. Andrej Arshavin was even better than I thought he would be.
He hasn’t played since November but he lit up a dreary 0-0 draw against Sunderland. Trouble was, his pinpoint passes were sometimes too good for the other players. They couldn’t read him because they’ve played for too long in a predictable passing pattern.They’re not used to being around a player of that quality.
I never doubted Arsenal should sign Arshavin because it’s very rare that a player as gifted as him comes on the market. If he’s available, and wants to join your club, you sign him. Although Paul Walsh said on Soccer Saturday that he thought Wenger had been “railroaded” into the deal. I hope not. We’ve been begging the manager to sign a 27-year old player. We’ve been begging him to sign 27-year old players for the last four years !
The day started well with a sunlit Saturday stroll through Highbury Fields with my son Michael, down Drayton Park, where his pal Jay lives, meeting my friend outside Arsenal tube station, with his mate Adam and Adam’s young son Billy, four of strolling round to see a game we expected to be a home win. We were all in a good mood and really looking forward to the game.
When the Arsenal players gathered in a circle to embrace each other and signal their brotherly love, it looked pathetic and we joked about it.
“Thierry’s last hug with Theo lasted two minutes!”
“I know, I was shouting, ‘Get a room!’ ”
Silly stuff like that.
Arshavin shone like a diamond immediately. When Andy Reid passed to him near the centre circle, he cruised forward and fired a fierce shot a yard past the base of the post. He zipped in from the right and fired a shot which Fulop parried away for a corner. Another shot was hasty and wide. A cross was almost perfect, just behind Bendtner, who got in decent header which was saved .
Without scoring, no new player could have had a better February start than Arshavin was having here. Cutting back a ball to Bendtner, he found the striker had switched off, turned his back, not expecting the ball to come. Sagna read Arshavin’s probing pass down the line a fraction too late but almost got there in time.( Zenit feed their overlapping fullbacks, that’s a big part of their style.)
Early on, Denilson’s best pass split the Sunderland defence but Robin van Persie floated his shot two feet past the post. If he scores, it’s a different game.
First half, RVP was taking seven touches when Arshavin was taking two. We were saying , “Look at van Persie, why is he so bad today? ” “He looks as if he’s had his nose put out of joint !” ” Suddenly, there’s a new player who can do things he can’t do.” ” It’s like Henry when Reyes came, and took up positions he liked to take up, so he had the hump.”
Almunia and Gallas played well. And Bendtner showed that he can play with Arshavin
Vela replaced Arshavin and when Nasri’s cross beat the jumpers and fell to Vela, he mishit his shot two yards wide. Two minutes later, RVP gave Vela a nice pass but Vela swung wildly at the ball and his the shot went nearer the goal than the corner flag . But not much nearer.
As a punter, I’m pretty cool. I’ve lowered my expectations, and lowered them again, so I don’t expect much. So I don’t get agitated, don’t scream and shout. But Vela’s late, ridiculously wild shot frustrated me and I shouted, “Concentrate, you idiot ! Where’s your bottle? You do this for a living !”
My friend held his head in his hands and said, “What does Wenger see in this team?”
Let’s get this 100% straight once and for all, so I don’t have to mention it ever again. It’s boring so I’m only going to say this once more : Alex Song is a seriously inept footballer and Denilson is a bang average squad player. With Petit and Vieira, Arsenal would have won this game. With Grimandi and Edu they would have won. With Paul Davis and Ray Parlour, ditto.
Two duff central midfielders will always expose your centrebacks too much, restrict full backs, starve your strikers, and reduce the potential of your wide players. That’s obvious. It’s a fact, not an opinion. These clowns can’t win the ball in the right areas, they never intercept to launch breaks, or generate momentum, and when they have the ball they pass it sideways, partly because nobody is making a run.
Arsenal fans hate to hear Wenger say, “Eboue and Song don’t get the credit they deserve.” They really hate that. They think he’s lost the plot. A big percentage now think Wenger has lost the plot and will NOT turn it round. Does he think fans know nothing? Does he think 60,000 people are morons ?
The way Arsenal play is one-paced and one-dimensional and dull. It was exciting last season when Flamini made the team 30% faster. But nowadays they rarely mix it up, so they are numbingly predictable. This midfield cannot win games. This midfield is seriously inept. This midfield did not dominate the West Ham midfield or the Sunderland midfield. Is there any of the 19 midfields in the PL that Denilson and Song could dominate? No! Not one.
In injury time, Gallas hit a Route 1 ball, Bendtner flicked it on, RVP shot straight at Fulop. We heard a roar. We were outside the stadium by then.
I got home at 6.15pm and Gooner Kelvin had called and left a message with Jan : We’ve had enough!
My brother Paddy phoned. He said a third of the crowd had left by the final whistle, according to a radio commentator.
On Saturday night, in the wonderfully modern interactive world we now enjoy, Gooners were ringing up Ray Parlour on You’re On Sky Sports and saying, “We think we’re being shafted : season ticket prices, merchandise, food and drink, five quid for a hot dog – we think we’re being shafted.”
What’s the bottom line on the Sunderland game?
Simple. On this evidence, Arshavin is heading for the Uefa Cup again. After this drab, dreary game he must have gone home on Saturday night and thought : What have I done?
Still, I’ll remember the little Russian’s debut. I’ll remember thinking : he thinks too quick for these dimwits !
Andrej Arshavin is the jewel in the crown. But right now the crown is made of cardboard.
So the $64,000 question is : How quickly can Arsenal improve to profit from Arshavin’s creativity?
There used to be a time when Arsenal beat the opposition in the tunnel before the game. Sometimes it can appear that those days are no more.
Unfortunately for Gooners, and Arsenal, we are seen as the soft touch of the so-called top four and the fear we used to generate through the Premiership seems to be at an all time low.
Sides play Arsenal and believe that they can beat us. Or at least get something from the game. It used to be so different.
We have become predictable and teams know that putting ten men behind the ball causes us real problems. We are finding it hard to break down sides when we used to have the answer.
When teams “park the bus” in front of goal it shows an element of fear but more than anything it shows that teams have worked us out. Causing frustration for the players and especially us Gooners.
I think that our lethargic starts to games doesn’t help. We seem very slow in our build up play and allow teams to get behind the ball. Which as we all know, causes us problems.
We need to somehow get that fear back. As much as it pains me to say the current personnel in the Arsenal squad probably doesn’t help.
Without trying to sound as though I’m making scapegoats the likes of Song, Denilson (although he has improved this season) and even Bendtner probably do not strike fear into the opposing side.
Wenger can’t add to the squad until the summer now but the return of Eduardo, Fabregas, Rosicky, Walcott and the signing of Arshavin will add a lot more to this Arsenal side.
We need to get behind the team until the end of the season and turn the Emirates into a cauldron. Perhaps if the players aren’t scaring the other team then maybe we Gooners can have a go?
I believe we will finish in the top four but we need to get the fear back into us. Let other clubs dread playing us not fancy it.
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