Saturday, April 01, 2006

A great day slightly marred.

First up some excellent writing in the Gruadain/observer and Independent. Nice to see some decent sport journalism. Amy Lawrence following my - I'm confident she's reading - points about why Th should stay; a nice interview with Jens, my personal hero of the season, in the Indie.

In terms of the game yesterday we were in unstoppable form. 5 goals and we hardly seemed to break sweat. And all goals which had their individual merits. Adebayor's goal, in many respects, made me the happiest, because it was a kind of goal we didn't use to score before he arrived. It was very similar to his one against Birmingham - scrappy play leading to a kind of poachers goal that no-one ever seemed to be there for before. Also he scored it with his head, somewhat of a rarity at Arsenal. Adey was on fire, and his assist for Thierry's second goal was awesome, a flick of the back of the boot, leaving TH in acres of space from where he curled the ball into the right hand top corner. Gorgeous, just gorgeous. In fact Terry had so much time on the ball, it almost looked like an open-play freekick, if that makes sense. He had previously scored another stunner, deftly controlling the ball before flicking it over Sorenson's head. I should imagine at 3-0, Villa probably would have been happy to take 5-0 and go home early, but there was still a good 40 minutes to go. TH was taken off for RvP, who began to link up well with Adey very quickly. Robin's goal was a joy as well. At first glance, it appeared he'd almost made a hash of an easy chance. In fact, he'd done well to keep the ball in play, then showed a beautiful bit of skill, before lashing the ball in from an acute angle. After that the sailing was even plainer: it was merely left to Diaby to knock his one in past the beleagured Sorenson, after another great assist from Adey. A great goal and a great moment: his first goal for the club and you could tell it meant a lot to him.

So complete dominance. There was one defensive slip up when Luke Moore should have scored, but aside from that Villa must have been overjoyed when the final whistle came.

Two main talking points: injuries and the forward line. Both Fabregas and eboue hobbled off, which was, obviously, not good to see. I suspect Eboue's might just be cramp, or a slight twinge; Fab's might be worse, as it's already been reported his foot has swollen considerably. Both should be back for the United game on Sunday - a huge game that's crept up on us! - but both will now be doubts for the Juve game. I think Eboue would be of the greater concern in many ways. With Lauren out, and Gilbert out (? I assume, if anyone knows different do say) we have no established r-b to play. Djourou filled in today, which is a possibility on Weds, but otherwise it'll take some thinking. Losing Fab would be a blow, but I think Diaby could definitely do the job, especially given Juve's suspensions. Still, let's hope they're both get better quick. As of this morning there is a '40%' chance they will play. Not too good.

The other point that is clearly going to become an issue is which two strikers should now start up front, if all of them are fit? personally, I'd have to say Adey and TH. Ade gives us more options, and TH loves him already. I think RvP is an awesome player, but I think he will really have to fight for his place now. While Adey may score less - although he's scoring has been great so far - and his finishing is still a little raw, he contributes, overall, more to the team than RvP. I think it's good we can vary our options up front though. I just hope that RvP doesn't get in a huff if he is no longer starting when fit.

The boss was ebullient about TH after the game, even stating I'm confident he will stay, 100 percent confident. Wow. Arsene doesn't usually openly say things such as this, so let's hope he right.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, everything came up roses as Bolton were beaten by United and Spurs went down to Newcastle. The Newcastle match was worth watching for Jenas's miss alone, while I found myself, and no doubt many other arsefans, cheering on United. I'm looking forward to next season when, hopefully, we're back above them and this support is no longer needed. Chelsea's draw against Birmingham was also entertaining if for no other reason than Mourinho's preposterous claim that their 'goal' shouldn't have been deemed offside. Nice one.

So, it is now up to us whether we get fourth place. If we win all our games, technically, we will definitely now finish there. A good day at the office; no CL hangover was evident. The alka-seltzers must have worked.

On any other day, Henry would walk y MoM, but I feel our Togolese goal destroyer Manu Adebayor deserves it for the fine way he's performed since arriving in January. Of the three window signings I had the lowest hopes for him; it's been nice to have been proved wrong. Two assists, and a scrappy goal yesterday, and once his finishing has sharpened more goals will come. I'm still a bit gutted that he's tamed his hair though. I did love the crazy fringe. Hoepfuly it'll be back soon.

'Til tomorrow I'll leave you a picture of Matthieu 'yes I am a secret ninja' Flamini, showing why he has become so beloved at the club:

'That's my my ball' said the Shaolin master.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog

Nturtle said...

Nice post Goonerboy!

But I think you forget Adebayour is cup tied in the Champs League...so RvP could be there for us. If you were only talking about the Premiership...I would tend to agree...although RvP seems to be learning to play like Adebayour I feel! It's great to see we have a good group who compete and WORK with each other to be honest. It is not enough to have good players...you need a good team.

Van Nisterooy came off the bench and got a good pass from Saha...and it shows they are something to look out for...everyone is learning from Henry...and even Adebayour had a great through ball for Diaby to score! No more selfish spectacular shots...Arsenal have become free flowing and efficient as well!

Great stuff...and I hope for the best on Wednesday...although I feel we might let one in due to Eboue not being around or Campbell coming back.

Keep up the good blog!

Anonymous said...

Kerrea Gilbert played a reserves game on wednesday so he'll probably travel to turin.

Dav said...

I think Gilbert is fit again, so could play on Wednesday. If not, Kolo could go to right back and Campbell or Djourou could get a game.

Goonerboy said...

I was gonna do a post on all the various possibilities - but it might be campbell at cb and toure at rb. I'm really not that confident about Campbell coming straight back in for the Juve game though. I'd poss prefer to see Djourou at rb, or even Gilbert. I don't think Senderos and Campbell can play together.

And in the CL i think we'll continue to play 4-5-1. so we'll only have Henry up fron, even if Adey was available.

Anonymous said...

NICE READING - AND ALSO, CONGRATS TO READING WHO WE WILL ENJOY PLAYING NEXT YEAR -

AT LAST THE SMILES ARE BACK, NOT ONLY MINE, BUT ON THE FACES OF OUR BOYS ALSO.

I HAVE TO ADMIT I WAS A A SUPPORTER OF OLD RED NOSE BOYS YESTERDAY, AND BABY FACE ROEDER, THEY DID US A HUGE FAVOUR, AND HOPEFULLY A FAB RUN IN TO END UP IN FOURTH PLACE.

CANT WAIT FOR WEDNESDAY, I'M SURE BOTH CESC AND EBOUE WILL BE BACK -THEY WILL BE ON THE PHYSIO BED AS WE SPEAK,


HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN, I NEVER LOST FAITH IN OUR MASTER, DID YOU........

Goonerboy said...

Just seen the typo next to the picture. whoops. Might change it later. I still think its an awesome picture.

Yes, well done to Reading; will be great to welcome then to the Grove next year! Then they'll, hopefully wish they were still in the Championship.

ian7 said...

Yeah great post as always. Totally agree about Diaby being able to play against Juve if Cesc is still injured. He'll shine nearly as much as Cesc did. But if Eboue is out my pants will be a bit brown come kick off. With Nedved coming back we NEED Eboue!! Cant see Djhorou excelling there. Toure DEFINETLY CAN, but putting Campbell alongside Senderos is SUICIDE. I love the pairing of Campbell and Toure OR Senderos and Toure, but I pray to God that Campbell dont play with Senderos. Good thing Zebina got sent off and Zambrotta otherwise Eboue's replacement would have to play against Nedved AND Zambrotta!!
Adey was my MOM too, he adds so much to our game that we never had b4. you say how will Van Persie get into the starting 11, what about Walcott, Ive been waiting to see him score on his debut for ages, maybe next seasons carling cup

ian7 said...

on that last comment i meant to say "Good thing Zebina got sent off and Zambrotta now has to play right back back otherwise Eboue's replacement would have to play against Nedved AND Zambrotta!!"

Anonymous said...

I thought Nedved played on the right?

Eboue apparently has a groin strain, which is not something he's likely to shrug off in a couple of days.

If Wenger plays Sol I can't even watch. I'll take to my bed for the entire 90 minutes with a pillow over my head. I've spent most of today thinking I could personally throttle Wenger for this entirely predicatable disaster - why risk our key players against the pitiable Villa when we've got no cover at all for Eboue and Flam? We needed three points not five goals.

I'm crossing my fingers Gilbert is playing well enough in training to be given a chance (the hapless reserve-side defeat notwithstanding). Failing him, I was wondering about Freddie, assuming he's fit. (Benitez once used Gerrard in a similarly desperate situation). Anyway, whoever does play at right back - my guess it's probably Djourou - he's going to need Freddie playing out of his skin in support.

Puskas said...

Questions over which of our strikers should get the nod to start, jeebus, what a great position to find ourselves in, didn't see that coming a couple of months back. Adebayor's back-heel for Henry's second, pure class! van Persie's solo effort, incredible!! And two from the big man himself, nuff said. I can't see Campbell coming back into the starting line up for Wednesday. Whether it's Djourou or Gilbert doesn't matter, we don't need whoever comes in to excell, just do a job. Diaby will be fine in midfield, he likes a pop from distance aswell. Nice blog by the way.