Saturday, April 15, 2006

More injuries. And Villareal scouting report.

The big news is that Fab is out for the game today, and is a doubt for Wednesday as well. Needless to say, this is a huge blow. He may not have played today anyway, but he would have obviously been a cert for Wednesday.With no Jose for the first leg, I am a little worried about our creativity in midfield. I should imagine Diaby will get a run in the side now, although i wonder whether Gilberto will be back for the game today. I can't see Song getting another run around, but then who else can we play there if Gilbs is rested? Hleb? Larrson? The squad is certainly looking stretched. Theo may even get a chance, but not today it seems. Arsene is right to remain cautious about throwing him into the first team, even if I would love to see him play for us this season. Having said that, on football focus they had to call up league footage from last season to show Freddie scoring.

Man U's abysmal performance last night was bad news for us. We need them to put a big performance in against the Spuds. If there morale is faltering there's a chance Spurs could turn them over, which would be, effectively, the real nail in our 4th place coffin. Same old United: beat us, liverpool, Chelsea - can't beat Sunderland. We need to keep this pretence of a title race going though, at least until Spurs play them.

Apart from that, not a lot going on. Arsene has plausibly suggested both Fab and Tel should win the PFA awards they've been nominated for. I think he's got a point. Anyone who thinks that Lampard should get it before Tel obviously hasn't been watching Chelsea since, at least, Christmas. I've always felt that if Tel was either 1) Brazillian or 2) played in Spain, they would simply have given him the world player of the year award 6 years ago, and asked him to give it back when he retired.

I also watched the Villareal-Barca game last night. La liga is so sedate! passing, passing, passing, and very little physicality aside from snide little fouls. Makes you appreciate the Premiership. Barca scraped to a 1-0 win and looked very unconvincing, even if they were without Ronaldinho. I think we could beat them if we played fast, and hit their full backs. Villa looked OK, but nothing too special. They passed the ball around very nicely, and had a few chances they could have done better with. One of the players got a booking for a very sneaky foul, which I hope they don't try against our lot. Again, we look a class above them - but they held United earlier in the season, and have knocked out Inter, so, again, I'm not taking anything for granted.

So, anything less than 3 points would be unacceptable today, and, well, until the end of the season. So come on boys! It'll be interesting to see who plays, and if anyone's rested. Personally I'm hoping Adebayor gets a goal to atone for some of his misses on Weds.

A demain. Gb.


big ALEX said...

agree with your analysis of the barca villareal game. If the proper Arsenal turn up on Wednesday I think we should get at least a goal. It would be absolutely fantastic to keep a clean sheet so Phil & Kolo are a must for the central defense partnership.

4-5-1? It's gotta be, the way we have played in Europe has been great and long may that continue. Imagine if we can keep a few more clean sheets then we may have a record in the CL to perhaps go long un-broken!

I don't think Barca are actually that special this season, ok they have the goofy one but the home leg against Chelski at Stamford bridge they did not look that impressive even when the chavs went down to ten men! Could AC beat them in the other semi?

This season still has some great football for us gooners to be a part of!

Anonymous said...

Yes, all things being equal, we're definitely a cut above Villarreal, but don't forget they're putting all their eggs in the Champions League basket and so far that focus has served them well. You really can't judge them on the basis of yesterday's tie with Barca as both sides were playing ultra-cautiously to avoid getting injured, and Villareal's four most significant players weren't there. Don't forget they're a one-player team, dependent for their creativity on Riquelme, without whom they look nothing at all. I was pretty confident when the draw was made but, given their freshness and focus - which paid off magnificently in the ties against Inter - I've a nasty feeling the smart money might be on them. My point being that all things aren't equal at this tme of year: injuries and priorities play a big part. Look at Milan in last year's final: in terms of quality and experience they were infinitely superior to Liverpool, but tiredness and demoralision, having just lost to Juve in the title decider, took its toll. The only thing in our favour is that the players really want it, whereas some of them, I sense, don't give a monkeys about getting fourth place. Pires, Henry: without Cesc they're going to have play out of their skins. said...

Nice site mate...I got a site aswel:

Wondering if you would like to trade links, I like your analysis of the Barca game, I think we need to stick to a 4-5-1 in Europe, as it has worked more than effectively so far...UNLESS AW decides he would rather play RV Persie...because Reyes is out and probs Cesc too, so we would need some sort of player that can get a goal apart from Henry...what you think? Hleb in the middle if Fab out? He did well in German league in middle??? What you think...?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the situation at Villarreal? I've a feeling their keeper - Vieira, the one we nearly bought - is suspended for the first leg, and I read somewhere that they'll be minus two defenders. True? If so, which ones and how damaging to them is that likely to be? Hopefully very - it would be nice to sleep easy over the next few days.

Mark said...

Viera is definitely suspended, the two defenders are a doubt, but then so is Fabregas