Saturday, August 05, 2006

Alkmaar review, Ribery, Ferguson, and Mourinho.

Caught snippits of the game last night, but i find friendlies too tedious to watch most of the time.

Most of the boys looked in decent form, and I was impressed with the energy and liveliness of the game. I think we started last season on a downer due to Paddy's departure, and som eall round uncertainty in the team. Having blooded a lot of the youngsters, the whole team looked more confident. Well, almost the whole team. I can't remember how everyone plays, but here are some things that struck me about individual players performances.
Almunia: looked bloody awful. Flapped for everything, and the prospect of him tending the sticks in Zagreb is a concern.
The defence: generally looked ok. Flamini was in the number 3 shirt - ominously - and struggled slightly to get back into the left-back groove. Djourou acquitted himself reasonably enough, if looking a little too casual at times. Toure put in a typically solid performance, while Eboue looked more comfortable going forward than staying back. I thought Hoyte did ok too. I suppose a big plus was that Cygan was nowhere to be seen.
Midfield: Reyes looked lively, and not like someone hankering for a move. Great freekick to set up Gilbs, but I wish he'd stop falling over so easily. Alex Hleb continues his growth into one of my favourite players. I think, like Bergkamp, there always seems to be thought behind what he does. The main reason he loses the ball is when he over-thinks and gets caught in possession. If he could score a few more he could be the person who steps into a Bergkamp-esque role. Gilberto looked tidy and picked up a decent goal; Fabregas was his usually lively self.
I think I was most impressed with Adebayor and Van Persie. Van Persie seemed energised, and determined to make his mark - yet also played some nice support play. Adebayor scored a scrappy goal which only he would get. He looked powerful and capable of linking the play well. We shouldn't get on his back if he doesn't get too many goals - as I think he does things for the team that no-one else does.

People I haven't mentioned I didn't really see.

An Arsenal XI also played last night. Merida apparently scored a wonder goal on this sort-of debut, while Lupoli was also a bag of energy, grabbing two goals. I have high hopes for Lupoli, so I hope he gets a chance at some point in the first team this season.

Does anyone know where the Ghanian triallist was?

In other news, Franck Ribery has now said that he wants to leave OM. I still think he'd be a decent buy, but I have a feeling that Arsene has almost settled his squad for the coming year.

Also Alex Ferguson has not only said that Highbury was 'out-dated' and that the small pitch helped us get more success than we deserved, but that we won't regularly fill the Emirates. This from a man who thinks Michael Carrick is worth £18m.

Oh, and apparently Mourinho has decided that he's going to try and stay within the law when he nabs Cashley off us. How decent of him.

Adios.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cygan nowhere to be seen - you obviously weren't watching too closely!

Goonerboy said...

True - i did miss some of the second half

gazzap said...

good quesion about Illiasu. you'd think being on trial he'd get a game. perhaps wenger needs to see him in training first before anything can be taken forward, but it'd good to have extra cover at both LB and CB as flam and cygan both look a bit suspect at times against pace.

wish I'd gone to Borehamwood. Did anyone see Merida. If so, did he do all the dragbacks etc that he is 'famed' for?

Anonymous said...

Or if you believe NOTW, Gallas could be doing a runner to us while Cole takes the reverse path. Would be a pretty good piece of business if it ends up happening. TBH, like you wasn't all that impressed with Abidal at either the WC or for Lyon - same there, a bit nervy.

Really good link-up play between Ade and RvP. If Ali makes good this season, we'll have 4 legitamite forwards with Reyes, Walcott, Bendtner, and Lupoli in reserves. Perhaps we may see more 433 with actual forwards up top instead of 451 and the ever-present 442 in the coming seasons.

Anonymous said...

I reckon this should be a big season for RvP. He was almost as impressive as Robben for Holland during the World Cup and showed he can operate usefully on both flanks as well as down the middle. This should mean that he featues in most games this year. He's a class act....

jobby said...

I thought Illiasu was only due to start his trial after the first team arrived home from the pre season tour. Which means he'll only be starting this week.

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