Sunday, October 15, 2006

Playtime at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsene's tenth anniversary celebrations dominated the pre-game build-up yesterday, but the game itself reminded me of the nickname of our former boss George Graham: 'The Stroller'.

Because, for all my fears that our tired legs would perhaps let Watford into this one, Arsenal ended up strolling to victory, almost at a canter, yesterday; Indeed, when people are leaving ten minutes early, you know the team is either doing very well or very badly.

That's not to say Watford didn't have their chances. They had at least 3 clear-cut chances when the score was 0-0 or 1-0 to get themselves back in the game, if only temporarily. Djourou made a superb block to stop one, he was the pick of the back four for me yesterday, but I do worry that there are a few too many lapses in concentration at the back. Still, we're not being punished yet, and I think they will lessen.

Going forward, we were sensational. Rosicky and Fabregas were full of running and ingenuity, while Walcott's presence on the left showed just how far we can improve when we have a genuine threat down that side instead of Freddie. Theo had an excellent debut, even if I did notice that some of the team were a little reticent to give him the ball. He was muscled off the ball once or twice, but he also sent Fabregas through with a sublime pass, cut past about three defenders and narrowly blazed over, and generally used his pace and confidence to make a nuisance of himself. His first goal surely can't be far away. What's more, Theo, in stark contrast to most English top-level players, seems a grounded, humble individual. I hope this stays with him, because it will improve his play.

Adebayor was excellent up front, winning the ball and holding up the play to produce space and opportunities for others. This allowed Henry to basically have an almost free reign up front. Thierry was just too much for the Watford defence to live with, and, if not for a string of fine saves from Ben Foster, the score could have been much higher.

The second half was almost comically one sided, Watford gaining chances through lapses of in our concentration caused by our near total dominance.

Hleb did well, aside from one blind alley-esque run, after he came on, with him and Adebayor almost falling over themselves to score the third. Clichy received a rapturous reception. I like Gael, but he still has it almost all to prove this year if he wants to cement his starting first XI place. I would also say, that Hoyte looked far more comforable at right back, and he should be able to fill in adequately until Eboue or Lauren come back.

So, a good win and the first stress free game for me at the Emirates. We were comfortable, played some good football, and were well worth the victory margin.

After the game, I caught intermittent highlights of the Chel£ea Reading match in a pub. It was one of the craziest games I've seen for a while: the clock stood at 102 minutes by the time full-time was finally called. The Chel$ea players indulged in their usual shirt throwing histironics, which, I must say, is becoming a little tiring. As someone pointed out to me as well, have you ever seen John Terry show that level of commitment for England? And I don't include having a cry at the world cup. Man U also got a good win at Wigan, with Rooney playing rather well.

Indeed, MOTD have already decided that the Premiership is a two horse race between Man U and Chelsea. I'm more than happy for them to under-estimate us, because I think our first year in the Emirates will end with some form of silverware to cap ten years of Arsene in charge.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're right about Terry's "commitment". though I'd probably rather call it a complete lack of class. What a jerk. Lampard is even worse. I've never watched a Chelsea game that closely before, I'm a new fan, but those guys are all whingers as far as I'm concerned. Chelsea earn all the scorn heaped upon them.

lase said...

willy is one player who had no problem giving the young un the ball.

gazzap said...

how rare. a chelsea 1-0 ground out win with a severely deflected Lampard free-kick as the goal. their fans must feel like its ground hog day every week.
Its almost like the time when Man U used to go into the last minute of every match drawing and score last minute winners for nigh on 3 years...

Little Dutch said...

I watched the Chelski match in the tavern after the game, it was like a funeral for football. Moanrinho castigating Hunt for a blatant accident was a way of deflecting attention from his own players who again behaved like animals. MOTD did not see fit to highlight Terry's three separate dissent offences or Rui Faria or whoever he is throwing punches. After Mikel was sent off their sole motivation was getting a Reading player in trouble with the usual diving and ref crowding. What a dispicable little team they are, they wish they could produce football like we did yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Dude, your semi colon use if wrong in the second paragaph.

Nice comment little dutch, very nice to see that.

Goonerboy said...

why is is wrong? Indeed shouldn't have had a capital. I'm linking two related, but possibly independent, sentances?

Anonymous said...

This is off-topic, but I've noticed that Baptista's talking about a "permanent" move again. This suggests that Arsene isn't as sure about him as we all think. Which means, if we send Baptista back to Real, we'd be in a terrible position when it comes to negotiating a transfer for Reyes.
Just a thought.
And for my two cents, two sentences would've been more effective. The first sentence was convoluted by all the commas. The second sentence wasn't directly related to the first. By ramming them both together, you needlessly complicate the text. You're well within your rights to use a semi-colon, but it wasn't necessary.
With any informative text, stick to the kiss principle (keep it simple, stupid). Or was it Keep It Stupid, Stupid?

Anonymous said...

he's right its a bit clumsy, should be a full stop.

Anonymous said...

yeah, should be a full stop. you also spelt 'sentences' wrong in your comment.

Little Dutch said...

Well bollocks, while we're being pedantic, the word "spelt" does not exist, it's "spelled."

Goonerboy said...

Grammarboy:

I try and use my blog [sometimes] as a forum to practice my stylistic skills, so I'll write this off as a convolution too far. The two sentences are linked: some Arsenal fans were leaving early because of the ease of our victory. However, I agree that I put too many commas in the first sentence.

Actually on further reflection, perhaps a colon is better.

Perhaps:

Because, for all my fears that our tired legs might let Watford into this one, Arsenal ended up strolling to victory yesterday: when people are leaving ten minutes early, you know the team is either playing very well or very badly.

I still think a semi-comma is justified.

For future reference, I reserve the right to punctuate as I see fit; it's my bloody blog...

Anonymous said...

Sorry Little Dutch while you're right that it should be spelled "spelled" the word spelt does exist.
It's an old type of wheat used to make bread for the Roman Army. You can still get it in health stores.

Anonymous said...

Ooooooooh TOUCHY

East at the Grove said...

I had some cock sitting behind me lamenting Adebayor, I have to agree with you and thought he linked up play brilliantly. That is the biggest problem for me at the new ground, the fact that in 20 years I had got used to the chaps around me at Highbury and our new neighbours seem to be somewhat lacking in anything positive.

Anonymous said...

East at the Grove said...
I had some cock sitting behind me lamenting Adebayor, I have to agree with you and thought he linked up play brilliantly. That is the biggest problem for me at the new ground, the fact that in 20 years I had got used to the chaps around me at Highbury and our new neighbours seem to be somewhat lacking in anything positive.


haha, you must have the wankers who were sitting behind me for the last 15yrs

Grammarboy said...

"For future reference, I reserve the right to punctuate as I see fit; it's my bloody blog..."

Now that's good use of a semi-colon. The second sentence was a flow on from the first, and would've been incomplete if you had split them. Good stuff. The alliteration (reserve the right, bloody blog) was a nice touch, too.

Goonerboy said...

Tomorrow, how to use the colon...

Anonymous said...

I think you have come to the wrong blog. this one is about Arsenal. grammerblog is on another server.

Anonymous said...

Goonerboy is not in the dictionary either... sort it out man!

grammarboy said...

Well, the two uses of a colon in text are:
a) in a list (e.g. Arsenal has a number of promising players: Walcott, Fabregas, and Djourou).
b) to separate an example, rule or explanation from the preceding statement (e.g. Goonerboy readers are the most pendantic Arsenal fans: look at how much time they devote to discussing grammar and punctuation).