Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Football from another planet.

He wasn't on the field last night, but Robin's words are the only ones that come close to our standard of play last night. We were utterly superb, and destroyed poor old Slavia who must have cried themselves to sleep. All credit to their fans though - many stayed til the bitter end, scarves aloft, still cheering. When you see that type of dedication, you can't help but be moved.

Two individuals who deserve an extra bit of praise are Alex Hleb and Theo Walcott. Both have had their fair share of critics during their time at Arsenal, and their performances were particularly gratifying for those of us who've stayed loyal to them through good times and bad.

Alex proved again that he has some of the most devastating close-control in European football, but, more than that, he showed how vital he is to our midfield. He's a player who can, and has on many occasions, make things happen for the team. He might not be the most prolific goalscorer in the world, but as his one, if not two, goals showed last night, he knows where the goal is, and can score given the opportunity. He is a player who will help us win trophies this season.

As for Theo, well; I wonder if the idiot who used to sit behind me in the stadium still wishes he'd 'go back to Southampton'? No? Didn't think so. He's a young lad still finding his feet, yet last night Theo showed us what he's capable of: blinding pace, superb finishes, wonderful dribbling. He scares defences. Whether he's ready for a start on Sunday remains to be seen; personally, I think he could be a sensational impact sub against the likes of Carragher and Hypia.

My only reservation with Theo is the fact he's English. This will inevitably lead to a media campaign that will hype him to hideous levels, and could have a real negative impact on his performances. Let's hope Arsene can shield him, and that he has the maturity to deal with it. One only needs to look in cashley's direction to see the perils of believing your own hype.

We've hammered Derby by 5 goals already this season, but putting 7 goals past any team in the Champions League is a real statement of intent. We mean business this season.


Anonymous said...

Well said. In my opinion, Walcott would make Hyppia and Carragher tremble in their boots, but I wonder if Eduardo deserves to start on Sunday. With the amount of goals and chances coming from our mifield this season, i would not be surprised to see hleb play behind Ade in the "hole". By the way, I was extremely impressed by Bendtner yesterday, and him and walcott (and Vela) will make a stunning strike partnership.

Tom said...

Awesome stuff last night! If we can sustain that level we'll be unbeatable but that is unlikely to be honest.

Don't worry about Theo - he has the steely-eyed focus and drive to succeed that will take him to the very top of the football world. He is not deluded by the media speculation one bit. He knows he has to work and keep working and I believe he will do it. Everything about the guy indicates that he has the mental focus to surpass his peers in the English game. His decision to come to Arsenal was the first indicator that he and his family know exactly where to develop his talent - under the wing of the best manager in the world for developing young talent. He could have gone anywhere but he came to us, he could have bought the world cup hype but, no - he just used the opportunity to acclimatise himself with that environment knowing that one day - soon - he'll get there on merit. He has gone about his own development with dedication and maturity and has the intelligence to know where he can go and exactly what he has to do to get there. He knows he is young and has to learn and that's a level of self-awareness rarely seen in one so young.

He reminds me of another awesome talent ... Lewis Hamilton. He has the same qualities and I believe that he will reach a similar status in his career.

Anonymous said...

Its funny how peoples perceptions change very quickly on players.....Alex Hleb has always been a good player he just never gets the credit he deserves! fair enough he can be frustrating at times but thats just due to his style of play. its only people who don't really have a good undertanding of the game that think otherwise! He is really starting to show the doubters what he is all about!!!

Anonymous said...

Theo and Helb were excellent but once again the man pulling the strings was the Little Maestro Cesc Fabregas,he also scored the best two goals of the game.Should Wenger risk playing Theo upfront on sunday?A win would kill off Liverpools title hopes or will he play one upfront with Helb just behind,The reason i ask is because Ade is not hitting the target at the moment and i dont think the Liverpool defence could cope with Theo"s pace.