Saturday, August 16, 2008

Arsenal labour to the win, but win nonetheless.

Ah, football. So nice to have you back. Having not been able to see the entirety of the Twente match - not a bad thing from the sound of it - this was my season opener.

And didn't it open in a lovely fashion? Nice work by Clichy led to a precise pass by Denilson and a smooth finish from Nasri.

It was about a good a debut as you'll see from young Samir. He held the ball up well, made a number of penetrating passes, was strong when pushed about by the oppositon, and made his finish look easier than it was. Moreover, lord be praised, he actually showed a proclivity to take shots on goal. How much you can tell about anyone from one game is debatable, but he looked tidy, elegant, strong and dangerous. He looks more of a threat than Hleb, already. But then I suppose that isn't saying much. A bit of pace is perhaps his only notable failing.

The rest of the team, after Sammy's goal, took the usual Arsenal option - endless passing, squandered opportunity, and a domination of the game which always looked like it might be threatened by a breakaway Brummie goal.

So, in the end, we were hanging on; something which was faintly ridiculous given our overall superiority.

Yet, overall, I was impressed by the team today.

Eboue was, and I say this with a considerable degree of trepidation, good in central midfield. He can pass the ball sideways and backwards, so taking away the attacking responsibilities he usually has allowed to concentrate on some neat link work. His shooting was utterly abysmal though, so let's hope Arsene doesn't continue the experiment too much longer.

Denilson was neat and tidy, and possibly has a bit more too him than I thought. Djourou was good in the middle, and still looks like he has more potential than Senderos. The whole back four did ok, but still gifted the Brummies a few too many opportunities.

The two low-lights for me were Theo and Ade. Theo looked low on confidence and ideas. He didn't even seem to be relying on his usual pace to get by defenders and contributed very little to the team and result.

Ade also showed the worst aspects of his performance: poor finishing, an awful first touch, and poor decision-making. Still, the boos I did hear in the stadium were out of order, and I certainly won't stoop to that level.

The fans too: if you can't find someone to take your season ticket, use the ticket exchange. And why were people leaving early at 2.30 on a Saturday afternoon? A poor level of support, I must say.

So, it's good to start the season with a win and a clean-sheet. But whether we can kick on from this remains to be seen.


Anonymous said...

About Nasri and pace; I can't remember the exact moment, but there was a move in the first half where he had a short burst of pace which was absolutely phenominal. I wasn't sure of what I was seeing at first, but that brief burst showed that he can use it if he really needs to.

Overall, I was very impressed with him. Eboue, I've actually been pleasantly surprised with over the last two matches, bar his shooting, of course. I fail to understand how his right footed shots always managed to veer off to the right. It's like a dodgy cheat mode on an old FIFA game or something how it happens.

Anonymous said...

A win is a win. It's ponits more than spurs

Anonymous said...

it's about points now. AH SUH NAL

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Anonymous said...

yeah was pleased with today, i did not expect much from the game today, after the twente game, but i was pleased with most of the players today, and yeah i will say it eboue was good today, played the smart ball and kept his head down, but walcott has not looked in the games ive seen, he just does not have a football brain, just gets lost when in the final third, would like to see vela in team over walcott,

Anonymous said...

I am afraid Walcott is an experiement gone bad.
He lacks the vision to make it at Arsenal and that is not something that can be teached.
Yes he is fast and can be effective against tired and disorganised defense, but if he want to be a starter he need to provide more.
The 1 M dollar question is can he contribute more ?

Anonymous said...

So yesterday really summed up why we won't win anything this year.....

We do not have the depth to challenge we all saw last year, and now we have lost more experienced players without bringing in replacements plus the 2/3 others that we (and AW) knew that we desperately needed.

Of those playing yesterday who are supposidly part of our main squad...
Walcott will never cut it, he doesn't have the skill,
Eboue, come on he is poor (and that is being kind)
Denilson average
Bendtner, again average, whay does it seem that at times he can't be bothered???

The other worrying factors....
Van Persie....looks way out of form
Toure....the same
Adebeyor..... if he doesn't score it shows up how poor he really is...and how will he ever learn how to not be offside??
Gallas....was it me or was he caught out of position and beaten rather easily in the air for a centre back and captain??? Then he tried to blame Djourou!

On the positive side......
Nasri impressed
Sagna as solid as ever
Clichy looked in good nick
Almunia did what he had to efficiently.
Djourou better than Senderos, reads the game, positioning better and he passes better and is quicker....if he had a good solid centreback with him we could have the makings of a great back line.

We don't have it guys, even with the likes of Fab, Eduardo & Rosicky back it's just not enough!

Anonymous said...

AW says he doesn't need trophies to be a success. If he were to finsh tenth I would sya his time 's up.
He has been given,in my opinion,too much free reign to indulge in his entertaining soccer.
Yes I know Arsenal play great football but at the end of the day it's results that matter.
Maybe he's something up his sleeve and does not want to put the young gunners under too much pressure.
We shall see.

Anonymous said...

Wenger got it right in this game ...only some players didnt perform to the required level. As a fan,I just want Arsenal to get better this season ,like at least 2nd spot in EPL and semifinal of CL. Improvement is good to evalute Wenger , not just trophies.