Not much team news this morning and when your team is on top I always say “no news is good news.” Lehmann is still deciding and there is no news about Diarra even though he didn’t play yesterday which Arseblogger points out is very strange indeed; maybe there’s a deal in the works, maybe he just pissed the boss off… I don’t know. No one seems to know.
The 4th round FA cup draw was held and Arsenal got the winner of the Stoke City/Newcastle tie. Let’s face it, as much as we’d all like to see Arsenal kick Fat Sam’s team of cunts off the pitch, it’s going to be Stoke. Newcastle is in serious turmoil and the daily denials about Sam getting the sack only exacerbate the problem. Additionally, they are missing Barton and Martins, arguably their two best players. Either way, it’s a great draw for Arsenal. In other FA Cup news, I’m really looking forward to whichever team Luton face — should be a cracker!
Ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Spurs, Wenger says he is fearless about using the youth team in the Carling Cup. I have to agree, given last season and this season’s performances, these kids are great. I think the only lesson they have left to learn is that the match lasts 90 minutes. It will be an exciting match and there will be plenty more on that over the next two days. I’ll be watching the Carling Cup match at Doyle’s on Wednesday — kickoff is at 11:45 am local time. A little bit of Arsenal America business as well, I think a bunch of us are going to meet up to watch the Birmingham match on the 12th. This will be at the George and Dragon in Seattle. Directions to the pub are on their web site. If anyone wants to carpool to Seattle send me a PM. Most of you already receive email updates from me so… erm, this is a second update!
Ok, now I’m going to get serious for a moment. I want to say just a word about Eboue and then this will be the last time I will be slagging off Eboue. Why? Because I am so often wrong about players. Sure, I was right about Flamini. But literally that is all I have ever been right about. Last season I hated Hleb, Wenger had faith, and now Hleb is, to be fair, a tremendous asset to the team. So, I just have some things I need to get off my chest and then that’s it, no more Eboue hate.
First off, the good: I remember back three years ago when Eboue got his chance. He took it and with force and vigor and was spine-tinglingly good at making runs down the right side. He was great in the tackle and all around a revelation at Right Back for Arsenal. His only niggling little problems were that he couldn’t seem to put in a decent cross when he got in the final 1/3 and he had a penchant for petulance.
The next season he was even better: he learned to cross and the assists started racking up — he had 6 in all competitions. And then you’ll all remember how he stood up to and matched Christiano Ronaldo pound for pound, step for step, and shut him down. I have never been prouder of the man than that match. The only thing left for him to work on was marking on set pieces and the way he would throw Dida-esque dives and fucking stupid ass shit like “slapping” Wayne Bridge in the Carling Cup final.
This season, however, has been a revelation as well — in how poorly a man can play and still keep his starting place. I can’t remember a match where he hasn’t either been stretchered off, only to bounce right back, or gone down and rolled around like he was permanently wounded, only to bounce right back. He’s also the first to get involved in a fracas and often an instigator. But worse than that, he’s seemingly lost the ability to put in a cross, while simultaneously caught Hleb’s disease of last year. You know, the one where you as the viewer see him receive the ball, square up to the defender, and then promptly telegraph to everyone on the pitch and everyone watching on television exactly where he’s going and where the defender needs to be to dispossess him. Or, he simply passes the ball right into the feet of his defender, which is a joy to watch. Arsenal build up play, stretch the defense, and Eboue turns the ball over. Arsenal build up play, stretch the defense, and Eboue turns the ball over. AHHHHRRRRGHHH!!!! STOP DOING THAT!
That’s it. That’s my beef with him. He’s a cunty little cheat and he has to learn to be a winger. This is a steep learning curve. Maybe he can do it, maybe not. I don’t know. Obviously Wenger believes in him (to the detriment of Theo I would argue) and I believe in Wenger. So there you have it: I trust Arsene Wenger and he has a plan for Eboue. I’m going to step back and let that plan unfold. So, no more hating on Eboue, from me.
Ok, that’s about it, until tomorrow.