What a great performance! After two weeks of painful losses, Arsenal picked themselves up off the floor came out and played their game, scored two great goals, and (most importantly) kept a clean sheet.
There were some surprising squad changes with Theo and Kolo starting at the right, Song in central defense, and Lehmann in goal. But right from the start, the squad looked assured and prepared for the game. The whole world knew that Steve Koppel was going to play route one football and that, so far this season, that has been Arsenal’s Achilles. When the first pass came to Kitson though, Song dealt well with it and from there the team always looked unlikely to concede. Jens didn’t even have to make a save until well in to the second half. Good stuff from the defense there.
Arsenal’s first goal came from the man people have loved to criticize all season: Adebayor. Of course, he didn’t do it alone! Theo went on a bit of a run, passed to Kolo, who lobbed in to Ade and the big man showed his superb touch by controlling the ball with his thigh. Then it was “cool as you like” as Ade slotted home his 27th goal of the season.
There could have been more goals too, Song had a gilt-edged chance and just nodded wide of the net, Cesc had what seemed like a dozen chances (in reality it was just 3), van Persie hit the woodwork on a superb free kick, and even Theo got into the act by having a shot saved by the crossbar. Oh well, shit happens and getting down about the “profligate” shooting when the team wins 2-0 just makes you seem like a moron.
The second goal came when Gio (who looked very assured in the middle and seems to have come out of his “funk”) was teed up by Cesc and decided “what the hell!” and had a shot. To be fair to Hanneman, I think he’d have stopped that goal had it not taken a deflection. Oh well, shit happens when you shoot at goal.
It’s pretty clear that what some of these players need is a consistent run; Song’s miss, Theo’s miss, Robin’s miss, all were by inches. Next week, I really believe that van Persie free kick finds the net, Theo will get a goal, and with a run of a couple games we might even see Song get a goal.
In defense, Lehmann had a couple of very nice saves and apart from a moment of confusion where Bendtner lost his mind and failed to make an easy play on a corner kick (the WHOLE team yelled at him for it too!) the defense looked solid. I’m not foolish enough to make a prediction based on two games but I have to say that Song looks much improved over last year.
After the match, the Boss was rightly pleased with his team but the fans were in their usual form.
We responded well after massive, massive, massive disappointment, it is very important for us, because the next season starts now.
So next season Walcott will be a starter? Cool! He had another good performance and has clearly put in the work to deserve the chance. Who knew that hard work would pay off? I thought you were supposed to complain to the press and then demand a transfer to a lesser team.
Some of the fans though, just seem to be missing the point, or all three of the points really. Arsenal should have won 34-0? Really? You still riding Adebayor’s back after that great goal and goals in 3 of four Champions League legs? REALLY? Saying that the manager who has won 3 Premier League titles and 4 FA Cups has lost the plot. REALLY REALLY? I think I speak for a lot of supporters when I say: fuck off and support Man U. And that’s the last I’m going to talk about that. Have a go at whomever you like, it’s only going to make you look like a tiresome little cunt.
There was some bizarre post-match controversy as Cesc was mis-quoted and the press ran with a bunch of stories saying that Cesc wants to leave. Tipped as captain one day, packing his bags for Barca the next; is that the British version of “fair and balanced?”
Continuing in the vein of “fair and balanced,” ESPN is reporting that disgraced former Tottenham, Leeds, and Milwall manager George Graham is calling for Arsenal to buy 4 huge stars to compete with Man U. Saying that Arsenal need to strengthen everyone in the middle but that he doubts they have the resources to buy 4 big stars. Of course, Arsenal cannot afford to do something like that unless they get some rich benefactor who is willing to put huge piles of debts on the backs of the club and its supporters. Honestly? That model is failing left and right — just look at the turmoil surrounding Liverpool. So, go fuck yourself George: I wonder if Usmanov paid him to make those comments.
Spending loads of money isn’t the surefire road to success: just ask Billy Beane or, hell, have a look at the success of Arsene Wenger.
Anyway, that’s it for today. Tomorrow I’ll resume regular service on my top 5 players of the season. See you all then!