The good: Enough can’t be written about how good Adebayor has been this season. Yesterday he came on at half time (subbing for an injured van Persie) and immediately made a huge impact. It took a whopping 15 minutes before he got his first goal, then another 15 for the second and you just knew he would eventually get the hat trick he deserved. Incidentally, the last person to score a hat trick as a substitute in the EPL was Robert Earnshaw (more on him in a moment). So, a hat trick (his second this season), 30 goals (24 in the Premier League, which moves him into second place), and a strong performance all over the pitch from the big man. Good stuff but no less than we have all come to expect from the big fella.
Fabregas also had an all around great game, notched an assist, and generally showed that Robbie Savage is no longer premiership quality. Cesc was partnered in the center with Denilson who I though looked a solid player. He won the ball quite well, distributed fairly well, and honestly looked as good to me as Diarra ever did. I remain convinced that he’ll fill Flamini’s spot fairly well next year.
Theo looked farking fantastic. Technically, he didn’t get an assist yesterday but I counted no less than two times where he was instrumental in Arsenal scoring a goal. Plus he scored a fantastic goal himself: curling the ball into the side netting between two Derby defenders. Heady stuff from the young man. Interestingly, Wenger started Theo on the left — will we see more of this?
The bad: I’m not trying to get down on the boys here it’s just that the two goals they let in were such stinkers that they have to be mentioned. Gallas in particular looked like he had the worst game of his season and earned the lowest rating of any of his teammates. That Earnshaw goal was particularly egregious: the striker set up between the two defenders and came back perfectly from an offside position. That’s just lazy, disorganized defending of what amounts to a grade school attack. A strong, organized defense must be first on Wenger’s shopping list for next season, especially when you consider that Arsenal allowed Derby to score two goals: which was Derby’s first time scoring more than one goal all season and those two goals also represented over 10% of all Derby’s goals this season. Not inspiring stuff from the defense. PLEASE NOTE: I am not suggesting that personnel need to be changed in order to strengthen the squad. Gallas and company have what it takes to do the job, they are all great footballers. They just need a little better organization at the back; maybe Tony Adams? I hear that he’s available.
Up front, I am going to single someone out; I thought Bendtner was shockingly lazy and his poor clearance was what let in the first Derby goal. This is your chance to shine young fella… Don’t stand stock still in the 18 yard box and just expect people to pass you the ball! Geeze.
One final “bad:” van Persie was injured… again. What a shame too. When van Persie is on his game and able to stay healthy for a few weeks he can be a tremendous asset to this team. But he seems more injured than healthy and his injuries seem to be getting more frequent.
The ugly: Robert Earnshaw’s fugly dance: I think it was supposed to be the dance from “Jungle Love” by Morris Day and the Time (WARNING: CONTENT ADVISORY — WHITE GUY DANCES “LIKE” MORRIS DAY). Whatever it was I never want to see it again.
But if you want to see it again here it is! (Thanks to Arsenalist for putting these up on his web site. If you ever need post match highlights, he’s your man.)
Equally ugly was Adebayor’s reply dance(s). The first one looked like he was mocking Earnshaw which is fair enough because Earnshaw’s dance was that disgusting. But whatever Ade’s first dance was, it was at least synchronized… that second dance was just stupid. Stop doing that.
No… seriously… stop.
It was funny when you did it with Henry. It’s now just you and Eboue and kinda makes Arsenal look pompous. Go win a trophy and then do some line dancing. Synchronized dancing when you score a goal against Derby is just embarrassing. You’re SUPPOSED to score goals against Derby. They happen to have the most accommodating defense in the league, so scoring a goal against Derby isn’t cause for celebration, it’s your job. I don’t dance every time I fix a computer. Hmmmm… maybe I should start.
The dance routines did teach me something. I learned the role that Eboue plays on the team: first man to celebrate a goal with! He never does anything on the pitch, but he’s always the first player that gets a hug, or lines up for some kid of dance maneuver. Emmanuel Eboue: team dance partner.
All in all, it’s a good win, and brings Arsenal 3 points closer to the Premiership trophy. Now, if only both Chelsea and Man U could lose all of their matches…
That’s it, see you tomorrow!