I was sitting there, watching Arsenal dismantle Real Madrid, and I said to myself; “self, if Adebayor scores, he’ll kiss the badge won’t he?” Then as RvP earned a soft penalty (don’t expect that penalty in the Premier League) and I saw Adebayor lining up the PK, I said out loud “Please don’t kiss the badge, Ade. (kick) Oh God, not the badge…”
He really just wants to be loved. I mean to say that, I think I totally understand what happened this summer. Adebayor wanted a bigger contract, he loves Arsenal, he loves the boss, he wants to stay, but more than all that he loves us the fans and our adulation. But he wanted a bigger contract. After all, he is being told by his agent that he deserves a bigger contract, that his numbers are as good as Thierry Henry’s, that Arsenal hasn’t had a player score that many goals in a season since Henry’s best season, on and on. He deserves a bigger contract and the best way to get that is to play Arsenal against Barca and AC Milan.
What Adebayor wasn’t told is that the fans, the people whose adoration he so desires, would turn on him. Nor was he told that Barca and Milan would play him against Arsenal. In that context, those interviews he gave can be seen as a player expressing his surprise that things aren’t going the way he wants. Why isn’t Arsenal just giving in and signing him to a bigger contract? Why isn’t Barcelona giving in and just buying him for Arsenal’s asking price? And why on earth are the fans turning on him? He doesn’t really want to leave, he loves us. He’s just angling for a bigger contract, anyone could understand that he deserves it, we all love him, right?
So he kisses the badge. Not because he loves Arsenal, but because he thinks we’ll love him if he shows how much he loves Arsenal.
The thing he needs to understand is that 50% of Arsenal fans will love him if he scores 30 goals again this year. The other 50% will always be looking to greener pastures and wondering what Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Roque Santa Cruz could have done with that header that Ade just missed? They will rush to the intertubes and cry about how profligate Ade is after every game saying things like “I COULD HAVE HEADED THAT IN!!!” and “WHY DOESN’T HE HEAD THAT BALL DOWN???”
Hell, I bet he could score 60 goals and 50% of Arsenal fans would find something about him they don’t like. Arsenal fans are just some of the most critical fans in the world. No amount of badge kissing will ever fix that.
I had a great time watching yesterday’s match. First of all, I like the three strikers formation. I’d like to see that a lot more because playing Theo in the forward position with Ade and RvP allowed Theo to roam the whole pitch and create havoc. Meanwhile it freed Ade up to be the target man both as a runner and as the traditional hold the ball up forward. I don’t know what that system does for van Persie, he looked kind of lost, but he’s such a terrifying striker when he’s at the top of his game that the idea of putting him in there with Theo and Adebayor is all I need for right now. He’s got a few weeks to get his stuff together.
Afterwards, the boss heaped praise on Theo
Theo is ahead of what he was doing at this period last season and he is still 19. I hope Theo will be a big part of the squad this season. His first touch his much better and he moves the ball quicker. His penetration and final ball is better. There is goalscoring potential in him and I hope he gets it out of him.
I hope he gets it out of him too. Can you imagine what this team would be like if, just in the Premiership, Theo scores 10, RvP scores 15 and Ade scores 20? Is 45 goals in 38 games too much to ask from them? With Cesc and Nasri feeding them, I don’t think so. The club scored 74 goals in 38 matches last season and I think 80 goals is a good target. In fact, with Liverpool’s new firepower, I think 80 goals is going to be the mark to beat to win the league.
Speaking of Nasri, Yogi’s Warrior over at A Cultured Left Foot compared him to Hleb and I both agree and disagree. In his ability on the ball and his sort of swarming runs all over the pitch I kind of agree, but the thing that Hleb never did was put in a cross, and Nasri did that at least three times in yesterday’s match. Granted they weren’t the greatest passes, but just putting something up there for our big men to head hopelessly past the goal (I’m joking Adebayor, I love you) is a marked improvement over Hleb’s aggrivating insistance on dribbling the ball past the end line.
The other two midfielders, Diaby and Denilson, were a poor pairing in my opinion. Denilson is a tough character but he’s just not ready for top level football because the position he’s angling for requires the keenest of footballing minds and his passes are, at times, very suspect. Meanwhile, Diaby’s “clumsy” tackle on Wesley Sneijder is just the kind of thing that you can’t get away with for a whole season. For three years now he’s been putting in these kinds of high tackles with various effects (he was sent off against Bolton last season). I’d just like to have seen some progress on his tackling ability before I could be convinced of him as a permanent starter.
The boss though, thinks those two are ready. It’s going to be a tough season for me, because that’s my favorite position to watch and if Diaby and Denilson are going to play it, well, I’ll be cringing a lot I guess.
At the Bac… Sagna has, inconceivably, gotten better. I swear he was everywhere yesterday and if Adebayor had HEADED THE BALL DOWN he’d have had at least one assist. I’m contemplating which player to get on the shirt this year and he has to be high on the list. Pray for him to be healthy because he makes Eboue look like a poor man’s… Eboue.
Anyway, what a great game yesterday. I’m so excited for the season to start.
Rumors and Stuff
I just wanted say “I told you so” because Arsenal are signing Xabi Alonso. OK… well, maybe it’s all a bunch of BS, but I really wish it would happen isn’t that enough?
Eduardo is not coming back until next year. Mark my words.
How bad is Robbie Savage? So bad that Premiership whipping boys Derby are slagging him off. How bad do you have to be to be criticized by Derby? This just confirms what I’ve said all along: Robbie Savage is a no-talent-ass-clown.
Speaking of no-talent-diving-ass-clowns, El Haji Diouf beleieves himself to be god. I don’t even have to make a joke here.
In good, nay great, news Jack Wilshere is officially an Arsenal first team player. He’s going to be wearing Gilberto’s old number (19) this season and I suspect we’ll see him make about the same number of appearances as Gilberto did last year. He’s been with Arsenal since he was 9 years old. 9 years old. How are they scouting 9 year olds? Anyway, this kid is the future of Arsenal, mark my words.
Man… long blog today. Sorry about that. There was just a lot of stuff! See you tomorrow.