Giant, 1 liter steins of some kind of German Lager, plus I got to keep the mug.
A 4-0 thrashing to shake off the hangover from Hull on Saturday — now I need a 4-0 thrashing of my body to put me back in shape for work this morning. Wait, not that kind of thrashing you perv.
Hanging out with my old friend (and tireless Nottingham Forest/Everton supporter) and catching up on everything, even if it meant missing parts of the game.
To the game: two goals each from Adebayor and van Persie was very good and in all honesty it could have been 7-0 with the opportunities that this team made and missed last night. I’m not complaining about the missed opportunities, rather I’m highlighting that the team made a lot of good opportunities and took a majority of them. When your squad scores 4 goals and keeps a clean sheet it’s hard to complain.
Kudos also to the boss for saying one thing and doing something different — he said he was going to axe someone and then decided to keep the faith and, well, it worked. As soon as I saw that Toure and Gallas and Theo were in the starting lineup I thought “well, there went another well founded, logical prediction down the shitter.” It’s a bit maddening, as a writer, to read that Wenger promises to make cuts and then to see he does the exact opposite. Not because he didn’t act as planned, but because I failed to put in the proper caveat! Of course Wenger selected the same squad as Saturday, he’s always doing unpredictable stuff like that, I should have totally said “unless Wenger ‘surprises’ us all and sticks to the same starting XI as Saturday.” Oh well.
Theo did very well and doesn’t look at all phased by the fact that he’s played, what, eleventy Brazilian games in the last month? Porto clearly had no answer for Theo when he turned on the afterburners, beating their full-backs with ease nearly every time he touched the ball. He is, by leaps and bounds, the most exciting player on this Arsenal team — truly a joy to watch. Now, score me some goals Theo!
And finally, I liked seeing van Persie’s reaction to the poor game he had against Hull — he worked fairly hard last night and got two well deserved goals. Now, do that in every game, we all know you can.
Arsenal kept a clean sheet but they damn near shit the bed three times in the opening 30 minutes. The first time was when some dude broke down the wing and whipped in a venomous cross that some other dude headed toward goal only to be denied by the cross bar. It should have been a magnificent goal but luck was on our side.
The second was from open play and but for Almunia’s good save would have been another embarassing goal from midfield that came about because the player wasn’t being marked.
And the third was, well, I thought the ball had gone in and was head down for fully 30 seconds before I realized that the ref hadn’t blown the whistle. Yet another corner, not properly dealt with, and the Porto guy seriously should have put the ball over the line except Arsenal had 9 people in the net. Amazing bit of luck there.
Which is exactly why it is ‘bad’ to keep a clean sheet: once again the team was lucky and not skilled. To win the two big leagues (EPL and Champions) you do need a certain amount of luck, but you cannot rely on luck. This team, defensively, relies on luck. Of course, Arsene Wenger disagrees directly with me
I believe that the first time they caught us tonight was on the break from one of our corners. We were caught on the break, but that is maybe the only real time when we were lucky. The second time was on the corner when Clichy saved on the line. Those were the two times when they were dangerous tonight. Overall we were much more disciplined and focused on corners. The fight in the air was there.
No and no, sorry Arsene, the corners are still a massive problem as evidenced by this game in which Porto had just 4 corners and nearly scored on the one except for a bit of luck. If you think you’re going to go to Sunderland and allow them to take 4 corners on you and escape unscathed with the defensive display Arsenal put on last night, you’re sorely mistaken. As we speak, Sunderland are practicing non-stop corners because the entire world knows that’s our weakness.
Sort it out.
The dance… Adebayor… stop it for the love of all that is holy… please?
There’s only one other ugly, and that’s this statement by Arsene Wenger on the defensive problems on this Arsenal team. Speaking about the Hull game on Saturday he said
Before Saturday we only conceded two goals and they were from corners in the League. On Saturday we conceded two goals too. I must say one of them was another corner but the other one was a goal that we have all scored but only once in our lives. We conceded a goal that you cannot do a lot about
Well, that’s just absolutely incorrect. You could, for example, close down on the player, just a little, make him rush his shot a bit, the keeper could cut off some of the angle, or maybe, just maybe the defensive midfielder could win the ball back. You could have done any of those things and while it wouldn’t guarantee that the kid wouldn’t score the goal it sure would look a lot better when he did. As it stands the guy had a wide open shot on an out of position Almunia with no one closing down on him and he dribbled and shot. Two of the guys I practice with made that shot this weekend. It’s not a once in a lifetime goal, it’s something all talented footballers have in their bag and I really wish Wenger admitted that or at the least didn’t say anything at all.
Finally, there are two more uglies that I want to get in. 1) 7am Kickoff’s perennial whipping boy Robbie Savage has finally achieved the level that a man of his footballing talent deserves: he’s been dropped by Derby and is now playing for League 1 side Brighton on a one month loan. 2) Stop me if you’ve heard this one before, Kevin Keegan is ready to re-return to Newcastle, presumably to finish the work he started with good pal Joey Barton.
I don’t know why but I find these two stories infinitely funny.
Crap, gotta go to work, see you tomorrow.