Liveblogging Barnet v. Arsenal

Good morning!

Holy crap, I’m excited, and it’s just a pre-season match. I have the stream up, the commentators are already blah blahing about what they will talk about at half time and kickoff will be underway in 10 minutes, just time to fry an egg!

Back in a sec…

6:55am Latest on Adebayor is that he flew to Manchester for a medical. I reckon if he could fly to Manchester he’s fit enough, isn’t he? Also, why was he holding out on us, I mean we could have used someone who could fly to knock out some of those corners on defense.

6:57am Well in, MATT! Yes, “he’s (Rosicky) like a new signing innit?”

7am Well, already bad news… they’re wearing the Yankees away kit.

Here’s your starting XI: Almunia; Djourou, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre; Wilshere, Randall, Frimpong, Rosicky; Arshavin, Watt.


7:06 — I can’t tell where Vermaelen is playing but Djourou is at RB and the announcers said that Silvestre is at LB, so CB partner with Gallas?

Must be, Frimpong is playing holding midfield.

7:09 — got it now, Rosicky is playing in Cesc’s role, Arshavin is up front, and Randall is mopping up in midfield. Doing a good job of it too, put in a good tackle a few moments ago.

7:12 — Sanchez Watt gets a great low cross on a counter from Arshavin knocks it down one time and clips in a left footer, nearly went in made the keeper work there!

One other thing to mention, Vermaelen is good in the air, he’s clearing most things — except that last corner there!

7:19 — Not much happening, a bit of back and forth, I will say that when they get the ball settled and Rosicky starts the counter, Arsenal look amazing. Rosicky made a great pass into space for the runner, who returned the ball to him and he was wide open, but the keeper smothered him. Too bad the end product wasn’t there, it would have been nice to see Thomas get a goal.

7:24 — I swear to the gods that I’m going to count the number of headers that Vermaelen wins, it’s pretty incredible. Not much going on at the moment, Arsenal’s attack keeps petering out because, well, because Arshavin’s being a bit lazy.

7:27 — Randall puts in a rash challenge, from behind, after getting dispossesd for being slow to move the ball on. Should have been booked there, doubly so for tackling a 40 year old!

7:31 — Still 0-0, Barnet’s holding a high line and we really should be picking them apart, but they are battling hard in the midfield and denying our midfield players time to create. Randall is having a bit of a rough stretch. As good as he looked at the start he looks terrible now.

Matt, there’s a button at the bottom, right of the screen that plays the video full size.

7:38 — Not much going on, 10 minutes left in the half and everyone’s looking a bit jaded. I think I saw Vermaelen miss a header…

And as for the players looking fat, I think it’s the new kit, Gallas looked preggers when he walked out. Now, maybe he’s been doing nothing but smoke cigs and drink lager for the last month but I doubt it.

7:44 — Wilshere makes a great run down the left flank, dribbles in and lays off to Arshavin, who switches to Rosicky wide right, one-two and his left footed shot is wide. Rosicky looks pretty strong, he’s had some good challenges (given and taken) but just rusty. That’s what pre-season is for, right?

43′ — Goal! Arshavin pokes home a good cross from Sanchez Watt after another run down the left flank. Clinical finish. The announcers are right to mention the movement of the other players to draw the defense apart.  Good play from Arsenal.

46′ — Goal Barnet. Randall gives up a stupid free kick and no one deals with the set play. Yakubu outjumps Gallas for the header and puts in a nice goal. This is a familiar refrain from the Arsenal…

Half Time…

Half-time analysis:

Vermaelen — The communication between he and Gallas isn’t quite there, but then they’ve only had a week to practice. He wins pretty much every header, except the one that Barnet put in to Gallas. His pace hasn’t been tested yet so we’ll have to see if he’s got the wheels. I think many people will be surprised by his size when they see him; he’s smaller than I expected.

Rosicky — The only effect I’ve seen from his injury is that his shots are off. He’s tackling well, he’s been tackled hard and gotten right back up, and he’s running just fine. I like him in the Cesc role.

Randall — He’s a crap.

Watt — good player, lots of movement, fun to watch and bagged the assist with a delightful cross.

There’s a whole ton of changes at the half, the announcers said that only Vermaelen will continue! I’ll have that lineup in a sec.

  • Sub: Emmanuel-Thomas on for Watt
  • Sub: Simpson on for Arshavin
  • Sub: Barazite on for Rosicky
  • Sub: Henderson on for Frimpong
  • Sub: Coquelin on for Randall
  • Sub: Sunu on for Wilshere
  • Sub: Cruise on for Silvestre
  • Sub: Ayling on for Gallas
  • Sub: Eastmond on for Djourou
  • Sub: Mannone on for Almunia
  • Vermaelen is captain.

    8:05 — Second half is underway, I’m excited to see JET in midfield. Barazite has a shot deflected and calls for handball. He likes scoring in this competition having done so in each of the last two.

    8:10 — HOLY CRAP… Barazite scores a magnificent goal, right footed curling into the side netting, unstoppable. The whole buildup was mouth watering. These kids were moving the ball around, basically at will, playing keep-away from the Barnet players.  Classic Arsenal.

    8:15 — 40 year old Paul Furlong is giving Arsenal’s defense nightmares in the air, this can’t be happening, can it?

    8:17 — Gianni, if you do run around the office with the shirt over your head, have someone take pictures. Barnet has stepped up the pressure and closed down space, Arsenal struggling to string together passes now.

    8:20 — 60′ Barnet subs 5, who cares?

    8:25 — Vermaelen plays a dangerous cross over the bar, bit of desperation there from the captain…

    8:30 — Yawn… Nothing going on, lots of passing from both clubs, no real teeth.

    8:35 — Come on boys, 15 minutes, put in some work here and get a third goal. Everyone is playing lazy right now, which plays into Barnet’s hands, they just need a free kick to score…

    8:40 — Coquelin wins the ball in midfield, passes to Jay E-T, who slots to Simpson. His early shot is blocked and the resulting corner dealth with by Barnet.

    8:42 — Arsenal defense is a shambles and Barnet get an ugly, ugly, ugly, goal. 7 minutes left and Arsenal come right back with a shot on goal… I guess the plan is to outscore our opponents.

    8:47 — Come on boys… 3 minutes, play hard for three fucking minutes.

    8:50 — That’s it, match ends 2-2, Arsenal have never allowed Barnet to score 2 on them. I know it’s only a pre-season friendly but the defense clearly needs some work, especially from set pieces. Hopefully, Wenger sees that.

    Right, see you lads tomorrow, we might have some news on the Adebayor situation, or maybe Arsene will buy 15 new players.

    1 would be nice…


    1. @mooo It is on Arsenal TV online. Just surf over to and you’ll find it.

      @tim Can you resize the window or go full screen? I can’t do either.

    2. Randall is as wank as he always has been. And ‘has been’ is what he should be at Arsenal. Might do well at Hull?

      1. @Gianni23, Nah, he would be a little slimmer if he had stuck to vodka.

        I am not ragging on him, I know he will be back in shape before the season gets going.

    3. apopo: you can pay by direct debit (if you are UK resident). Then you might cancel the direct debit if you were so inclined…

    4. @Tim. Yeah, but when I click that, I get the following pop-up: “To view the video fullscreen within your browser double click your mouse on the video window.”

      When I double-click on the video window, it just pauses the feed.

      Oh well, I will figure something out.

    5. Yeah, please do.

      Interesting that you’ve said Vermelean looks good, I read elsewhere that it’s been pretty difficult for him so far.

      Hopefully we’ll put on some more attacking talent for the second 45.

    6. not bad for a preseason game. the pairing of frimpong and randall is less than inspired, yet it is just being overcome by the movement of young jack and rozza, for now. hopefully barazite and coqauvin will come in for them at the half. defense is shaky, but with tweety at the corner, and a new pairing in the middle, i am not surprised. nice goal andrei, nice run and cross watt. the second half should be enjoyable!

    7. Let’s hope Nigel Clough isn’t watching Randall today…

      Looking forward to a complete different team (almost) in teh 2nd half.

    8. I’m not sure if takng topless pictures of myself at work is a bright idea… oh, and you do realise I’m a bloke :p

    9. They are only youngsters… against a lower league team who’re stronger and far more experienced.

      1. @Gianni23, They’re at the age where they want to break into a first team but they’re turning over the ball and playing these cross field passes and balls in the air. That’s not the Arsenal way – they need to stick to short crisp passes on the ground and quick movements.

    10. I think it is going to end 3-2, and I also think we should all get very, very used to that score-line.

    11. wasted effort from barazite, the youth looked low on solutions, but i do like me some coqauvin…

    12. Barazite has some serious skill, good range of passing and decent vision but he’s not Cesc just yet. Coquelin looks like he could be a future CM. The young wing backs look weak though and were outmuscled most of the second half. We’re still conceding on set pieces and Vermin looked good but needed a better partner especially in the second half. Hard to judge the team since most of the young players probably aren’t going to be seeing the EPL just yet so we’ll stil have to follow the pre-season games to see how a more senior side will look. We definitely could have used a pure goal scorer to poach some of the balls into the box – there were crosses that Eddie or Huntelaar could most likely find themselves on the end of. We’ll need to buy someone to replace Ade.

    13. For the 2nd time this wk, Adebayor is having a medical. From South Africa, Hughes announces that the medical is underway as he breathes a sigh of relief that Adebayor did not fall asleep and miss his flight. Big pressure on Hughes now w/ this roster of high priced talent that still looks lame at the back.

      Speaking of looking lame at the back, Gallas, my man, gets beat by a player 9 yrs SENIOR to him.

      Mark Randall was crap in the preseason last year, was crap in the Carling Cup loss to Burnley and is still crap today. Time to go loan w/ the option for a permanent deal. Please. He better not be getting a plane ticket on Monday.

      Coquelin has a long way to go. Could not connect on any pass over 10yds. But he was better than Frimpong.

      Nice to see the smile on Rosicky’s face today. Sorely missed.

      Are you worried about Arshavin being “lazy” today? The man’s a pro and will show at the ‘bell’. Unlike the one who failed to answer the bell against Man U in the CL and then had the nerve to cry: “it’s Ferdinand and Vidic , what do you expect?” Whore.

      I think Seattle can give Chelsea a game and get a win or a draw.

      Vela is alright.

      Anyone up for a game of set piece defense. That was just awful and should not come as a surprise. Duh.

      Take solace in the thought that it will get better, maybe.

      1. @ctpa, abt Randall – my streaming of the match was erratic, I kept thinking I was watching Denilson. Agree abt sending him out on loan.

        Rosicky looks to work well with Arshavin.

        re: set pieces defense
        Barnet’s 1st goal, oh well (deja vu); I’m not sure why Djourou was at RB and not at CB.

    14. Wenger’s interview on Sky Sports following the Barnett game tells you all you need to know about the club’s ambition this year: Sell your number one striker, albeit a real cock, and bank on two crocks coming off major knee and ankle reconstructions. I’d settle for fourth right now.

      1. @Sheila, No player is bigger than the club – no matter how good he is. He was a big distraction that didn’t allow us to focus on our game. He had to go, the same way CRonaldo had to leave Man Utd – there’s a reason Wenger and Fergie are two of the best in the business.

    15. I will admit, I am a little sad to see Ade go.

      However, I am ecstatic that the move did not drag on all summer. Now the players can move on and concentrate on football.

    16. Surprised you’re so critical of the defense Tim. You’re right, it is a pre-season friendly, and this won’t be anything close the defense we’ll be playing week in week out (Clichy and Gallas make a big difference!)

      Personally I was just glad to see Rosicky in action again, everything else was cake.

    17. Adebayor’s Man City interview is priceless. Adebayor “loves” Man City and wants to “fight” for Man City. Very sad for you if you support Man City. I support Arsenal and “I’m glad, I’m glad, I”m glad”. Wenger said there was “a little resentment there” on Adebayor’s part after he did not leave last season. Boo hoo. What must he be feeling now at a team that has no defense, a striker waiting line and no chance for CL glory. There is still the Carling Cup and FA cup, yawn.

      Wenger will see how the preseason plays out before deciding about another buy (as I suspected). He does mention Chamakh again. Chamakh now sounds like an a**hole w/ his statements about being willing to play for Sunderland if Arsenal don’t come for him. Shows he’s not motivated by the quality of the team he is willing to ‘play’ for.

      Chelsea (lately) looked very sharp against an over matched Seattle team.

      Inter Milan get the better striker in Eto’o. Barcelona will have a dud on their hands w/ Berbatov, er I mean Ibrahimovic.

      How about that Owen against the Malaysian IX. He still has it doesn’t he. Just imagine he could have been helping Newcastle run up the score even more.

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