Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, September 28, 2009

Arsenal’s three worst players against Fulham need to shape up and soon

By 1970’s Gooner

I was as delighted as much as I was frustrated last Saturday in that uncharacteristic one nil to the Arsenal win against a very spirited Fulham side.

I was delighted that we won the game which kept us within distance of the top, especially as Chelsea dropped points. I was also pleased that the win was obtained when not playing at our best.

It’s quite funny really in that a lot of the media usually criticise Arsene Wenger’s teams for not being able to rough it, play badly and win ugly. This is exactly what Arsenal did yet this is labeled a lucky win!

Stop reading the tabloids I say and stick to blogs….

Yet I cannot but ponder on the reasons for Arsenal’s lackluster performance. This is because I feel that if we carry on playing like this we are bound to come unstuck sooner than later.

Winning ugly gets you out of jail once or maybe twice but then you simply have to revert back to your brilliant best.

A lot of the pressure that Arsenal faced against Fulham originated from within itself rather than created by Fulham’s play.

Uncharacteristic mistakes were made in the passing of the ball and the giving away of possession and free kicks in dangerous areas; way too often.

In the offensive area of the pitch Arsenal did not create much and there was not enough fluidity and slick passing as we have become accustomed.

For all the above I blame three players in particular and I hope that they get back to form pretty soon starting tomorrow in the Champions League.

3. Fabregas

Yes he did after all provide the brilliant assist for van Persie’e goal and put a few excellent passes for the forwards to score. But you must agree that the little maestro is below par when you compare him to his brilliant best.

He has been misplacing passes and lacking that dynamism and dexterity that he has shown in previous years for quite a few games now. Something is bothering him and I hope it is not Barcelona.

Nevertheless if he doesn’t tick Arsenal’s clock stops ticking. And his below par performance affected the rest of the team.

2. Arshavin

He has been out for a month after taking that silly decision to play for Russia when he was clearly injured. This showed against Fulham. He was below pace, did not get much involved and generally did not contribute enough for the cause.

Add to this the lack of penetration on the other wing from the average Bendtner and you can see that poor van Persie did not get much of a service.

We need a fit Arshavin in the side and I hope that he can get back to full fitness quite soon.

1. Diaby

What an idiot. Who does he think he is? Maradona in his hey day? This boy has to be taught to play the simple game. Win the ball and then pass it. Full stop. At this stage of his development he should concentrate to get this right.

All he did last Saturday was to give possession to the other side. He did this by passing them the ball, trying one dribble too many or and this was more dangerous, giving away silly fouls in dangerous areas outside our box.

Abu Diaby you have the potential to become an Arsenal great but you have to learn to play simple football for the team. Not for yourself.

Fabregas and Arshavin will improve I am sure. But Wenger needs to reconsider whether to keep persisting with Diaby.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Photo of Lehmann at beer festival gets him dropped

By Aries

Stuttgart's head coach Markus Babbel was very annoyed with Jens Lehmann after his team’s 2-0 defeat by Cologne over the weekend.

He decided to come out of his area, rush way out to tackle an opponent and of course was left with egg on his face when the ball ended in the back of an unguarded net!

Reminds you of his mad rushes when he used to play for Arsenal doesn’t it?

And when Babbel found out that after the game Lehmann went to the Oktoberfest beer festival without permission he had enough.

The player has now been dropped for the cup game against fourth division side VfB Luebeck.

Lehmann said it had been a charity visit.

“The visit to the festival was part of a charity event which was planned a long time ago. It was not agreed with the club. Naturally, I accept measures taken by the sporting management” Lehmann said.

Jens had attended the festival with his wife Connie.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Four reasons why Arsenal lost to Manchester City (plus player ratings)

By 1970’s Gooner

1. Heavy legs?

What a pathetic performance by the Arsenal players in the first half. They could not find each other even with short passes, their free kicks and crosses rarely got past the first defender and their heavy legs never allowed them to play in a quick tempo. Cesc Fabregas was particularly guilty.

May be they were affected by the international week that a lot of them were involved in but Manchester City had players on international duty too.

In the second half after probably a good spanking by Wenger in the dressing room but more importantly with the introduction of Rosicky the whole team were rejuvenated.

Fabregas became more efficient and went more forward to give support to van Persie, Rosicky gave added impetus to the attacks and suddenly balls were finding their intended targets.

2. No width

Wenger elected to start with Bendtner and Diaby on the flanks in a 4 3 3 formation. Diaby was abysmal, holding onto the ball when he should have been passing it and when he got round to passing it he could not find his players.

More significantly he often strayed infield thus starving the team of the width on the left hand side that he should have been providing.

Bendtner was also ineffective for most of the time on the other wing. This meant that van Persie got no meaningful crosses or penetrative passes to exploit.

3. Clichy and Diaby go awol

In the first half Diaby helped Clichy deal with the threat of Wright Philips. But in the second both were guilty of leaving that left hand side almost unguarded. Both the vital second and third goals that killed the game off came from that side.

For the second Clichy was dispossessed up the field, Diaby was nowhere to be found and Song had to rush back to cover, unsuccesfuly.

For their third Clichy was tricked by Philips who raced clear to plant the ball on Adebayor’s head.

4. Almunia lets the team down

He was slow in coming out for the high ball against Portsmouth when they scored their goal but it didn’t matter. It mattered today. He was slow to react to Richards’s header and by the time he got to it the ball had hit the post and his back.

Goals change games and this goal gave them belief and had us chasing the game committing players up front in a second half.

Still we got Rosicky back and he looks back to his old best. This is a real bonus as he can add quality and creativeness to the team.

Almunia 5
Clichy 4
Sagna 5
Vermaelen 6
Gallas 6
Song 6
Denilson 5
Fabregas 6
Diaby 4
Bendtner 5
Van Persie 6

Rosicky 7
Eduardo 5
Eboue 5

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fabregas on the score sheet again…(video)

By 1970’s Gooner

European champions Spain secured their place at next year's World Cup finals with an easy 3-0 win over Estonia thanks to goals from Cesc Fabregas, Santi Cazorla and Juan Manuel Mata.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was held by Turkey earlier in the evening so Spain knew a victory over Estonia would be enough to guarantee themselves top spot in Group Five.

Spain took this opportunity as they continued their 100% record in qualifying with an eighth win in eight games.

Cesc got the first goal after receiving a through ball into the area and his shot low across the goal ended in the back of the net.

He seems to have found renewed confidence in front of goal this season. This seems to be a result of increasing maturity both in terms of football but also in his physique.

He is also benefiting from the more advanced role he has assumed for Arsenal in the new 4 3 3 formation that has been adopted by Arsene Wenger this season.