Monthly Archives: January 2011

Arsenal Vs Huddersfield : The Player Ratings

Not a vintage performance by any means, in truth it was a poor game despite us taking an early lead. Then came the hamstring to Nasri and the red card to Squid, and what seemed a routine win became a hard task.

We had to rely on Fabregas, our skipper coming off the bench to rescue us in similar fashion as the first leg of the last round against Leeds. Wonder if Denilson still thinks he’s a poor leader. Below are the ratings for the players.

Almunia5.5
Rusty as expected but should have commanded his area very well. If not for the one handed save he pulled off, the rating would have been lower. I blame him for Nasri’s injury as his long throw led to that.

Gibbs4
Very poor game from the young english man. He got booked for dissent very early in the game and that hindered his performance as the League One side attacked his wing continuously.

Kozzer6
Found his kryptonite in Squillaci again today as he was shaky and not as strong as he normally is with JD. Decent showing.

Squillaci-10
The question has become, ‘Can he do any good’, very poor outing from the frenchman, was slow to the ball on one chance that fell to Alan Lee and then stupidly stuck out his arm to execute a ‘Clothes line’ move on the attacker which got him sent off and put us in trouble.

Eboue6
One of the better defenders, did his job well, was not caught out of position, attacked well, but his end product was lacking.

Nasri6
One of our best players before going off early with a hamstring injury. Was running the show before then. We all wish him speedy recovery

Denilson3
Wish I could rate him lower. He was poor and pathetic, misplaced his passes and it was his failed attempt at a tackle that led to the run from the opposition which got Squid sent off.

Diaby5
Out of his depth, slow and rusty. Expected, but he didn’t help matters slowing down the play each time we attacked. Put in two solid tackles over the course of the game.

Arshavin6
Worked hard, did his best but nothing seemed to work for the russian. Had a couple of shots charged down and gave the Huddersfield fullback a run for his money. Great last ditch tackle in the second half

Chammy4
The assist for the opener was all he had to show for 45 mins of play, won’t have been happy at being the one sacrificed but the decision was a ‘no brainer’ as he was poor.

Bendtner7
Our best player on the day. Missed two chances, but atoned for them with a well struck goal that was aided by a deflection. Won the penalty that sealed the victory and worked tirelessly. Good game from the Dane.

SUBSTITUTES

Rosicky4
I wasn’t happy to see him come on, he had only one telling pass to show for in 60mins of play, he ran around without much effect.

Song5
Played out of position as a CB and he helped steady the ship.

Fabregas7
If there’s a better way to show leadership then I haven’t seen it this season. Came off the bench to show that ‘lightening does strike twice’ as he converted the penalty he had a hand in winning. In 20 minutes of play, he did better than all the players that started in the midfield.

Relief was how many fans felt in the stadium after the final whistle, hard to pick many positives from the performance asides Bendtner and Fabregas. Let’s hope Nasri’s injury is not serious, as we need him against Everton.

From wherever you’re reading, have a swell day.

Escobar

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Arsenal vs Huddersfield : The Match Preview

The Emirates

It has been an eventful week at Arsenal with news, team selection, squad role and transfers been the major talking point. At the press conference on Friday , Arsene Wenger had a lot to tell the members of the press present.

First off was the news of returning players from injury with the likes of Squillaci Diaby and Almunia coming back to take their places in the squad for the FA Cup clash. And speaking of Almunia, Le Boss has challenged him to win his place back in the team and this was after dropping the news that Szczesny is now our number one choice between the sticks. Not in his dreams did the boy think his rise at Arsenal would be of meteoric proportions but take nothing away from his performances, he’s been great and his huge frame does our defenders a lot of good and they seem to play with ease and comfort knowing they have a solid pair of gloves behind them.

We all know Almunia’s time is up and come summer, he’ll probably be shipped away to some dead beat club. Then came the news of Carlos Vela moving on loan to West Brom for the rest of the season. This is one move I support strongly seeing as I had been praying he would go on loan when he joined us 3 years ago, and my preferred destination for him then was West Brom. It didn’t happen then but am glad it has now.

He’s too good to be on the bench and maybe a relegation threatened team might be the ideal tonic for him. I foresee a great combo of him and Nigerian Odemwinge. If only we could loan Denilson and make sure its a permanent loan away from the club. Oh well.

Moving on to the matter at hand, our opponents tomorrow, Huddersfield are third in League One and gunning for promotion under Lee Clark. They have lost only once in their last seven games and won’t be fazed by the visit to the Emirates. After all its a cup tie famous for its upsets and they’ll be hoping to get one.

Unfortunately for them, they meet an Arsenal team high on confidence and boasting an impeccable record this January. Despite playing an all time high, 8 games in January, in those eight games we have conceded just three times (all in cup competitions) and have scored 16 goals, including three in each of their last four games. So on paper, it should be a walkover for us. Yes!

Irrespective of the team we send out there, I expect a demolition job and fancy Bendtner or Chamakh to nab a brace or hat trick. This is what the team might look like.

    Chezzer

    Eboue, Squillaci, Miquel, Gibbs

    Denilson, Diaby, Wilshere

    Bendtner, Chammy29, Arshavin

Prediction : Arsenal 4-0 Huddersfield

So, the 5th round awaits us so long we avoid any nasty surprises and I’m glad Benik Afobe(Arsenal player on loan at Huddersfield) is ineligible to play. Don’t want him hitting the back of the net or causing us any problems.

From wherever you’re reading, have fun and make sure you keep an eye on Oxlade Chamberlain against Manure. I hope he scores the goal that sends them crashing out.

Escobar

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Arsene’s thoughts on a new signing + Ramsey’s new loan deal

Ramsey

Rumours of a new face at the Emirates this January seem to have been quashed by the man in the middle of it all.

At a press conference yesterday, Arsene dispelled stories that the club is close to signing a new defender, and while names such as Bougherra, Sahko, Cahill, Jagielka have come forward in recent weeks, Arsene knows exactly where he stands concerning a new signing.

This will surely infuriate a lot of gooners who have been hoping the boss would sign someone as cover in case of another injury. Thomas Vermaelen has barely played this season, and Squillaci does not seem to be quite popular amongst gooners.

Arsene isn’t perturbed by this as he believes he can make do with the current set up of players. It is a risk, he knows but one’s he’s ever willing to take.
Said he,

Transfer-wise there is no news and I would be surprised if there is any,”

Meanwhile, Aaron Ramsey has been loaned out to former club Cardiff City until the end of February. This is a welcome development as I do not see a place for him in the team at the moment, considering he just returned from injury. He needs to get his match fitness back and quickly too, and playing at a Championship side where the pressure is less will do him a world of good.

If going out on loan again for a month to get a few more games helps me get back into shape quicker and into the Arsenal team then I will do that,” Ramsey said ahead of his move. I just want to get back to playing regularly and get back into the Arsenal team as quickly as I can.”

Thoughts?

Victoria Concordia Crescit!

Collective Victory

I cannot seem to get enough of the highlights from last night’s game. I was close to tears after Mike Halsey blew the final whistle as I could finally sense the end of my wait for an Arsenal trophy. The players shared my sentiments too, evident in the lap of honour after the game. You could see what this win meant to the fans in the stadium. We finally have a chance to get those haters off our backs.

The first leg was an extremely poor performance from us and as such we had the task of overturning a lone goal deficit. This would have to come against a team who had no intention of attacking us in the second leg. We needed a big, big performance from the lads, one capable of taking us into our first final in 4 years, and boy what did we get?

Just three changes to the side that destroyed Wigan, Arshavin, Denilson and Nikky B coming in for Nasri, Song and Walcott respectively. These changes surprised me but they obviously paid lots of dividends.

The game in itself was one way traffic. Ipswich rarely ventured into our half not to talk of our box but one of their trademark long balls left Sagna with concussion and he had to be replaced with Eboue. That did not affect our play though as we set to rip them apart right from the first minute. I guess we were a bit too eager to score atimes and it was clear in the way we finished our chances in the first half. A little more calmness would have seen us lead at half time. But the writers of this particular script had other things in mind.

We picked up in the second half where we had left off earlier. But we just did not have the composure in the final third. I had been on the edge of my seat up till this point and I think I speak for majority of gooners if I say my heart was beating real hard when I saw 60 minutes on the clock but no Arsenal goal. How long did we have to wait? Just a minute, fellas! It was Nikky B’s voice!

His goal was pure class and this is the sort of attribute Bendtner believes will make him a world beater. That goal had composure written all over it, from the control, to the movement into the box, to the finish. I celebrated it as if we had won the Cup itself. You know why? It’s because, a goal was all this Arsenal team needed to get it firing. It would only be a matter of time before they got the other goals, I thought to myself.

The second and third goals came in the space of 15 minutes and I could breathe easy again. I could actually smell silver in the pub I saw the game. It wasn’t from the cutlery or anything in the pub or nearby, I bet it was all the way from Wembley!

In David Hytner’s words,

“The players have vowed to end the wait this season and, in the second half, the sheer force of their collective eventually wore Ipswich Town down and propelled Arsenal to their first final since 2007.”

A few positives before I close the post, Lil Jackie was astonishing last night. I was actually praying they passed the ball to him in midfield every time as he seemed to do something definitive with it each time my prayers were answered. He’s already stamped his authority on his position in this team and Arsene would be crazy to drop him for Diaby or anyone else for that matter. The performances of Arshavin and Bendtner were also encouraging as it showed that our bench players can deliver the goods. Arshavin, albeit a quiet performance, delivered two quality assists while Nikky got the goal of the night.

If you were looking for a perfect night, last night will surely fit that definition. The only blot was Man United’s win against Blackpool after going two goals down. There’s talk of Blackpool being denied a stone wall penalty early in the second half but I do not wish to be drawn into that. We all know how these things work, don’t we? And it will definitely take something special to beat them, won’t it? But hey, we are special!

It’s a bright day gooners, we have one trophy already IMO, and it would be an abomination if we did not destroy either of West Ham or Birmingham in the final. We are second in the League, with the leaders still to play Chelsea twice, and Man Citeh. They won’t win all of those, believe me. It is our duty to take advantage when they finally slip up. We are in the Champions League, and contrary to popular opinion, we are not out yet, irrespective of who the opposition is.

We have the FA Cup this weekend with Huddersfield paying us a visit. It’s a chance for some players to also show what they can bring to this team. Don’t expect anything other than an annihilation!

Oh to be a gooner!

From wherever you are reading this, it’s happening this season!
9jabred says so!

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Arsenal Vs Ipswich : The Player Ratings

A superb second half showing has us chanting ‘We are going to Wembley’ chants. It looked like a combination of bad luck and finishing with Ipswich 9-1-1 formation was going to turn this into a battle. But in the end, we allowed our class tell and two quick fire goals in three minutes set us on the way to Wembley. Below are the player ratings.

Chezzer7
The only action he was involved in was leaving Sagna with a terrible blow to the head. Another comfortable evening as he’s bent on ending January without conceding a goal.

Clichy7
Another evening where the opponents forgot we had a left side too as he didn’t have to sweat at the back and did good going forward.

JD7.5
Commanding display from our best defender this season, was solid, tackled well and got the beating of his marker all the time.

Kozzer7.5
Grabbed what is his second goal in an Arsenal shirt with a well placed header. He complemented JD at the back.

SagnaN/A
Lasted less than 15 mins as he took a blow to the head and had to leave the game.

Denilson6.5
Did very well in the midfield, rarely lost the ball which is even rare for the brazilian.

Wilshere7.5
For his profligacy he would have gotten a higher mark BUT his pass for the opener was Sublime and of the highest order. Fabregas, Xavi and Pirlo would have been proud of the pass. Needs to work on his finishing.

Fabregas7.5
Unlucky not to have scored more than one. Despite the rough housing he received from the Ipswich bullies, he still managed to dictate play and not only start the move for the 3rd goal, but kept running to collect the pass and score the goal that sealed it.

Arshavin8
Arsenal’s much maligned attacker started the game in similar fashion, and it looked as if he kitted up just to frustrate the fans. And then came the second half. He was electric as he hand a hand in two of the three goals scored. He can breathe easy now.

RVP6.5
He should have been more selfish tonight as he kept looking to pass the ball, and only has the headed attempt on the bar to show for all of his brilliant play. His presence in the box was needed and very essential.

Bendtner8
WOW!!! That’s what came out of my mouth when he bent that curler beyond the reach of the GK, from the run, to the first touch and the finesse applied to the shot had class written all over it. Could have had an assist to his name if RVP had buried the cross he provided.

SUBSTITUTES

NasriN/A

Eboue6
Not too good, and not too bad. Caught out of position almost all the time, thankfully we didn’t pay for it.

WalcottN/A

So folks, there you have it, Wembley awaits and I for one would like to credit Arshavin for a good display and for the two assists. Congratulations to the players for not losing their heads during the game despite all of the rough housing and poor officiating. Our quest for Silverware is almost complete.

From wherever you’re reading, have fun and please don’t drink and drive, if you must drink make sure its water. Cheers

Escobar

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We’re Going To Wembley, YES WE ARE!

Gibbsy
Like many gooners worldwide, I have no doubt in the outcome of the game later tonight. Confidence is sky high and the players know a lot is on the line. The added incentive of winning a silverware for the first time since 2005. But wait, do we really want this? If our performance in the first leg was anything to go by then our opponents seem to know what’s at stake more than us. I’ll just call that game a ‘bad day at the office’.

Okay, we seem to have put our poor run of form behind us, emphasis on the seem, but again you would have bet your house on easy wins against Leeds (1st leg) and Ipswich as well. But now we find ourselves needing to run the latter of the green grass of our stadium. Ah well it could have been worse, I do remember that they could have been two up in that game. Yet this game is actually easier to lose than the 1st leg, because its no longer even ground seeing as the away goals rule counts and they are one up.

Now do you see Ipswich not scoring? Well with the tactic they are sure to use (long balls) no, especially if we’re crazy enough to play a high line in defence. If we’re to concede at all, I’ll prefer we do so very early so we can roll over them but its a cup competition, no easy games here. A clean sheet is essential for our progress. Wigan 2006 anyone???

Another thing which concerns me as regards this game, is what the team selection will be. I have no reason to believe that these people shall be in the line up. I mean Samir, Cesc, RVP,Song Theo; you get my drift? Need I mention that all our goals at Elland road came from our usual starters, but If Arsene decides a rest is needed by at least 3 of these above mentioned names,we might be in for a long night.

They will definitely park the bus, yes, the same one Man Shitty brought with them to the Emirates, albeit a less expensive one. That being said, we should have enough to move their vehicle out of our space and throw it where it belongs. Yes, you geddit, we throw it out!

As such we’ll need our wingers dearly this evening because what we should do is stretch their back four and move them out of place which should make movement easier down the middle; a fast paced game will also be just what the doctor ordered cue Mr. Walcott and Mr. Nasri maybe even the enigmatic Russian. My ideal line-up looks something like this:

    Chezzney

    Sagna JD Koscly Gibbs

    Denilson Wilshere Nasri

    Bendtner Chammy Arshavin

This way have Cesc, RVP and Theo on the bench in case things go out of hand. It’s been rumoured that Ignasi Miquel might get the nod ahead of JD just to rest him and Eboue might come in for Sagna, I say we leave Sagna on seeing how in his absence the Ivorian got some games. I’m looking forward to this game as I believe can be the turnaround of Arshavin’s slump and fancy Chamakh to nab a brace.

We hope Arsene gets his tactics spot on for all gooners the world over will stand behind me when I say, we need a trophy, BADLY!!!

From wherever you choose to watch,have fun and I’m sure we’ll all be rejoicing come the end of 90 minutes.

Ita!

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VANtastic performance : Players Ratings + Personal Notes

VAN tastic

Okay, I won’t bore you with the details of our game over the weekend, as I expect you must have had more than enough match reports to get a full idea of what Saturday afternoon was all about.

So I’m just going to pick out a few stand out things and make a few points.

– We were at our attacking best and would have posted a cricket score but for an inspired goalkeeper between the sticks. 3-0 still isn’t a bad score. They had no single shot on target, mind you. Yes, we were that good!

– If we are going to have any chance of winning a trophy this season, we have to keep Cesc, Nasri and Van Persie fit for as long as possible. These guys are the difference between an average Arsenal side and a world class Arsenal team.

– We have started the same 11 players in our past 5 League games and kept 4 straight clean sheets. Looks as if we know who our first choice defensive pairing MUST be in the absence of TV5.

– It was good to see Chammy29 get some minutes again and it was more interesting to see that he’s had no issues with coming off the bench in our recent games. He is arguably the reason we are still just 5 points behind United! But with Van Persie’s form, he has to settle for a place on the bench. Poor lad.

– Although he can do no right at the moment, it was good to see a section of the fans give a rousing applause to Andrei Arshavin as he went to take a corner kick…really inspiring stuff! Exactly what he needs at the moment.

– I was a bit baffled to see Cesc looking not too happy on the bench after he was substituted. I was worried he wore that kind of face considering the kind of performance he’d just put in. My fears were however allayed after it was confirmed he was sad only because he had not scored. Pheeeeew…that dude is a winner, isn’t he?

On the whole, it was gladdening to see us put that Wigan team to the sword. Up next Ipswich visit the Emirates on Tuesday in a game which will move us closer to the end of our trophy drought. We win that one and we are in the finals. We are in the finals and I see no upsets. An Arsenal win, a Carling Cup trophy. It’s our chance, let’s take it!

It feels so good to be a gooner right now, we are playing some good footie and things are really fitting into place. Let’s hope it lasts till the end of the season.

Here’s a little transfer news and even thought its not the one we are all craving for, after days of speculation, its been reported that we’ve moved quickly to agree a deal to sign Southampton’s teenage sensation Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. Here’s a link to know more about him.
Oxlade-Chamberlain

9jabred signs out!

Escobar has got the ratings:

Chezzer6
Was He even on the pitch? Yes it was that bad as the young Pole was rarely troubled and had an uneventful afternoon.

Clichy7
Dealt well with the threat of Nzogbia and Stam and did well to join the attack. Good game from the Frenchman

JD7
What an easy outing for JD, barely broke sweat as he and his defensive partners were spectators for most of the match if not the entire match

Kozzer7
He won’t have it any easier than this, the frenchman could even afford to dribble out of his own half on more than one occasion.

Sagna7
The best right back in the League enjoyed another solid game. Had little to do at the back and went forward at ease.

Song7.5
Was very dominant from start to finish as he and Wilshere bossed the centre of the park and the assist was the cherry on the cake for him really.

Wilshere7
Steady, composed and good passing from the young English man. Rarely had to hit top gear.

Fabregas8.5
Captain Marvellous, brilliant display from the Spaniard, ran the show today as his passes were of the highest quality, two assists, winning the penalty and all these despite the roughhouse tactics from the Lactics.

Nasri7
Not as influential as he’s been all season, but still tested the goalkeeper on an occasion. Performed pretty well on the left of attack.

Walcott7
A lot of running and creating chances that weren’t converted, also had a shot on goal which Al Habsi was equal to. Held off Figueroa better than any target man could have to allow RVP net his treble.

RVP10
YES!!! 10. For the 2nd league game in a row, we’re giving him a perfect 10. His first league hatrick for Arsenal. He was simply brilliant and clinical and could afford to miss a penalty and hit the post.

SUBSTITUTES

Denilson4

ChammyN/A

Arshavin4

From wherever you are reading, keep believing. It will happen this season!

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Let’s keep up the pressure and get our revenge.

Wigan...Martinez

A very short and concise piece but we all need to be in a right frame of mind going into this weekend.

I guess everyone must be in high spirits now, still reveling in the outstanding performance the team put up against Leeds. Yes, it was a great performance but we must not get carried away. We have another important game coming up this weekend. It’s Wigan visiting the Emirates on Saturday and I do not expect a walk in the park for us.

We don’t need a seer to suggest to us that an early goal will win us this game, let’s rip into them quite early and we’ll have a chance to claim all 3 points. I mean, it worked well against Leeds as Arshavin suggested.

“Ahead of the game, Arsene instructed us to start the game in such a way so that it wouldn’t even cross our opponents’ minds that they can beat us. It reminded us about the accidents in the previous games, so we quickly began to carry out the assignment of our coach. In general, everything was turning out fine, we had several attacks”.

Our games at home this season have shown that if we do not score in the first half against a spirited side, we will struggle to break them down in the second. An early goal puts a hole in their plans and they are forced to “come out” in search of an equalizer. Need I tell you, that’s what we all want to see.

The team virtually picks itself; I expect Cesc, RVP, Clichy, and Theo back in the starting line up. So, Denilson, Arshavin, Chammy29 and Nikky will have to return to the bench. I guess Fabianski is still out, so Chesney starts again, behind the impressive pairing of Djourou and Koscly.

On the whole, anything short of a win will be a very bad result and even a worse one should our rivals win their games. A win meanwhile will put considerable amount of pressure on Citeh and United.

That’s it gooners, let’s continue this impressive run in the League. Our last loss in the League was at Old Trafford and we have to keep that for as long as possible if we are to stand any chance of bringing the title back to N5. Plus, we were unlucky to draw at Wigan, this is our time to take revenge and make things right.

Meanwhile The Metro suggests that we have moved closer to the signing of Bolton defender Gary Cahill. This belief stems mainly from the fact that Bolton recently signed David Wheater from Boro. He is seen as a replacement for Cahill, who is believed to be Le Boss’ main target.

But Arsene’s response to questions concerning the state of our defence suggest otherwise. I honestly feel no one will be coming in this month. I really hope I’m wrong though.

Get in there and support whoever plays tomorrow. Yes, whoever, as long as they wear the colours of this great club. I see a battering in the offing.

See you in the comments!

Have fun wherever you are reading from.
9jabred takes his bow!

Leeds vs Arsenal: Player Ratings.

Van P

At least we move on to the next round of the F.A cup by all means possible, not our strongest starting eleven but calm and normalcy was restored when V.Persie & Fabregas were introduced. Good changes from Wenger and at the right time too.

Szczesny-6.5: Couldn’t do much to keep out a strike from Johnson about 25 yards out. Commentator said if Fabianski was also in goal with him, they wouldn’t keep the shot out. Stayed calm at other times.

Sagna-8: Just when Leeds seemed to be getting a breather. He scores with a wonderful strike to make it 2. His 3rd goal in an arsenal shirt. Nice way to come back from a red card.

Djourou-7: Did well to keep the Leeds strike force quiet most of the time. Good play on air and also on ground. Really starting to cement his place in the first team.

Koscielny-7: Another good night for him as well. Combined well with Djourou when needed. Made some good tackles when needed.

Gibbs-7: Confident play from the english man, started the play that led to the first goal. Confident in both attack and defence.

Song-7.5: Strong in defensive midfield as always, distributed the ball when needed. Unfortunate not to score at the start of the second half. His physicality would definitely come into play when playing Barcelona

Denilson-5.5: Not a spectacular night for him. He was there to complete the string of passes when needed. Quiet during the first half and also major parts of the second half. Really needs to improve his total game.

Nasri-8.5: Man of the Man performance for The Barclays Player of the Month. Calmly slotted the ball in the 4th minute to score his 14th goal of the season. Good game for Temporary Captain Fantastic. Taken off in the 83rd minute.

Bendtner-5: Started out wide& looked lost most times. Wandered into the middle in d 26th minute and missed a ball whipped in by Sagna. Major highlight was the lovely floated ball to RVP to score the 3rd goal.

Arshavin-3: Another abysmal & lazy outing for the little Russian. Lost the ball in his first two touches, missed a strong chance in the 19th minute. Played with zero urgency during the second half.

Chamakh-5: Made Schmeichel make a super save with a strong header in the 10th minute. Came back to defend when needed. Needs to work on how to charge at goal rather than always looking to make a pass back.

SUBSTITUTES:

RVP- 7.5: Came in to score the 3rd goal with a well placed header. Made it look easy. A little reminder why he’s the starting striker.

Fabregas- 7: Had an effect on the game the second he came on. Showed why he’s a world cup winner. Class.

Clichy: Not enough action to rate him.

See you in time for Wigan’s visit to the Ems on Saturday.

Have an amazing day because I intend to.
Faf says so!

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Easy and expected win, but we need everyone on top form.

Van P against West Ham

So I decided to hold my views until after Saturday’s game against West-Ham to test whether some theories I have are correct, beginning with our game against Leeds. I looked at our lineup which included the likes of Denilson, Rosicky, Bendtner, Eboue; generally our second string players and despite having my reservations I still felt it was a good enough line up to put them away. Apparently I was wrong as we needed a last gasp goal from our captain, a substitute, to force a replay.

After this, I was immediately interested in knowing whether or not Le Boss would tweak things for our League Cup semi-final against Ipswich whom incidentally had been pummeled by Chelsea. Wow they picked a relegation threatened championship team with a more important game in mind to show they could score goals and win games, aren’t they just the classiest club?

Well Arsene did, just a little and the outcome was…well….we all saw it. It’s not that the team on paper shouldn’t have steamrollered Ipswich; they should have without the gaffer having to tweak anything. So it’s quite obvious the gaffer had/has a few problems on his hands.

Now make no mistake about it, Le boss knows his starting eleven and I think it’s absolutely fantastic that Le Boss has selected them based on their form and not based on name, evidence of this is Walcott being put before our misfiring Russian or little Wilshere replacing Denilson or Diaby. Now this automatically means that players whose positions have been taken are going to start the cup games, save for the Champions league, they start these games because of our obvious need for a trophy, bearing in mind our trophy drought will run into its 6 year should we fail to get one this season.

Arsene realizes this and has therefore taken these competitions more seriously. Anyway I digress; these players start because the starting eleven cannot conveniently play in all four competitions. The problem is, some of the bench players are just not up to the task.

Denilson: He isn’t the kind of player you can rely on for a whole game, his positioning is suspect, his one on one tackling is…well…what got us into trouble in the Leeds game, his decision making is questionable. He is the kind of player that you bring in when we’re well up which is what was done in the West-Ham game.

Rosicky: I think is still a good player, he actually does understand what it is to put the team first. Agreed, he’s not what he was when he first signed for us but he knows his role and when he’s playing these games you can’t really point at many faults. His faults are only glaring when he plays with the starting eleven as he’s not quite on the same wavelength with most of them.

Bendtner: I have always stood by him but now I’m really beginning to question whether he’s actually ever going to be ‘that’ good. I mean I know he’s come off a long spell on the sidelines but the progress he seemed to be making last season before the injury seems to have stalled and I’m sure even Arsene’s getting a bit tired. We only need him to be 70% of the player he thinks he is and we will complain no more.

Eboue: As a right midfielder, he’s a bit mediocre, just above average as a right back, his defensive positioning is woeful. We are spoilt for choice in every attacking midfield position, so we have to make do with him as second choice right back. Now, this is the scary part, isn’t he meant to fill in at this same position for the first leg of the Barcelona games? And even if not, what if something happens to Sagna? Can you actually imagine being stuck with Eboue at right back for say a month? We might as well walk into every game with a red dot on our head!

There has already been a post on Arshavin, so I won’t bore you with that.

Fast forward to the West-Ham game. Our best eleven, bar Vermaelen and Sagna, and a tame West Ham team means probably our least stressful game all season. We didn’t even have to hit top gear! Now the dilemma is simple but not easy to solve. Does Le Boss try again inserting some starters into the game, risking injury and further fatigue, or does he just give the bench players another chance to redeem their images?

Now with regards to the game played over the weekend, I really don’t think there is anything to talk about; it was more or less a training ground session in my opinion. That’s the Arsenal we want to see, the one which puts bottom teams to the sword and gives no chance of an upset. Do the same to Leeds and Ipswich and we’ll be ecstatic!

Have fun wherever you are reading this from.
It’s Ita!