Archive for the ‘Adebayor’ Category

Robin Van Persie

At the moment it is 80 per cent no and 20 per cent yes. But he has a scan this afternoon and he is better today than he was last night. That is positive for a muscle problem. But we’ll know much more about it on Friday morning

Adebayor

We have Adebayor who has a little ankle problem. We’ll see how he is tomorrow. I hope he’ll be OK. But the time is so short between the games it is very difficult to make a decision the morning after a game

Sagna

Sagna is making good progress. Manchester United is the earliest for him. We are trying everything we can to get him back for that game. But we’ll know more when he starts to run outside and he has not begun that.

Rosicky

He will not be back for the Liverpool games

So, we have Robin who will be out, Adebayor who will most probably start, Sagna still out.
Back to square one, folks.

Theo to start on the right for me, with Bendtner and Ade up front.
Either that or Theo on the left, Hleb playing supporting striker.

Match Gunner: Tomas Rosicky for his creativity  

Portsmouth entered the game with a gameplan. Portsmouth had three ex-Arsenal first team players in their first team. Campbell, Lauren and Kanu. Lauren just looked like a 80’s rapper with the hairstyle he adopted(see top pic). They started with a lone striker which more or less stated their intention to adopt a defensive approach to the game. Fair enough. We are the most feared attacking side in the Premier League. We started as we were against Spurs; also with a 4-5-1.

The first half was forgettable apart from a few good chances that fell to Cesc and Rosicky. Adebayor’s continues to bear the brunt of frustrated Arsenal fans across the world. There is no doubt that he is a good player but he has to modify his game to suit the situation. Throughout the whole first half, he tried a multitude of flicks and tricks that just didn’t work. He is a good player for us but I am not convinced that he can make it as a lone striker.

Second half and the game started to open up. Eboue was replaced by Diaby and the sub most fans were waiting for after his marvellous winner in the derby, Bendtner came in to great effect. Cesc and Rosicky started to have more space to work their magic. Clichy also made a great last ditch safe from Benjani who had already evaded Almunia. We nearly got a last minute winner as first Gallas missed from 6 yards after a great turn(Campbell might have clipped his ankle) and secondly Rosicky fired a shot inches wide with the last shot of the game.

We all know how extra motivated and dangerous players are when they meet up with their former clubs. This was no exception. Campbell was on form and was the arguably the best Portsmouth player that day, barring Benjani. With the scoreless draw, we have conceded the lead to Manchester United. Frankly,  you must have seen it coming. We have stuttered since Hleb, Flamini and Cesc were injured and they have not rediscovered their form since. Coming up is another tough match. Everton away. Let’s do this.

Adebayor (48), Bendtner (75)

Berbatov (66)

Match Gunner: Manuel Almunia (The penalty save was vital for the win)

The old enemy came to town and we started without Van Persie who “picked up a knock”. Otherwise it was our season’s usual 4-4-1-1 lineup.

Arsenal Spurs 12-22-07

First half was frustrating. We were more or less played out of the game but somehow we managed more decent chances on goal then Spurs. For all their enterprise, I didn’t see any serious attempt at goal from them. The only danger was averted when Lennon’s cross was headed away in time by Sagna before it reached Keane. It was worrying that we lost possession much too easily and Spurs looked like the home side.

Let’s move on to the second half shall we?

We started with a bang. A nice backheel from Cesc found a charging Adebayor who finished it with style. Credit to Adebayor who started the move at the halfway line. We also had a good shout at a penalty when Kaboul missed the clearance from an Eboue cross and his follow through brought down Rosicky.

Adebayor opens the scoring

We grew slightly comfortable and tried to protect the lead. Spurs woke up and Keane’s shot hit the bar after a cross by Lennon. Soon after, Berbatov hit an absolute peach of a shot into the top of the net following a backheel by Keane. (It could have deflected of Kolo on the way in) In my opinion, Almunia had no chance of saving it even though it was at the near post. I’m sure Jens would disagree. 

Berbatov scores

Berbatov was at the heart of things again when some major scramble saw Kolo give away a penalty when he slid in to dispossess him but Berbatov turned just in time and Kolo caught him. Keane stepped up to take the penalty and our nerves were jangled. Luckily, Keane’s penalty attempt was a weak one to say the least and Almunia saved easily to his right. Cue relief and Spurs impetus was shot down in an instant. The game was ours to win.

In the 73rd minute, we got a corner and Bendtner was brought on for Eboue. Tall man=good idea. His first touch found the net as he lost his marker, rose regally and headed in a bullet(Majestic pic below) It was already in before Robinson could even raise his hand to block it. Cue mayhem. It’s the first Premiership goal for young Nicklas this season and what a time and opposition to score against. They were finished when a penalty appeal was turned down as Sagna brought down a Spurs player after he succesfully nutmegged the “hair extensioned one”.

What a goal!

Once again, a good result even though it wasn’t a vintage performance from the lads. Fabregas, Hleb and Flamini looked rusty after coming back from their recent injuries. Let’s hope that the fixture rush smiles kindly on their match sharpness.

Adebayor(4)

Taylor(60)

Match Gunner: Manuel Almunia

A midweek game which is the second in a series of three away games for us in the Premier League. The team were without Hleb, Fabregas, Flamini and of course, Van Persie. Four of our first team players. Nonetheless, the team facing Newcastle still looked solid enough. Diarra and Gilberto in the middle with Eduardo slotting in the left and Eboue on the right, Rosicky playing in the hole and Adebayor playing as the lone forward. Backline has been consistent all season long with Sagna, Toure, Gallas and Clichy. Newcastle were coming into the game with demoralizing defeats against Portsmouth and Liverpool and were on a 4 games out of 5 losing streak.

The game certainly started brightly. We were ahead on the fourth minute with a stunning goal by Adebayor right off Henry’s books. In between two defenders; ball brought down on chest via a Eboue cross and bam, it hit the back of the net with conviction; the ball that is.

After that, the game slowly turned in Newcastle’s favour. They were certainly bossing the game with relentless pressure and grit. Only some good saves from Almunia especially the one from Geremi kept us in the game. Their goal came from a failure to clear our lines. Ade had the ball at the back, decided to pass it to Dudu and ran forward waiting for the one-two. It never arrived as it was intercepted on Dudu’s pass back to him and straight away a cross found Taylor who turned it in off the post. No one was to blame for this goal as it is the way we always play. Swift counter attacking motion which is often praised when it works which is more often than not.

After the game, Sam Allardyce had the balls to call us conmen. Papers have picked it up to refer to Sagna’s clutching and rolling around after a follow through after an attempted clearance hit Smith. It indeed looked exaggerated and a yellow was given. Fair enough. Allardyce knew what he was doing when he gave this comment. It will make referee’s think twice before giving a foul against them the next time around. What a thick typical English manager’s mind games. Oh and I’m sure that when Newcastle meet Man Utd, they will just roll over and wait to be demolished.

Just wanted to mention the two very dodgy calls late on in the game. One involving Beye and another Taylor. Nothing was given. The second foul by Taylor was especially obvious but you certainly always get the rub of the green when at home. I understand that. Anyway, here’s a video link of Taylor for you. Totally out of topic but just for a little fun after the way he scored a goal and got away with murder(Unlike the clumsy fouls that Senderos commits once or twice per season) courtesy of arseblog

Taking nothing away from Newcastle. They deserved something from the game. They have it. A point. Nice point for them and a nice point for us. Some people are making this draw seem like a loss. It was an away game against the person who has the best record against Arsenal under Wenger. A draw after being dominated for the majority of the game? Sure, why not?

We are still unbeaten and 4 points clear of Manchester United. Next up is an away game to Boro. Fingers crossed, our creative force of Fabregas and Hleb will be back in this one. Flamini too. *Edit. Wenger has ruled this out

No Fabregas, no Hleb, no Van Persie, no Flamini will be back for the weekend

Unless No means Mr. in some language, we will have to be satisfied with Gilberto and Diarra in midfield again. Maybe Dudu and Ade up front together for once?

The good news is that Van Persie will be back in training next week

Van Persie and [Abou] Diaby are not far, From next week they will be back in normal training.We have to see how he [Van Persie] responds to contact training, don’t forget he has been out for seven or eight weeks and has had no contact until now so we might have to be a little bit patient.
We have no-one coming back for Sunday, and to put a date on that is very difficult. If you ask me who will be the first to come back then I think it could be Mathieu Flamini. Cesc and Alexander Hleb are on the same line but whether they come back next week or in two weeks I don’t know

Knowing Wenger, it will be no surprise if the quartet of Fab,Flam,Hleb and Robin is up and playing against Chelsea. Till the next post.

Gardner (14)

Flamini (24), Adebayor(36)

Match Gunner : Alex Hleb

We were just coming off our first defeat of the season. Villa were on a four game winning streak. It promised to be an interesting game and it didn’t disappoint. Game started at 1.15 am here and the majority of fans watching with me at the shop were either Arsenal or plastic Man Utd fans( Cheering the opposition when they score and leaving when they are losing)

Game started with the 4-4-1-1 that Wenger loves so much nowadays. Ade up front; Hleb in the hole, Rosicky, Eboue, Diarra, Flamini in midfield. Our backline of Sagna, Clichy, Gallas, Toure and Almunia rounded it up.

Villa were bullish and the noise generated by the Villa Park faithful was almost deafening. Either that or the mamak owner decided to pump the volume to the max for this game. Villa were buoyant with their consecutive wins and were in no mood to set up shop for a draw.

We had some decent chances and played the same style of football everyone loves to have in their team. Crisp passes. Nice one twos. Everything clicked. A long passing movement saw Eboue(getting tired of the pass) shoot a decent chance in and was saved by Carson. Hleb had a chance too when he was through in the middle but was dispossessed by Carson’s tackle. Then came their goal. Flamini lost the ball to Carew who powered on the left wing and put a cross in. It came off the foot of Toure, off the head of Gallas and landed perfectly to Gardner who just had to more or less slide it in. Against the run of play? You bet. The whoops and high fives were given by the aforementioned “fans of the game” It was the 14th minute and there was plenty of time for that to change.

The run of play remained in Arsenal’s favour. I recall the screen showing Arsenal 60% Villa 40% and before long, we had another brilliant chance when Rosicky’s shot was just deflected wide after fine play by Sagna. Ade and Hleb both had Laursen turn their shots out too.

The equaliser finally came when Sagna and Eboue conjured up a play on the right which was looped in by Eboue. Rosicky stumbled but managed to touch it to Flamini who cannoned the shot in leaving Carson with no chance. No chance at all. After scoring, he decided to dedicate the goal by pulling off his shirt to reveal a handwritten Katie* edit Katita on it seems like somebody has solved the mystery: afcblog via third gen via shusinogi oyabe Katita translate to fighter in Japanese and Arsene used to be nicknamed honorable fighter during his Grampus Eight coaching days. *Edit, it seems that this is not the whole truth. Ah, bugger it. Onwards to the Newcastle game!

Didn’t get yellow carded for it; luckily. He might have Ade to thank; judging from the picture to the right; he helped Mathieu keep his shirt on. Ade’s motherly look of concern is priceless.

The goal didn’t stop Arsenal from further controlling the game. A Flamini shot via Hleb was again deflected wide by the body of another Scandinavian Villa defender(Mellberg/Laursen??). Hleb and Rosicky had their shots saved by Carson too.

Our impetus and verve paid off ten minutes later when Sagna’s cross found Adebayor who made a delightful header into the net. Again, Carson simply had no choice but in honesty, the Villa defense could have been tighter.

We were controlling the game but could not find another goal in the half. Flamini hit another shot wide. You have to say that he is relishing his freedom in Cesc’ absence. This was the missing ingredient last year. Goals from midfield. This year Hleb, Flamini and Cesc have all stepped up to the plate in this regard in the absence of Gilberto. The score finished 1-2 at the half and could it get better in the second?

After the break, it was all Villa. Especially after Carew brought down Hleb to be replaced with Walcott. Luckily they had nothing to show for their possession. Two of their best chances came via Carew(more on him later) First chance came when Carew’s turn caught Toure flatfooted but somehow he scuffed his shot and the follow through was prodded wide by Laursen. The other one came when his header from Young lobbed and hit the crossbar. We hung on for the win and had to bring in Gilberto for Rosicky to stabilize the defense. The one thing that stands out in this current Arsenal side. Resilience and focus. Is this the effect of Gallas as captain? Maybe. Just maybe. I still have not forgiven him for ranting to the press last season. He is a great player and hats off to him for showing he is a great captain as well.

Going back to the part on Carew. The foul occurred when Hleb was in sight of goal. Cynical? Surely. Hleb wasn’t the last man but nonetheless, Carew had no chance in hell to get to the ball. He escaped with a yellow which is more than I can say for Hleb who was bleeding and had to be brought off. Achilles injury I hear. The whole game changed without Hleb on the pitch. Very limited articles on this. Setanta has a few Nice yellow banners.Goal.com has one Hopefully he will be fit for Wednesday’s away clash at Newcastle. We need him. * one more minute on the pitch and that would mean another point the the premierleague fantasy game.

Post match comments: Tale of two half’s.

O’ Neill

We totally dominated the second half. Arsenal are a very fine side, but we deserved to get a point.

We showed great character in the second half and I don’t think Arsenal have been put under that sort of pressure for some time.

The players just have to have that belief that they can win these type of games. Our attitude was magnificent.

Wenger

I think the first half was amazing.

We were quick and sharp on the move, while in the second half we were resilient and showed commitment and calm to deal with the pressure.

This was a big test for us. We were really tested when we were losing and we deserve a lot of credit. We wanted to extend our lead and we’re happy

Gallas (83) , Rosicky (86)

Match Gunner: William Gallas

The match started with a virtually indistinguishable Arsenal central midfield. Denilson and Diarra coming in for the suspended Cesc and the injured Flamini. Fab-Flam had been so dominant as a pairing this season that the change really made us look like a different side altogether.

Wigan had new boss Steve Bruce looking on in the stands. They duly performed what all sides come to the Emirates and do. Damage limitation and relying on counter thrusts and setpieces as their only attacking options.

They did well, in fact; good enough until the 83rd minute where once again, our propensity to produce late goals which have been a revelation this season emerged yet again. Gallas; my man of the match on this day finished with a textbook glancing header to end the frustration.

Before that, the starting pair of Walcott and Adebayor provided some highlights but no goals. At least three last ditch tackles from Bramble of all people, Granqvist and Boyce saw to this. Walcott again looked lively and useful but still lacking confidence as is expected of one so young.

It was quite a dull match but sort of sparked to life in the 72nd minute when Bent made a crude tackle from behind on Denilson. One that looked like Henry’s red card tackle against Uruguay in WC 2002. Bent was only given a yellow card though and in the aftermath Heskey and Gallas were yellow carded too.

The yellow on Gallas was particularly puzzling as he was standing up for his player as a captain does and was pushed away by Heskey. All I can say is that England players have learnt nothing from their European Cup qualifying failure. Their goonish mentality is encouraged by the plaudits for getting stuck in and giving 110% on the tackle. Just look at what Lampard did in last years League Cup final. No wonder Wenger doesn’t field many Englishmen. He wouldn’t want the tag of being the worse behaved side in the Premiership again.

Later on, this view was augmented by another bad challenge, this time from Heskey on our only Englishman on the field; Walcott. Theo needed a stretcher to bring him out of the pitch and was subbed with Bendtner. Heskey really should have been sent off as he was on a yellow following the aforementioned shoving with Gallas. The commentator really pissed me off by defending both Bent’s and Heskey’s tackle as being clumsy rather than bad. They are well paid professionals for god’s sake. They should not be clumsy!!!

The goal came after Gallas passed it to Bendtner. He layed it off to Sagna who was charging in on the right wing. Sagna produced a brilliant pinpoint cross and Gallas finished with aplomb.

Rosicky closed the game off after a fine pass by Bendtner three minutes later with a shot that went in off the post.

Thoughts after seeing the match? Bendtner gave a fine 10 min cameo as he was directly involved in the two goals. Walcott is young and is the potential star. Sagna and Clichy are fine fine French wingbacks. Diarra produced another solid performance. This time in his preferred central midfied role instead of the rightback slot. Man Utd’s loss at Bolton means that we are three clear with a game in hand heading into the busy Dec period. Goal clips here

Flamini(43), Adebayor(52), Hleb(78)
Shorey (88)

Match Gunner: Adebayor (made it tough for himself in the first half but the Togonator totally justified himself in the second)

Woke up groggily at 3.30 am to catch this one and got to the Mamak shop just in time to see Ade hit the post after a brilliant ball by Rosicky. Bad Ade and he knows it.

After that nothing much happened and we were in possession while Reading camped their team in their own half with a brief foray producing a decent save from Almunia from Gunnarsson .

Our first goal came near halftime after a “rare” nice pass from Ade found Hleb on the overlap.Hleb rolled a beautiful ball to Flamini who just had to lift it up pass the tackling defender into the goal. It’s simple really. One of the moments when we really passed the ball into the net. Rosicky wanted some brotherly love from and was rejected..Awww…poor Tomas who gained revenge by playfully kicking Flamini as part of the goal celebration. That ended what was otherwise a bore first half.

Second half started and the game was much more open as Reading put more men forward as is the norm when you are down in a game. We retained the lion’s share of possession and the second goal came when Hleb gave the ball to Adebayor on the left who ran into the box and slid it to Rosicky who then cuts it back to Cesc who touches it to Ade who just curls it over the falling Cesc and into the net. Perfect flowing goal. The description does it no justice.

Another good chance saw Ade wrongly flagged offside. It would have been a great goal as the ball from Cesc was quality as was the take down and finish.

Third goal came when a tackle by the Reading defender saw Hleb picking it up and danced into the box and then exhibits the wonderful close control that he possesses and just scores it when it seemed like he took a little too much time taking it past the nose of Hahnemann. 3 goals and the job was done.

The moment of the day came a bit later on when Cesc grabbed hold of Fae’s arm and hung on to it for a full 5 seconds, like a jilted lover who just can’t let go.. It was an unbelievable foul if the facts weren’t so obvious. He was on 4 yellows and the next match was Wigan at home. You do the math. Never a better time to serve the suspension??

We were slightly punished for the complacency as Shorey hit the left post with a free kick and minutes later another Reading player hit the right post with a good header and it bounced right to Shorey who scored the consolation goal.

A nice way to go into the international break. Top of the league with a game in hand. When we come back on the 24th, Robin will be fit again. Nice. In other news, it looks like Le Boss is planning to add another player to the squad. My bet is on the goalkeeper. Prove me wrong, Arsené.

A wallpaper has been made by .con to celebrate the top two performers of this game.
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