Archive for the ‘Da Silva’ Category

Downing(4, pen), Tuncay(74)

Rosicky(90) 

Match Gunner: Arsene Wenger?

Fourth away game on the trot after Sevilla, Villa and Newcastle and we lost our first Premier League game of the season. All thoughts were on us getting the three points againt a mediocre Boro side who was in relegation zone. Funny how it turned out. We crashed to a resounding defeat after maintaining a 15 match lose-less streak in the Premiership.

Did not watch the game but by the sounds of it, we were not at the races at all. Boro played well and won. We started with Diarra and Gilberto in midfield. Eduardo started as well. It seemed like Dudu had a dud and was quickly replaced by Bendtner at half time. You have to wonder why Arsene insists on putting him on the wing when the Crozillian is obviously very good as a finisher as is evident in his contributions to the Croatian national side. Wenger threw Walcott and Denilson for Diarra and Eboue to add extra impetus to the side but it was ultimately unsuccesful. Again we were outplayed and rarely had a shot on goal. Very untypical.

Wenger,

We lost the game because we deserved to lose it. Middlesbrough were sharper in the fight. They were a team who lacked confidence and we missed something at the start of the game because we gave them too much room and that caused the penalty. After that it was down to us

Boro had an early penalty when Kolo brought down former boy Aliadiere.

 

Downing completed the formality

 

Tuncay finished up an Almunia block from O’Neill to make it 2-0

Tomas provided a consolation goal for us in the final minute and that’s about the gist of it.

 

We were well beaten and we can hope that the boys will bounce back stronger and better after this. First up is our last group Champions League match against Steau Bucharest. I would expect the team to stay the same as Wenger has dismissed individuality and saying our form was due to the team as a whole as:

I don’t like to speak about the players who are not here, I always have confidence in the players who play. When you go into a season you know you will miss some players at some stage. 

Quite right. Losing players to injury is not an excuse. Long term injuries have hit all the top teams. Man Utd is missing Scholes. Chelsea is missing Drogba. Liverpool have been without Agger and Alonso.

Particularly looking at how we can bounce back as the next Premierdhip match is against Chelsea match as Fab and Hleb might miss that one too. Van Persie and Flamini have a good chance of making it though with Robin probably starting on the bench due to the lack of fitness.

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.

Eduardo (11)

Keita (24), Luis Fabiano (34), Kanoute 89 (pen)

Match Gunner: Nicklas Bendtner

We went into this match without Adebayor, Gallas (both rested) and Clichy (injured).

All in all, the only regular first teamers on the field were Cesc, Kolo, Rosicky, Eboue and Almunia.

Bendner started up top

Gilberto, Rosicky, Cesc, Eboue, Eduardo in the middle

Hoyte, Traore, Senderos, Kolo at the back with Almunia rounding it up.

I didn’t catch this one as I had a late night. It seems like I missed an exciting match. Dudu’s goal was perhaps the highlight for us as Cesc had an off night and we were more or less WELL BEATEN. It seems like Cesc might have picked up an injury though.

Their goals came via Keita, a header from Luis Fabiano via an Alves set piece and a penalty by ex-Spurs player Kanoute

Sevilla played well and deserved their win. This is testified by both Wenger and captain Toure. It would have been even worse if the penalty against Senderos was not recalled by the referee.

This blip ends our “unbeaten in all competitions tag” and it is well worth it. Many might judge Wenger for sending such a radically changed team to Sevilla. I say why not. We have qualified. Sevilla is a top team and would benefit our reserve players greatly to play a competitive game against them. Our December EPL fixtures are crazy(Look below for details). Wenger thinks so too.

We had to make a decision because we have a very heavy programme. You could see some players who played all the games got injured. We have a very important December. I knew we had to make choice in the different competitions and, to me, December is based on the Premier League

Coming up in December, we have these fixtures. A mind boggling 9 matches with 6 of them away.

As Wenger says.

I don’t regret that. I wanted some players exposed to the top level and I am happy having done it

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

Well, it’s done and dusted. England are out of Euro 2008. McLaren’s boast didn’t help and he was duly sacked

We’re there, we’re in the driving seat. It’s us to us to make sure we finish the job off

Not that it makes much difference for our players anyway. But the direct impact of the qualifying did. We are left without 3 midfielders in the immediate aftermath. Hleb(3 weeks), Flamini(1 week) , Gilberto(1 game)

Diaby(3 weeks) and Fabregas(one match) will also be missing.

As it stands, against Wigan, we might be seeing Diarra and Denilson as our midfield pairing with Rosicky and Eboue running the wings. I think that we will have Dudu up in front with Ade unless Wenger wants to go with a 4-5 -1 with Diarra holding up the line.

Eduardo (8, 50) Denilson (69)
Match Gunner: Eduardo Da Silva

The youngsters continue from where the senior players left off. A good win especially since our last match against them in Bramall Lane ended in a ugly 1-0 loss

Early on in the match and Dudu scored a beautiful drive from the edge of the box after a nice angled pass from Bendtner. This goal is the pick of the lot.

His second goal came a few minutes after halftime when a nice pass from Kieran Gibbs found him in the clear. Sheffield United defense was particularly shocking here. Dudu just composed himself and slid it past the keeper

In the 65th minute, Walcott got a great chance to add to his season tally when a mistake by the opposing team allowed him to round the keeper but his effort hit the post. To be fair, it was a narrow angle.

A few minutes later, Denilson was wide open and strode forward from midfield with no resistance and took his chance with a try that clipped the back of the big lump, Chris Morgan and went in.

A goal line clearance from Gilberto ensured a clean sheet for Fabianski.

This is how we lined up against Sheffield Utd

GK: Lukasz Fabianski
RB: Lassana Diarra
LB: Kieran Gibbs
CD: Justin Hoyte
CD: Alex Song
RM: Theo Walcott
LM: Abou Diaby
CM: Denilson
CM: Gilberto
F: Eduardo
F: Nicklas Bendtner

with Nacer Barazite, Gavin Hoyte, Vito Mannone, Fran Merida, Henri Lansbury as the subs (No love for Lehmann then)

With no surprises in the games last night, West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Blackburn, Man City, Everton and Spurs through too. Tough night for Chelsea though, as they struggled to a 4-3 win over Leicester. Lampard grabbing a hattrick there.

Again, fine win for the youngsters with all the starting 11 at Anfield all rested with an eye on the MU clash coming up in 3 days. The big win was deserved as we played wonderful flowing football with crisp passing and nice movement. We Arsenal fans are a spoilt lot and judging from the performance of the youngsters, we can be assured of many more years of witnessing the same under Wenger.

What a relief it is to have finally gotten past the international week and onto real club football.The big news from the internationals has to be Van Persie’s knee injury for Holland.

We will be without our classy striker for around a month. That would mean that he will miss the big clashes with Liverpool and Man Utd. What a time to get injured. No fret, we still have our big game striker Adebayor. Togo missing out on African Nations Cup will mean that he will not be missing from the squad come January. The same cannot be said for Toure and Eboue though. If Ivory Coast goes all the way to the finals, they will be missing for up to six weeks.

However, Gallas is expected to be back. So is injury prone midfielder, Rosicky. You would have to see whether Le Boss takes up the Czech National Team doctor’s advice though and not rush him back into action.

Van Persie’s absence would see the chance for either Eduardo and to a lesser extent; Bendtner to shine.

Eduardo’s still banging them in for Croatia and Bendtner has been doing a lot of talking about his chances in Arsenal. Walcott also has a chance as Wenger is now prepared to use him as a striker.

In between the posts, Arsene has settled the debate by announcing that Almunia will be continuing his run in the side.

Moving on to our weekend rivals, Bolton . They are in a bad spot. Languishing in 19th position with just 5 points from 9 games. Sammy Lee has just left Bolton by “mutual consent” and Archie Knox is now the caretaker manager. Easy pickings?? I have no doubt that we will be all over them like flies to a durian. But with Anelka aka Le Sulk in their wings, we have to be wary of their counterattack and long balls.

Going on to club matters, Arsenal had it’s AGM. Two key points from the meeting.

  1. Arsenal shares are in lock down until 2009. After that, until 2011 the shareholders can only sell their shares ONLY to current directors. Head on to arseblog for details.
  2. Arsene has been honoured by the commission of a bronze bust to be displayed in the Ashburton Grove. It will go well with the bust of Herbert Chapman