Today was a game I was never really worried about. Citeh have been out of form lately and Arsenal had just started to click again, this should have been a formality… but it wouldn’t be Arsenal if it was that simple, would it!
The game started off with a lot of promise, we were pinging the ball around nicely and had a few half chances to show for our possession. Then, Ireland beat the offside trap… ran onto a great through ball, all he had to do was dink it over Lehmann, but he took an air shoot instead… What a relief!
Then i received a message through my brother, that my phone had been ringing constantly… so I had to run back and pick up my phone… as I was on my return run, my phone rang again… it was my brother… ONE NIIIIILLLLLLL!!!!
Get in I thought, I love it when that happens (Anyone ever gone to the toilet when they don’t need to go (George, don’t even bother posting…), praying Arsenal will have scored by the time they’ve got out)! As I burst through the door, screaming and shouting I caught the replay of Sagna powering through the Citeh defence, slotting the ball back to Ade who bundled it home with about as much style as a Primark hand bag! Who cares though! ONE NIL!
The game continued with more Arsenal possession, Clichy picked up the ball out wide on the left and looped a cross in which looked over hit. Fear not though, Ade rose like an NBA superstar, defying gravity by suspending himself in mid air for about 12 seconds – he then nodded the ball back to Eduardo who controlled the ball on his chest (with his back to goal) twisted and rifled the ball into the bottom left corner! What a finish, what a goal… shame he was offside. A pity for Citeh the lino hadn’t gone to specsavers!
Just before I talk about the Citeh goal, I just need to run this scenario by you.
Have you ever been sitting in the pub with your mates who don’t support Arsenal, you say to them, ‘that Alex Hleb has an amazing touch’… Just as you say that… Hleb has the ball pinged into him and with his first touch he knocks the ball out the stadium?
I’ve been there many times before and it seems about 10 other Arsenal blogs were guilty of a similar offence yesterday.
After Goodplaya lauded Clichy as the greatest thing since sliced bread, and many other sites rightly agreed with him, Clichy goes and makes his first mistake of the season! Typical…
If you didn’t see it, Clichy tried to run the ball out of a tight spot with Corluka chasing him down, Clichy jinked, Corluka read the jink, nicked the ball off him and laid the ball back to the oncoming Fernandes who slotted home with ease.
So the game went from a walk in the park, to an uphill struggle. Citeh really picked up towards the end of the half, and the whistle couldn’t have come soon enough! Lehmann did particularly well with a one on one you’d usually fancy to end in a penalty (And a Man City medical bill).
So the second half started, and we seemed to switch our play around to counter the threat of Ireland. We continued to dominate the game with Ade and Eddy causing the Citeh defence all sorts of problems. The Flamster had a good game, Cesc was a touch off his best and Clichy seemed to make up for his mistake with some good play.
The second half was pretty free of controversy. Adebayor should have been awarded a penalty for getting bundled over in the box by two players, but Andy Gray said it wasn’t a penalty, so god had effectively spoken and overruled the whole pub.
The next goal came from some great play from Ade who was fouled by the halfway line, but the ref played the advantage… Fab and Hleb worked some great passes which allowed Fab to slot it back to Ade-two-goals! The finish was never in doubt! Get in!
3-1 and the game was safe!
So now for a few interesting things that I noted down during the game.
Do we need wingers?
Clichy and Sagna seem to do a great job of giving us width, they have started the moves for many goals this year and set up there fair share. City, seemed to suffer because of Petrov today. He is great on the ball, but my god the man is lazy! Would we be as good defensively if we didn’t have our wide players covering the full backs? I have my doubts. It just seems too simplistic to say Arsenal need wingers… In a team that scores plenty of goals already, I don’t see why we would need more at the expense of defence?
Do we need Anelka?
Adebayor exudes the arrogance of Thierry Henry at the moment, and I mean that in a good way. He looks like he is going to score every time he gets the ball, and more importantly, the team think he is going to score every time he gets the ball. He has suddenly become this massive aerial threat, his touch has improved steadily and he defends from the front. He may not be Thierry at the moment, but I don’t think this team needs a Theirry.
Qualify that comment you fool! Well ok…
Our team is made up of lots of specialists as appose to a few super players (Pires, Henry, Vieira). Eduardo finishes, Hleb dribbles, Cesc sees the pass, Flamini chases players down and drives the team, Clichy and Sagna give us solidity at the back and width up front and Diaby just does whatever the hell he feels like!
Do we need Woodgate?
Well Senderos has jointly kept 3 clean sheets, and todays freak goal and shouldn’t have happened. You can’t knock him at the moment can you? He is 3rd choice and doing exactly what you require of a 3rd choice defender, playing solid football.
I know everyone wanted us to go out and sign Kaka, Woodgate and Anelka this January transfer window but we didn’t. This is because Wenger is:
1) A tight ass.
2) Vindicated in his decision making most of the time.
So onwards and upwards Grovers! We’re top of the league at the time of writing and piecing together a nice little run!
Update: Still top of the league!