Our new holding mid from Milan! Preseason Match Report

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Eboue Djourou Vermaelen Silvestre


Wilshere Diaby Ramsey Arshavin

Here are a collection of my thoughts… My match reporting needs a bit of a warm up, so don’t expect the good stuff until the season starts!

Diaby played in a slightly Cescy sort of role… free roaming in the centre of midfield but not playing as the second striker.

Arshavin looked like he had enjoyed the holiday period a little more than some of the other, busy but a little sloppy with his passing and shooting.

Eboue showed a couple of neat moves out wide, but having Jack there definitely excited me more. It showed we’re moving away from round pegs / square holes line up selection (Until the second half, this report was chronologically written).

My first impression of Vermaelen is that he looks fast and pretty well built… defensively, it was difficult to make a judgement. He does look like a beast though… if looks were ability… he’d be world class.

Ramsey looked clever; he is always looking for a killer pass or to get a shot out from his feet… I think that is an exciting trait in a player and something we’ve lacked for a while.

Say it quietly… Silvestre had a decent first half!

Thomas Bendtner should not be taking corners… what is it with Arsenal and tall players taking corners? Nik B had a few half chances and got into some good positions… but in the beginning he seemed to lack match practice and that edge.

A token Eboue shot was blasted over the bar and out the stand (Someone suggested this was a tribute to Ade). He reads Le Grove apparently… so I must praise him. Well played Eboue, you are a king among peasants (Seriously though, he is in danger of winning me over if carries on like he did towards the tail end of last year).

I was a bit worried by how easily the pub team broke… the first was a Denilson misplaced pass… the second was a break from a corner. It worries me that a 44 year old can scare us by breaking as fast as out kids?

Rambo was the free kick taker in the absence of Robin… and about as effective as him… looping his effort over the bar from 20 yards.

The first goal came after Almunia dropped a clanger of epic proportions… the ball was rolled back to him by Silvestre, he took a heavy touch in his area, trying to move the ball onto his other foot in a ridiculously dangerous position… he couldn’t beat the Austrian to the ball, one nil down. Quite what Almunia thought he was doing is beyond me… what a muppet.

However, fear not… two minutes later, Diaby chased down an Austrian player in their box, dispossessed him, laid it off to Nik, who slotted home with the type of accuracy normally only associated with legends of the game like Pele and Maradona.

A few minutes later, Silvestre passed to Rambo who was on the edge of the box… the young Welshman faked, then buried the ball low and hard in Overmars like fashion. His celebration was muted… apparently still grieving the passing of MJ.

The third goal came when Bendtner picked up the ball from Jack… powered through the Austrian midfield, laid it off to Rambo, who with one touch played it straight back into the path of powerful Dane… who faked the keeper left… then slotted it into the empty net. My hero… he is as good as Thierry… NOW. Nik, I have a good feeling you are going to repay the faith I showed you last year…

Diaby had a top half, he looked assured on the ball, played the correct passes and got involved in a lot of the build up play. Denilson looked off the pace and pretty much the same as he did last year… I can’t believe we are not going to buy another centre mid… In fact, I refuse to believe that Arsene is going to be that stubborn and not address the big fat white elephant sitting in the holding roll… and yes, I know it’s pre-season… but it’s not like he was out of top gear today…

Jack Wilshere looked solid without being spectacular. He didn’t waste any balls and played in a very compact mature manner.

The Second half began with changes… Sagna, Senderos, Toure, RvP, Song, Traore and Sjecekvhyerbiagjkra (<- Keeper) all came on.

Traore looked lively early on, bombing down the wing like a hill billy protecting his land. He played the cross that won the penalty… RvP converted expertly.

Arsenal still looked incredibly dodgy from set plays. A corner from the Austrians caused all sorts of problems… a great block by Senderos prevented us getting found out. Big Phil, our new rock in the holding role… ?

A midfield of Senderos, Denilson and Song… you’d struggle to think of a more negative line up! I must say though, I thought Song looked ok in the more advanced position! Denilson still managed to look more average than Joe the Plumber…

Sagna whipped a beauty of a cross into the box on 73 minutes after Rambo knocked the ball into his path with a clever back heel… Robin leapt like a squirrel to bury the header past the slightly rotund Austrian keeper.

The sixth came when Robin over hit a free kick into the box, Senderos fought to return the ball back across the box… Gallas was there to nod it low past Tubby Lardhoffer between the sticks.

There was another long ball into the box that was allowed to bounce… alarming.com was my immediate thought.

The seventh came from a Robin freekick… Song got in the way of Rambo… the ball bobbled out, Rambo fired it low and hard past the keeper.

The game ended confusingly… our keeper rolled the ball out for a corner for no reason… maybe he was bored? The corner was whipped in then the ref blew up 3 minutes early.

So, in summation… a good work out. We started off in a really lethargic manner but after Almunia cunningly motivated the team by dropping a clanger… we started to look a lot sharper.

My picks of the game were Rambo, Bendtner and Diaby. Some solid performances from three players I expect to feature heavily this year. Bendtner took his goals well and looked quite handy. Diaby wasted little and released the ball a lot quicker than he had been… make no mistake, Diaby is one of the most talented players we have in our team… if he applies himself, he could be immense. Ramsey is a player that I’ve always enjoyed watching… I think he is a very intelligent player, but what excited me more about him is his tenacity and urgency. He was involved with most of our dangerous play yesterday and he got on the score sheet twice. He needs to be our right midfielder when first choice options are exhausted and he needs to get game time this year. Geoff has said many times… if he gets the same amount of pitch time as Denilson… he’ll be twice the player.

I also enjoyed watching a very motivated Traore make a menace of himself down the wing and I thought Big Phil looked quite good in the holding role. He is powerful, defensively minded and he is the best player we have in the air… he also has that ‘die for the cause’ mentality. Perhaps in a less highly pressure role he could excel? Just a thought… and one for you to consider in a thoughtful and educated manner.

My worries… Denilson in the middle still managed to look very average, I thought our weakness in the air was a big problem… a problem Wenger believes he can cure with ignorance by the look of things…

Before I leave, the thoughts of the authors and the Grovers go out to Nasri… may your recovery be swift and your boredom minimal… so, no Rosicky, no Eduardo… Hleb on loan anyone?

Oh, and Harry, may I politely ask you to return you hilarious idea of a deal right back up your arse where it appeared from… we’ve just managed to shift on our very own bag of crap… we could do without yours.

So Grovers… fire power is clearly not going to be a problem this year… but that centre midfield slot possibly needs some thought.

Have a great day!

P.S. If you haven’t signed up to our fantasy league yet… I have to ask why not? If you are not a cyber friend of Le Grove, I have to ask why… we have Twitter and Facebook… we’ve also got a mailing list and a handy RSS Feed for you to tune into!

Finally… Click here to witness what happens when thick people earn too much money and start believing their own hype. Steven Gerrard, you shame your profession and our great country… I hope you go to prison.

1,196 Responses to “Our new holding mid from Milan! Preseason Match Report”

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  1. A

    I’m glad kaka has left to test himself in another league, think it’s a massive disappointment neither totti nor del piero did in their prime, they could have shown that they were up there with the best in the world, but will always be underrated because they were never tested elsewhere

  2. Evo in Oz

    gday raif, how are ya?

    yeah despite Eto’o being a c0ckhead, i would take him over zlatan. imbrohimovic is like an arsenal player, he looks good, but never bangs in the goals that he should!

  3. A

    Raif there aren’t that many better forwards in the world imo, but i don’t understand how they could give etoo along with 35 mil, they just seem desperate to get rid of etoo, but it’s almost the equivalent of giving him away on a free, and he’s one of the best forwards himself.

  4. raif

    A. THATS EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING.. they could have sold him and got that much probably…

    Hello there Evo.. how are ya fella

  5. A

    Evo he got 25 league goals last year…. That’s what people say about him, scorer of great goals but not a great goalscorer, but he’s scored goals pretty regularly in serie a, and it’s a very defensive league not that easy to score in.

    08/09 25 and 7 assists in 35
    07/08 17 and 9 assists in 22
    06/07 15 and 3 assists in 25

  6. Evo in Oz

    yeah those stats are good, but for some reason its the perception that he just doesnt score when he should!

  7. A

    Yeah evo, i think it’s because he’s really flashy and flicky at times that people think he’s just poncing around rather than actually being effective, it’s a very common perception people seem to have. Certainly will be interesting to see how he does in la liga. He’ll also bring an extra dimension to barca, only player with a bit of height!

  8. raif

    only time wil tell A. this could be the End of him were he has a shit time there and leaves for peanuts or he’ll reach the dizzy hights of other super stars at barca..

  9. Stu

    Yeah Raif, i clicked on the links, hence my comment on the socks.

    Ibra is a good player in the league but has usually been average in the CL and usually for Sweden as well.

  10. Evo in Oz

    jury is out id say, their current set up seems better, but maybe they will put henry and he back in the box, with messi just below them?

  11. raif

    Stu… my best Home and away kits..

    Home 2004-2005 (Last Kit we Won somthing in)

    Away 2002-2003(The Last away Kit to win us the league at Man utd’s ground)

  12. Stu

    Raif, my favouurite home kit is 02-04 for obvious reasons
    and my favourite away is 07-08s 3rd kit.
    Although this seasons could give it a run for its money depending on how the season goes.

    Isnt it funny how the popularity of specific kits is determined by the success gained while wearing them. I mean noone chooses a kit from a season when we were shit.

  13. raif

    HAHAHA very true.. i actully tried to see if there was any for me.. i couldnt find any of the home.

    but i did like last years 2008-2009 Away
    1995-1996 Blue Away with the Lightning Bolt on the side and the 1997-1999 Away kit with the Blue strip along the side.

    i also do like the 07-08s 3rd kit. aswell

  14. Stu

    I know its another year away but i cant wait for next seasons home kit so we can have the white sleeves back and get rid of the stripes down the arm.

    Im also delighted with this seasons dark away kit. I dont hate the yellow but i didnt care much for last seasons one…regardless of its history and the idea behind it.

  15. raif

    i dont like this seasons away kits, either of them.. i think they are kinda runnish and only worth 15 pounds 20 the very most

    i dont like the Collar’s or the extra wide and extra tight arm straps. the material feels funny and them little strip lines just puts me right off.

  16. Stu

    LOL I feel the exact opposite. I like the collar, i think it adds some class. And it feels SOOOOOO good on my naked body…oops i’ve said to much….

    Oh and the vertical stripes give a sliming effect so thats anther plus. πŸ˜€

  17. raif

    lol thats the only effect Strips have when it comes to cloths.. makes us blokes looks slimmer or taller. lol. well it could be worse.. you could bea Newcastle fan and look like a sweet wrapper

  18. Stu

    What the fack are you on about? Newcastle fans dont wear shirts, they go bare chested, Man Boobs for all to see…..its sickening. πŸ™

  19. raif

    HAHAHA,,, dont be meen Stu,, some of them cant afford a shirt.

    and they didnt buy a ticket to get in. they must have mugged some other poor sap who had a ticket

  20. Stu

    Or shown up empty habded threatening to wipe themselves and their sweaty bodies all over the staff. If threatened with that i wouldnt stand in their way….poor sobs.

    Biggest team in the championship tho….every cloud has a silver lining. πŸ˜†

  21. raif

    hahaha.. biggest in the Championship indeed. they might even get a taste of succsess for once if they win that leauge.

    would be the first in their history im sure?

  22. gnarleygeorge9

    I see Cashley cole hopes man city take our CL spot? Well I think that is a long shot, but I know Keiran Gibbs will take Cashleys England spot.

    Keep looking over your shoulder Cole, you has been, coz there is a new kid in town, & he’s Gunner shoot you down πŸ˜†

  23. A

    Zhirkov is gonna take his place at left back anyways…. I’m sure City will come calling in January and next summer though when he does, but he won’t be moving for the money, definitely because he wants trophies, despite their sitting pretty in 12th place….

  24. gnarleygeorge9

    With muppets like Cashley Cole in the World Cup, as an Australian, IMO we would have no trouble putting a few past him. But ofcourse Gibbsy is a different story. Gibbs is sensational & the type that could just take England all the way.

    Drop Cole, he is a miserable soul, & well past his use by date.

  25. Stu

    Cole has been a shit shadow of his former self since he left us. All that negative football at chelski saw to that. 2 goals in 3 years there…and what did he get with us? Almost 10 and he was known as the best attacking left back in the world when he fucked off.

    Im delighted he has done so well with them…cunt.

  26. Evo in Oz

    yeah good mate, yourself?

    the thing for me at the moment is that im excited about the season to begin, but i also feel the same anxiety like i have done in the past in pre-seasons when the status of some our players is unknown and we dont know if anyone else is coming in?

    everyone is getting pumped saying our squad is quite large and most people are fit, but if Senderos goes and perhaps Toure or Gallas, then suddenly it doesnt look so great anymore.

    also if we get another injury like the nasri one to say, cesc or maybe Arshavin, then the gloss is well and truly off!

  27. LAzer

    hello folks. Can’t believe the dumb media cunts are having such a field day over the Eduardo story. Why are the swords always drawn when it comes to anything Arsenal related? What a bunch of fuckin haters. Now there is a story circulating we are in major problems cause Eduardo is out for two months as well. Wake up you lazy fucking journalists, it was a misquote from a man whose first language is not english, he meant to say we have Eduardo as well in those 2 months.

  28. David

    “I have friends at City and I hope they do really well – and that they finish above Arsenal,” said Cole. “I think it’s going to be hard for City but they could do it. They may click straight away and it’s magic. I hope they do.”

  29. Cartman

    Arshavin told Sky Sports magazine:

    Next season will be like my first real season.

    This has been like the preamble, a demo version before the start of the real game. Everything will start for real next season.

    We’ll have to see how that unfolds. My main concern will be making sure I keep my place in the team.

    I want to enjoy a good pre-season with the team. I have already adapted. I am very happy. The fans love me, which is important for me.

    We all believe that there will be trophies, and that the new season will be full of joy for the players and the fans.

    But we have to finish speaking about how young we are. We need to play like we are a big and strong team.

    i agree Arshavin!

  30. Cartman

    According to Arsenal Analysis, the Brazilian said: “I do not know anything about the statement made by my coach. It can not be true. I am completely ready physically.

    “I was told that I will play between 20 and 30 minutes on the 27th July when we play against Szombatelya. Two days later against Hannover 96 I will play a half.

    “I feel great, next week I will play for Arsenal, and I believe that everything will be OK.”

    phew, eduardo’s not injured!

  31. ikon

    This is rather embarrasing.

    Imagine a scenario, Arsene isnt getting funds from the board, so he has to pitch up a valid enough reason to splash the cash on a striker. So he says Dudu will take time. The press circulates this and it reaches to the board and they agree knowing nothing about injuries and stuff.

    And now Eduardo himself has come up and said this.
    Its just lolololol

  32. Honest Bill

    Hahaha, I think Cole needs to concentrate on keeping his place at Chelsea rather than worry about us and City

  33. gooner-pak

    whats this confusion ant dudu injury..he says he fit no injury and aw says he’ll miss two months?????

  34. Rohan

    aw just made a slip of the tongue..what he meant to say was that in the 2 months nasri would be out, eduardo was available- he was trying to point out that we have replacements for nasri since eddie can also play on the left…. eddie says he expects to get a few minutes against zombieFC and the other team the coming week.

  35. Ray in SF

    Don’t know, but if AW meant having Eduardo available ‘for’ the next two months in stead of ‘in’ two months it would mean he saw coverage for Nasri (get well soon) rather than them both being out

  36. Rohan

    cole needs to worry about keeping his england starting place what with the WC coming up imo… there is a certain young arsenal stalwart who goes by the name of kieran gibbs ready to steal his thunder.. πŸ˜€

  37. gnarleygeorge9

    Evening all,

    The thing is, everyone of The Arsenal faith must become focused on the task @ hand, in particular those directly involved with the running of The Club/accumulation of 3 points each fixture.

    We all know that those outside will try & derail our quest for glory, but we must not become distracted by stupid comments from idiots, & we ALL will come through Champions in the end. Fuck the rest, we are Arsenal, we are above the rest. If it means us against the rest then so be it.

  38. Rohan

    yea gg9, i would prefer us to enter the reckoning under theradar before truly making our mark this year.
    I dont think we are that far off as a team and if vermaelen turns out to be the real deal and song manages to recreate the form of the second half of last season, we may be in for a legendary season…

  39. ikon

    Far too many iffs i think. Luck favors the prepared mind, and I daresay we arent doing enough to suggest we want to be prepared.

  40. iceman

    Does the little cunt want some attention?
    What’s the matter cunt…wifey grabbing all the headlines?
    Greedy prick. Gibbs is gonna be twice the player you ever could!!
    Ok. Rant over.

  41. Rohan

    my bet is on carlos vela as the surprise package of the season…expect him to score 10+ goals and to think some people ( mancs ) think that the twat macheda is the best young under 20 stirker in the country…

  42. ikon

    Macheda is a beast for his age, Rohan. Vela will need much more than just finishing to get his goals. MAcheda can play in the Berbatov role if need be, Vela whereas can only play with another striker.

  43. Ray in SF

    somebody mentioned yesterday that some cultures are a little more flexible about birth dates ages etc than others

    Macheda is the “oldest” 17-year old I’ve seen

  44. Rohan

    macheda may have a great shot on him andis good technically, but his intelligence and link-up play leaves a lot to be desired …. vela has a much better understanding of his role and imo has a mcuh brighter future ahead of him…
    not to mention that macheda seems like a bit cristiano ronaldoesque in terms of being rather like a prima donna

  45. Cartman

    ahh, thought it was South France πŸ˜‰

    i know some africans fake their age (except Mauritians πŸ˜€ and south africans) but to suggest that ade is 29…

  46. ikon

    Vela can be prolific if he has the right players to play with. Same with Cesc. All our important players are like that and thats a flypside to having a manager who likes having players who play well in a good team.

  47. LAzer

    From wiki…

    2007 Season
    This season was pretty dissatisfying. CSKA losed almost all games in Europe. Probably, it happened because of rather strong opponents – PSV Eindhoven, FenerbahΓ§e S.K. and F.C. Internazionale Milano.

    Who writes this shit? my 12yr old nephew. And they call that srong opposition in Moscow?

  48. Ray in SF

    someone (I think redbearer) showed a youtube of Huntelaar

    I’ve been told you shouldn’t judge someone by a youtube compilation

    but anyway, I think in the clips he looks like our Arshavin and the vision of them playing together is mind-boggling

    with any luck they could coordinate their injuries so that there would always be some majic on tap

  49. Rohan

    huntelaar is Klaas πŸ˜€ he owuld be guaranteed to score goals with our creative quotient..of that there is no doubt.
    whether wenger is ready to spend for him is another matter entirely

  50. Ray in SF

    I’m staying with friends in the hills above the rose bowl in pasadena, chavs and inter played there last night, barca and beckham’s current team next weekend

  51. LAzer

    Ray if you see Cuntley walking about, do us a favor and pull a Bentley on him and lay one thick square on the jaw. That would be legendary man.

  52. Ray in SF

    LAzer: do a stevie g? a pre-emptive strike as they say in parts of the middle east

    well me lud, i naturally thought after i explained what a cunt he was, cuntley would have hit me so i cut all that shit out and just defended myself with extreme prejudice

  53. Rohan

    haha duke wonder what totti was whispering in the twat’s ear though.. makes you think doesnt it πŸ˜€

  54. LAzer

    Nah Ray, with some cunts there ARE exceptions of acceptable pre-emptive action. Cuntley happens to be one of those special human beings.

  55. Duke

    Oh yeah and good morning by the by.
    AK, don’t believe it, all those shite sites just make shit up to get clicks.

  56. Pedro

    No, just a facts man.

    Check out Bin Ladens FBI profile… he’s not wanted in connection with the attacks because it had nothing to do with him.

    He is banned from Arsenal though…

  57. Geoff

    Morning all, today I’m feeling positive!

    Pedro I hope you are well today, you must have had a bump on the head if you don’t think Bin Laden was responsible, he took all the credit for it didn’t he?

  58. Rohan

    there might be some truth in it…huntelaar has been stalling on a deal for too long now and i dont think that he really fancies going to stuttgart( or the spuds for that matter ) and he would jump at the chance to play for the arsenal even if it meant a pay-cut.

  59. LAzer

    btw way not sure if you’re on Raif but cheers for posting the link to the historical kits. I might have to aquire one from Toffs now.

  60. Pedro

    Rohan, Michael Moores crappy documentary was appreciated by Bush… it raised his profile and got him more votes!

    I’m sure Bush thanked him somewhere?

  61. insidealbania

    Morning all,
    Huntelaar can do a very good job for us, but I thought the deal with the German club is done and dusted. Is there any thing new?

    Ray – if you see the cunt around hide your mobile phone, I hear he is quite fond of them.

  62. Damn_Gallas

    Yeah… Senderos was playing defensive mid.. I would think that It would be quite appropriate because firstly he is defensive minded (whereas, denilson, song and diaby are all attacking minded).

    Senderos is tall and can deal with high balls. Furthermore, senderos’ passing is much better than both denilson and diaby. As we have seen last season, both denilson and diaby mis-passes the ball to the opponents way to many times.

    Though senderos may not have the speed, but he definitely have the size and height and maybe even the power (something which denilson lacks)

    I just cant believe senderos not learning anything from the great paolo maldini during his loan time at milan.

    I would say that if senderos does not leave arsenal this summer, then I would be glad to have him in the squad. Maybe he could just be our new defensive rock. Wenger knows what he is doing and we shall see more of this unfold in the next few friendly games. Would senderos play again in the DM role?? If yes, then we might really see him there next season..

  63. Rohan

    well didnt taliban claim responsibility for the attack and you would be pretty daft to ignore the fact that he was their “leader”….

  64. Pedro

    Rohan… the Taliban are a rag tag organisation from Afghanistan… they didn’t claim responsibility!

  65. Geoff

    It was him, his money and his organisation, it’s like saying don’t give Jimmy Greaves a world cup winners medal because he didn’t play in the final.

  66. insidealbania

    The Leader of the Taliban is Mulla Omar, Osama is (if he is still alive) the leader or Al-Qaeda who were trained by the US to fight the USSR. If you ask me most of the top Al-Qaeda guys are now in Hawaii enjoying cocktails and the finer things in lives all paid for by the US taxpayer.