The good, the bad… and the usual. Match Report

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Sagna  Gallas  Djourou  Traore

Eboue  Denilson  Ramsey  Rosicky

RVP Bendtner

So, the second game of the afternoon saw Arsenal take on an exciting Athletico Madrid side. We lined up with quite a strong team, Denilson sitting in just behind Rambo, Rosicky making his long awaited return with RvP and Bendtner up top. I was surprised to see Eboue in the team… but then again, we did see Kolo in the team just before he flew the nest. I’m more irritated by the fact that the best we can do in right midfield appears to be him again…

Wenger is still giving little away as to what his starting line up will be this season… you’d have to imagine he still doesn’t have a clue! Diaby is injured again, Verma out, Senderos supposedly gone… and I reckon he has at least 2 signings up his sleeve.

It was interesting listening to Ray Parlour (Who was in my local on Friday) talking about what he thought we needed… he said he’d like to see a centre back, a world class holding midfielder and a top class striker. He also said he thought PV04 would be a disaster signing… reckons he wont have the legs… we shall see!

Keeping a clean sheet against this lot was going to be tough. Forlan and Aguerro are hot strikers… Madrid are like the Spanish Newcastle of old!

The first incident of the game came from a Madrid corner that was whipped in front post, a player got in front of JD, flicked it on… Aguerro nipped in at the back and hit the post. It was reassuring that we’re still dealing with corners in the same fashion as we were last year.

Our first chance came when Rambo picked the ball up twenty yards out, dragged it back, rolled Rosicky in, who looked up and curled one into the top corner. It was rightly called offside… a real shame but hopefully a sign of things to come.

The next chance came when Eboue slid a pass into Rocky, who nearly latched onto it. He won a corner… from which he shanked a shot wide. Little Mozart was looking very good.

Denilson was making his fair share of gaffs… perhaps he’d been reading the crab comments, because he was trying to play hollywood balls all over the park in the first half to little effect.

Our next chance came when Sagna drilled a 40 yard cross field pass to Ramsey, who knocked it in front of him, crossed to Robin who weakly volleyed into the ground and wide.

I wasn’t surprised to see the stadium emptier than last year… Selling 35,000 tickets at £30 might rake in more money at the gates… but getting 60,000 in paying a tenner surely benefits the tills inside the ground… not to mention giving lots of people who can’t normally go the chance to see their team. Greedy, Greedy Arsenal.

I’ve never watched £4million disappear so quickly in the space of 45minutes… but every time Eboue tried something with the ball… I felt I was watching another quarter mill disappear… then he’d dive… another million… then he’d roll about on the floor like he’d just stepped on a land mine… it really was car crash football from avid Le Grove reader, Emanuel Eboue.

Sagna started the first move of the second half playing a good one two with Jack Wilshere… he cut it back to Robin, who tried a clever flick that was cleared off the line. Soon after Nik pulled down a cross and half volleyed over from ten yards.

JD continued to look solid at the back making some important interceptions. The introduction of Clichy, Wilshere, Merida really spiced things up. Merida looked very creative and quite bulky… I’m looking forward to seeing more involvement from the Spaniard this year.

Madrid made a substitute… the well moutstached Madrid coach stroked the neck of the youthful Madrid striker in a slightly disturbing manner.

Jack was the architect of our next chance… his clever footwork allowed him the chance to cut the ball back to Rambo who gave the keeper an easy save.

Soon after Forlan broke through our defence, but JD was once again equal to him and nullified the danger with a great slide tackle.

Fab, Arshavin and Eduardo made their way onto the pitch to some electric applause.

Jack chipped Merida in,  who narrowly missed connection with the ball… Jacks intelligence is astounding.

Robin Van Persie is to freekicks what Michael Jordan was to baseball… what happened Robin? 3 piss poor attempts continued his fruitless year of freekicking.

Jack wilshere continued to dazzle the half empty Emirates with his trickery and guile.  He became the focal point of the Arsenal attack. People don’t mind going with youth when it’s at the standard of him! I thought it was quite sad when the stadium started doing mexican waves… it looks a bit stupid when only half the venue is full.

Athletico perked up in the final ten… Mannone nearly spilled a bread and better shot into his net, they missed two one on ones… then came the goal.

The ball was played into the box by Fabregas who picked out Arshavin at the back post… the Russian casually watched the ball down and side footed the half volley home for the first.

I do have to say that certain sections of the crowd were irritating me with their constant shouts of ‘Shoot’ late on. It’s preseason… we don’t need to start with all that this early on.

5 minutes later, we were brutally exposed at the back when Madrid threaded a ball through the middle of the centre backs… Gallas looked for offside… Prosecco slid the ball past Mannone for the equaliser. Embarrassing.

However, it wasn’t over. Arshavin chased a back pass… noodded it on… took it past the keeper and slotted home from an almost impossible angle. That is what money buys you Arsene… quality. Now couldn’t you repeat the trick in defence and centre midfield? Arshavin makes the game look easy… he put minimal effort into the game yesterday and still produced… keeping him fit this year is of utmost importance.

We are top of the league is all I need to say on the game. Like Geoff has said so many time before, we are only a couple of players away from domination… but those players are in key positions. Denilson didn’t have to pace to catch up with the play maker who played Prosecco in… and the defence weren’t sharp enough to deal with the mistake. On the plus… Rosicky looked fantastic, I forgot how tenacious he was… Jack Wilshere looked at ease and got everyone of their seats… I thought Rambo played well considering his age… and Fran Merida looked like he could give us an extra option this season.

We just need to sort out those positions and we’ll be cooking on gas…

P.S. Jack… what a star… roll on Rangers… I’ll bring back player ratings for tomorrows report! Keep ’em crossed for a busy week on the transfer front!

Have a rip roaring Sunday!

1,226 Responses to “The good, the bad… and the usual. Match Report”

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  1. kingsley

    morning grovers, i cant see this subotic rumour being true. he just signed a new contract and would cost a shed load, plus he is only 20!

  2. tonyadamsisgod

    So Sunderland bid £10m for this Chamakh fella which gets rejected and Wenger thinks he can bid £5m for him?? What fucking planet is our manager on? And if he wants a striker then pay £4m more than what Bordeaux value Chamakh at and sign a proven Huntelaar than can help develop Bendtner rather than KILL him! Every move Wenger makes these days just baffles me!

  3. tonyadamsisgod

    PDT – I know what you mean but a midfielder is a midfielder and a defender is a defender. Arsenal have suffered too many square pegs in round holes in the last 4 years. We need to be demanding the best players around, not pinning our hopes on a ‘might be’.

  4. tonyadamsisgod

    PDT – Wenger needs to bring project ‘Theo-on-the-wing’ to an end! I know why he has played him there, he doesn’t have to spend to fill the RW slot and the longer Theo plays there the more he will learn what goes through a RW’s mind. That way when Theo is up top he can be on the same wave length as the RW. BUT, Theo is not a winger. His pace should be used on the heels of the last defender. His pace combined with through balls from Fabregas, Rosicky and Arshavin will defences shitting themselves. All he can do now is beat the full back to the corner flag and cross the ball in which is not his game. And he needs time up top to find his shooting boots properly.

  5. tonyadamsisgod

    Pedro – That’s a bit of an extreme comparison. Crouch wanted to play under twitchy bollocks again and forced that move. Chamakh has said on numerous occasions that he wants to play in the EPL. Of course he would prefer Arsenal but he would take Sunderland. Its the club who has control in this case, not the player so they have no pressure to buckle under. They will get their money or they will keep him.

  6. Mark C

    Morning all.

    took my son and firend to the game yesterday.

    No atmosphere, it was so relaxed out there.

    Great to see the players but the game was played at a slow pace once we scored the two goals.

  7. Pedro

    How is it an extreme comparison… both Sunderland and Spurs are shite…

    Arsenal are on a different planet to Spurs… why wouldn’t Chamakh’s documented desire to us force a move?

    Why pay more… especially when we don’t actually need a striker and his purchase would be somewhat a luxury.

  8. Mark C

    did anyone read the article on ANR where they said Wenger HAS to spend 75% of player sales.

    This is part of the deal on the loans, so we dont just sell all the good players.

    This means, we HAVE to spend 30 mill, – that might be 20 mill if the TV deal is included in that, but with Senderos, Traore, Simpson and Eboue all going to leave this week, that amount should increase.

  9. tonyadamsisgod

    Pedro – Documented desire? He has done a lot of talking, not all about Arsenal. He has stated he would join Sunderland if it was allowed. Like I said of course he would prefer us but he isn’t acting in the same way as Crouch did. Chamakh would take Sunderland if Bordeaux let it happen. So Blanc rejects £10m from Sunderland and says I wouldn’t let him join a small club. This means he would rather sell to Arsenal for £5m???? I can’t see the Chairman of Bordeaux being too happy about that!

  10. gooner-pak

    why is this english press so mad abt jack welshere. they did this with theo created so much hype and now welhere…personaly i think welshere is wya too good compared to theo

  11. chozzer

    “….. because they don’t fit the left wing political views of the blog’s authors, Geoff and Pedro.”

    Pedro, I saw this on another blog and wondered how Geoff would react to being referred to as ‘left wing’?

  12. Mark C

    Hi Pedro – I agree with you, why spend the money for the guy to sit on the bench?

    Is he better than RVP, Eduardo, Arshavin, Rosicky?


  13. tonyadamsisgod

    Can I just clarify that I don’t think we need a striker and I especially don’t want to see that loud mouth diving cheat Chamakh in an Arsenal shirt.

  14. Chipo

    Agreed iKon, he looks very composed on the ball. In roughly the same mould as denilson for me though, so first team opportunities will be few and far between.

    Gotta think he’s a shoe-in for Carling Cup.

  15. tonyadamsisgod

    Strange comment from Wenger:

    “Two weeks ago I didn’t know if we would have Eduardo of Tomas Rosicky or not and they are both completely back so that makes the squad quite big.”

  16. Chipo

    taig why is that strange?

    two weeks ago was the beginning of pre season and they were both training 100% for the first time in a long while. You never know how someone will react to that intensity.

    I don’t think it’s strange at all.

  17. gooner-pak

    set back tiag…tht we all expected!!!and both played back to back matches which i think wenger didnt expected