A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards

by & filed under Uncategorized.

Sagna   Gallas   Verm   Clichy
Fabregas   Denilson   Diaby
Rosicky   Eduardo   Arshavin

Before the game, a minutes silence was held for the victims of the Haitian disaster. Impeccably observed.

Diaby and Arshavin tested Jussi early on with relatively meek shots.

Clichy caused an upset when he hoofed a clearance as far as the edge of the box, Davies manager to get on the end of it, Cahill slotted it home. What a disappointing start and a disappointing return to action for Gael.

Fabregas nearly beat the keeper from a tight angle. Soon after Diaby lost the ball from a weak pass to Arshavin, he ran the length of the pitch, retrieved it, looked up and played a dream pass to Eduardo who was unlucky not to score. Way to recover Abou!

Arshavin went close again after picking up a deflected Diaby pass. Arsenal were getting closer but had to improve their finishing.

Diaby made a sloppy foul on the edge of the box. Almunia did well to get down to Taylors freekick.

Arsenal conceded a corner, Sagna clears to the 18 yard box, Chung picks up the ball and Denilson clattered him. Very poor defending. Almunia couldn’t keep the penalty out despite going the right way and getting an arm to it.

Up the other end, Fab faked a shot, laid off Eddy, but he couldn’t get it past the Finnish keeper. Arsenal continued to press for a goal, something you felt they needed in the first half if they were to nick a win and sure enough it came. Rosicky ran at the Bolton defence, cut the ball outside his marker and smashed supremely inside the near post! The vital goal we needed…

The next half was a pivotal moment in our season. Heading into the nastiest patch of games in a long time, we’d need all the confidence we could muster. Nothing but a win would do. We had to meet the challenge if we were to keep up with our top 3 enemies.

There were many nervous Grovers, I had to remind them of the inspirational Malians who with 11 minutes to spare, scored 4 to level the game. If they could do it, we could… I was hoping the below video was Arsene Wenger’s team talk…

With the half time grovetalk done, we were set to go!

Bolton had the first chance of the half when Diaby fouled and gave Matt Taylor another crack at our goal.

The next key moment came when Gallas stepped on the ankle of mark Davies, won the ball, laid it off to Arshavin who lost the ball, it bobbled to Fabregas who slotted it between the legs of the keeper! GEEEEETTTTT IN!

Did I feel for Davies? Yes. Did I feel for Bolton? Not a bloody chance. I’ve put up with 10 years of their bully boy tactics, it was great to see them lose out because of a bad challenge. Just desserts I believe they call it in the restaurant trade?

Arsenal continued to pressure Bolton, Eddy going close, Cesc still pressurising and pulling strings like a red bull induced banjo player.

Then the break through came. Bolton failed to clear a corner, Vermaelen let it run past him then power sliced it in! What a great goal, the £10million man scored the most important goal of his career! We were back in it! We did it!

Well, maybe not…

Davies was continuing to menace our defence. The white Drogba was cushioning down headers whenever a high ball flew his way. We were going to have to up our game if we wanted to keep the score the same.

Fabregas had a shout for a penalty and although by the letter of the law it was a foul, there was no way he was controlling the ball.

Diaby picked up an injury, which meant Eastmond entered the game. The injury crisis had entered code red status. If Wenger doesn’t think it’s a good idea to sign a player now, he’s lost his marbles. Heading into the nasty period with just Eastmond and Denilson in the for defensive cover would be suicidal. Get on the blower Arsene and get Behrami in.

Clichy did his best to relive his first half calamity by clearing high to 3 Bolton players in the 6 yard box. Klasnic went close with a rasping shot. Why he didn’t start is beyond me.

Arsenal finished the game off when Cesc played to Eddy, who flicked to Arshavin who took the ball away from goal and smashed it into the net. A superb goal!

Arsenal played out the remainder of the game on top. The 4th official flashed up 6 minutes of injury time, a number I wouldn’t have felt comfortable with had we only been one up!

The whistle blew, we were top of the league!

Arsenal didn’t just beat Bolton, we battered them. Our team of missing spine has turned into a team of tough tackling beasts who are prepared to rough it. We showed superb character to come back from two down, a Grove first. We never gave up and proved to the world we are in this for the long run. The first half wasn’t the best, but we still created. The second half was the most jealous I’ve been in a while as I wasn’t in attendance!

Make no bones about it, that was the most important result of the season. We head into the nasty period high brimming with confidence, in form and in contention.

Life couldn’t be better, actually it could, Spurs lost as well!


Almunia: Claimed his crosses quite well, had no chance for the goals. Reasonably quiet game considering the score line. Made a superb save from Matt Taylors freekick. No chance with the goals despite what some will tell you. Penalties are luck of the draw, the second one, well, if he’d dived, it’d have been a guess, stand tall was his only option. 7

Clichy: A very shaky return to the game. I know Traore had a shocker in the last match, but nothing compared to the mare Gael had. He was responsible for the first goal and he nearly replicated the mistake later. I’ll put it down to rust… not a seasons worth of poor form continued. 5

Sagna: A solid game, poor and unnecessary crossing. Especially against the height of Bolton. 7

Gallas: Had a torrid time dealing with Kevin Davies aerial threat. Hardly won a header. Good solid tackle from him on the Bolton player… when you both go in 100%, injuries can happen. Bolton need to stop being girls about it and man up. British fairies, we need more French players in the Premiership. Jokes aside, it was an accident, no one died. Like Wenger said, lets put a video together of the tackles from both games and see whose were worse. Actually, how about a video montage of the last ten years? It’s amazing the disgust evident amongst commentators when an Arsenal player makes a poor challenge. 7

Vermaelen: Scored the most important goal of his Arsenal career with a super strike. Struggled in the air today, but I guess if Bolton do anything well, it’s winning high balls. 7

Cesc: The best centre midfielder in the world at the moment, without doubt. Ran the show today, picked us up when were down and lead by example. Superb. 9

Denilson: Sloppy, sloppy penalty to concede. His game did pick up after that but it was still littered with basic errors. He is fresh back in the team and it will take a while to get back, I just worry how badly he’ll get punished by the top teams if he continues to stutter in the coming weeks. I’m yet to be convinced by this man, but there’s always time for a flump. 5.5

Diaby: I thought he was having a superb game. He’s beginning to add defensive responsibility to his game and he is continuing to use his giant frame to his advantage. I’m gutted he’s picked up an injury, especially as we know that’ll be him out for at least a month if his track record is anything to go by. Also had an assist. 8

Arshavin: As we don’t have a target man, we have to make sure the passing is intricate and difficult to deal with up top. Tonight, he helped that process along and finally got himself on the score sheet (plus an assist). A good game, though I feel we should possibly be seeing more of his brilliance on a regular basis. 7.5

Eduardo: Again, he’s never going to win the physical battles but he has a faster brain than most. His passing was good tonight and he carved himself out a number of chances which I can assure you will begin to drop in during the coming weeks. Another assist for the Crozillian. 7.5

Rosicky: I’m falling back in love with this mans skills. He opens up teams with his vision, superior movement and quick turn of pace. He scored a lovely goal today and helped keep things ticking over up front. He’s a trier as well, which makes him doubly important for us. 8

893 Responses to “A good old fashioned Gallic challenge! / Midfielder on the cards”

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  1. luke

    Dont think Wenger will sign Dzeko. If he does he would have to sell another forward. We cant have Nasri, Rosicky, Walcott, Vela, Bendtner, Eduardo, Arshavin, RVP, AND Dzeko all buying for three spots.

  2. dennisdamenace

    ATom – Not bad fella, not bad.

    Feeling overjoyed with us at the moment, but at the same time i can’t help this feeling of impending doom courtesy of our No.15!

  3. Arsenal Tom

    DDM… same here mate, were doing well and last night was the kind of games/performances than win you title but cant help feeling its all about to come crashing down due to injuries!!

  4. Arsenal Tom

    A if zambia win by 2 cameroon can still draw and go out.

    if they win by one and cameroon draw cameroon go through

    i think

  5. ardentgooner

    Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back Song is coming back 🙂

  6. Tariq

    I don’t remember how many goals each team has, but when I was reading last time, I remember they said Zambia needed to win by 2 goals if Cameroon draw.

  7. BigRaddy

    Evening (well, it is here).

    What a fine day. TOTL and the only negative is another major player out.

    Pedro wrote some time ago about impact injuries v muscle injuries. His point being that impact injuries are unavoidable, whereas muscle injuries are invariably down to lack of condition.

    As far as I can remeber the only impact injuries are RvP and Gibbs. The others are all out the strains of some kind, and these are preventable with correct exercise…. stretching, pilates, etc.

    Why the hell hasn’t our mediacl and fitness teams addressed this. For Diaby to go down with a calf strain is ridiculous.

    Being an old timer, I cannot understand why players who got clogged every week by TA and Bouldy (prior to the banning of tackles from behind) never missed a game, yet today the boys are out for a month f they have to play in the cold.

  8. A

    It’s done on head to head originally.

    Cameroon beat Zambia who beat Gabon who beat Cameroon!

    Then goal difference, zambia would be one goal better than cameroon, but cameroon would be one goal better than gabon?!

  9. Samir

    Loads of Fans and BBC people saw Dzeko and his agent last night….
    I know it’s already been talked about on here though but, with Wenger missing training and the press conference the other day something is going on….

    Why would Wenger miss training?
    And why would Dzeko and his agent come if nothing was going on??

    I Pray it’s all true and we get him!

  10. B

    I reckon that if Gabon score one, it will go to goals scored, which would still not mean Song coming home, Tunisia NEED to get one…

  11. A

    So it’s just what people are working out Tariq? Noone in the know has said they can draw??

    The way I was looking at it before, head to head, everyone is equal, goal difference it’s impossible for cameroon to be worse than the other two, only possibility is equal, so it’s only goals scored, in which case we need something like 6-5 Zambia win?!

  12. 78692

    A club like Arsenal should have a quality DM as cover for Song.And should not have to rely on Tunisia to beat Cameroon.

  13. A

    Samir it will have been mistaken identity.

    Dzeko came out about 2 days ago to say that it’ll take a £35 mil bid to sign him.

    We wouldn’t pay much more than half that.

  14. Samir

    BBC text commentary said he was there.
    Also text’s were coming in from fans that he was seen there….
    And Myles Palmer has a mate that says he saw Dzeko at the ground last night.

  15. ardentgooner

    U are right A….
    my bad… probably was just too excited about Song’s exit didn’t consider the other result 😉

  16. Stu

    Samir, neiher of those 3 “sources” mean anything. Fans lie, bbc is hardly reliable and Myler Palmer is a cunt…dont know how reliable he is though.

  17. Samir

    You never know A…..
    You might be right but I think something might be going on….
    I might be putting 2 and 2 together and getting 100 though :S

  18. Tariq

    This is what the table looks like. Not counting today.

    Group D
    G W D L Gf Ga P
    Gabon 2 1 1 0 1 0 4
    Cameroon 2 1 0 1 3 3 3
    Tunisia 2 0 2 0 1 1 2
    Zambia 2 0 1 1 3 4 1

  19. zorr0

    I saw Elvis there too!

    Right who started spreading this nonsense about Zambia winning by 2 and cameroon drawing???? I bet it was some twat called Ajay who saw Jacko at THOF last night!

  20. Tariq

    If it stays like this Zambia and Cameroon will qualify. I am watching the game on Euro Sport. The commentator just mentioned it, and they showed the table as of right now.

    1. Zambia
    2. Cameroon.

  21. zorr0

    Whoever thought the ANC would be so interesting to us and that Song would be deemed so vital, lol.

    Geoff must be chewing his Uggs!

  22. Tariq

    Tunisia down to 10 men. The up dated table on Euro Sports on tv, showed Zambia first and Cameroon second. That’s how it’s gonna be if Tunisia don’t win.

  23. zorr0

    G W D L Gf Ga P GD
    Gabon 3 1 1 1 2 20 4 0
    Cameroon 3 1 1 1 5 5 4 0
    Zambia 3 1 1 1 5 5 4 0
    Tunisia 3 0 3 0 3 3 3 0

    Is that it right now?

  24. swinner

    if camerron come second then they face egypt in the quarters, i think, who won all 3 group games and so may still get song back for the united game (offering another short straw to be clutched at by us all)

  25. goonermichael

    Full-time Cameroon go through thanks to a second half transformation and their long acclaimed resilience. Their quarter-final against Nigeria promises to be a mighty clash.

  26. A

    I doubt he’d play Stu.

    gm according to eurosport Zambia won the group so Cameroon second and play Egypt.

    Either way they’ve got a tough match.

  27. Eaglegunner

    Yep, Egypt v Cameroon Q/F on monday and you can put money on Song being available by Tuesday. Arsene, charter a plane plase.
    Evening all.

  28. 78692

    Arsenal Target Moves Ever Closer to Record Breaking £26m Move: Striker wants To Sign!
    by Steven Constable on January 21st,2010

    295 words | 6 comments
    Share: DiggEmail PrintHotshot wants Emirates move!

    The Rumour

    Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko is not interested in Manchester City but would consider a move to Arsenal, according to his agent.

    The 23-year-old Bosnia and Herzegovina international, who has been named the Bundesliga’s footballer of the year by German journalists, is currently attracting attention from a wide range of clubs across Europe.

    And, after confirming that City and Arsenal are interested, agent Irfan Redzepagic has revealed that Dzeko would be open to a move to Emirates Stadium.

    “It is not possible for Dzeko, who is a leading player in Germany and has the chance to play in the Champions League, to go to a mid-table club like Manchester City,” he told Onet.

    “Arsenal would be a different matter.

    “The Londoners’ offer is one we treat very seriously.”

    The Source: (Eurosport)

    The Analysis

    It’s refreshing to hear a professional footballer putting ambition ahead of financial prosperity. The net is closing on the Wolfsburg man and if Arsene can snare him he would be adding a new dimension to his attacking force.

    Unfortunately his Bundesliga club are keen to milk the Bosnian for all he’s worth, which is understandable but also a little misguided. Edin Dzeko may well be the next big thing but he is not worth the valuation placed on him of £26m. Clearly the German champions realise that Man City are in the chase and therefore are keen to make this a one team bidding war, but clearly Edin isn’t too keen on that, hence we are at something of a stalemate.

    Surely though the club will not stand in the player’s way and risk being stuck with an unhappy player on their books

  29. A

    No way Song would play against Villa even if they lose Monday. Back for the Utd game though certainly if they lose, and that would be a big boost.

  30. goonermichael

    It was the only real time update I could find. Shit coverage if they can’t even get thier facts straight Raddy

  31. BigRaddy

    If Berbs is worth €30+ and Svchenko the same, then a 23 y.o. with a record like Dzeko is worth at least €25m.

    But we will not pay that sort of money.


  32. A

    Berbatov and Shevchenko aren’t worth that though!

    Just because some idiot clubs pay it doesn’t mean a player is worth that!

  33. patthegooner

    If Dzeko and his agent were at the ground yesterday and with Wenger prior to the game yesterday, I think you would have heard something a little more concrete through the wires than some texts from some random bloke who may or may not be at the game and some fella called Ajay.

    I think this is a classic case of fans just wishing it to be true and chinese whispers.

    So Song makes it to the next round

    And whilst we are all clutching at straws, maybe just maybe Arsene was waiting on the result of this game before signing a Midfielder. Hey you can dream 🙂

  34. Tariq

    From the tournament’s website.

    Egypt V 2ND D 25/01/2010 17H:00 BENGUELA

    1ST D V Nigeria 25/01/2010 20H:30 LUBANGO

    That means it’s Egypt vs. Cameroon since they came in 2nd.

  35. choy

    fook me..are we really after dzeko?

    is the reason we moved to the emirates coming to fruition?

    Wow.. if really true!

  36. luke

    The questions we should be asking about this Dzeko thing are:

    1) is it plausable? -Probably not
    2) If Dzeko is brought in, who will be sold?

  37. A

    What do people reckon about Stoke?

    I almost want us to just play the league cup team, not worth risking any first teamers when so many big games coming up and so few players left!

    Start Eastmond and JET in midfield with one other, Merida or Wilshere if fit. Whichever one out of Eastmond and JET replaces Diaby for the Villa game.

    Theo, Vela, and one other up top, maybe if Merida and Wilshere both fit they can both play!

  38. A

    Agree totally pat, the tv cameras would’ve found him if he was there.

    Stu I think if they get through the quarters it doesn’t matter if they win or lose the semi because even if they lose they’ve got 3rd/4th place playoff I believe.

  39. BigRaddy

    MU & the Chavs thought so A, ad that is what matters. Supply and demand. If AC & MC are in for him the price rises.

    There are so many examples of the market deciding the price. But as I say, we would never pay that kind of money, especially in January.

    But I hope I am wrong and we have signed a world class young striker.

  40. Stu

    Berba only cost so much because he was moving to a club within the same league and Fergie badly wanted to get him from under Citys noses.

    And Sheva only cost that much because Abromovic is a dumbass.

  41. choy

    A.. I think we’ll have give the PL the utmost importance.

    With our injuries and the games coming up.. we cannot play a full team!

    We can still win though!

  42. Tariq

    If Cameroon lose in the Quarter Finals he should be back for the United game. Doubt he would be back against VIlla. The semis are on the 28th. If they lose and they release him right away, Wenger might rush him back for United, if not then he’d be back for Chelsea.

  43. A

    Yeah Coquelin is pretty much the only option really isn’t he Kabira!

    Stu if they get through the semis then he misses Utd too, back for Chelsea.

  44. A

    Tariq even if they lose the semis, he’d only be back one day earlier, with the 3rd/4th place playoff on the 30th. No way he’d play Utd.

  45. patthegooner

    Do you think it would be logical that Arsene was waiting for the outcome of todays Cameroon game before signing a player.

    Diaby, Merida, Song, Nasri all missing.

    We can’t risk Eastmond, Cesc, or Denilson against Stoke if that is the case.

  46. A

    nah pat. there’s no way wenger would sign a player depending on a player returning one week later!

    I agree about Cesc absolutely, and Denilson just back from injury, no way I’d risk them.

    Stu he wouldn’t be allowed to play for us if Cameroon are still in the tournament, Fifa wouldn’t allow it.

  47. patthegooner

    Oh and what a cock Durham was being on TalkShite this evening. I only tuned in as Ray Parlour was also on.

    He was comparing the Eduardo injury to the Gallas Tackle.

    That thug Robinson was on too, saying that Gallas lacked respect for a fellow professional for not kicking the ball out. What a cock, and given his behaviour in the two games, I think he needs to look at bit closer at himself before judging the respect of others.

  48. Stu

    We already have a whole team missing through injury and we cant risk the team we just played against Bolton so if we are to rest players against Stoke we are going to have to play our third team..do we have one of those without having to play all kids?

    Seeing as its Stoke we should play a pretty big side. JET has got to start..Wilshere might have a tough time ofit though.

  49. El Tel

    Diaby playing in front of Clichy and Veerminator earlier part of match was awful.

    Diaby playing inside right with TR7 outside him was great.

    Diaby got caught on the ball time and time again and he really can’t head very well.

    My gues is he is 6’4″ yet they were winning headers at will all nightt long.

    The slide tackle and pass was magnificent but the loping around ball watching wasn’t.

    Just an opinion guys just an opinion.

    I was there and saw every second unlike the come late leave early and lets finish my drink while they are playing types that frequent the Stadium in modern times.

  50. 78692

    In-demand Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh has admitted he is likely to leave the club in the summer.

    Chamakh’s contract at Bordeaux expires in the summer and the highly-rated forward has no intention of signing a new deal.

    The likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and Barcelona have been credited with an interest in Chamakh and the 25-year-old admits he will know more about his future after this weekend when he talks to his agents.

    “I am not thinking of extending [my deal],” Chamakh told L’Equipe.

    “I will know more this weekend when I speak to my advisers, but it’s unlikely I will stay.

    “I believe things must be talked about quickly. The club must also make up their mind.”

    Meanwhile, one player who is set to stay at Bordeaux is Brazilian ace Fernando.

    Genoa have been strongly linked with a move for Fernando, but the midfielder insists he is staying at Bordeaux and could sign a new deal at the club.

    “I will stay in Bordeaux,” Fernando told L’Equipe.

    “The club has refused all offers and there is a final meeting scheduled with the bosses on my extension at the end of next week.”

  51. patthegooner

    Could well be Choy

    was junt trying to point out how desperate it is getting.

    We simply must sign some players.

  52. patthegooner

    Either way, I think we are heading out of the FA Cup this weekend.

    That is not me being negative, I just think we are running out of fit players, and to win away against Stoke is a big ask for whoever comes in.

  53. 78692

    1758 GMT: Carlos Tevez shows no sign of letting up in his feud with Gary Neville as he describes his former Manchester United team-mate as a “boot-licking moron”.

    “My celebration was directed at Gary Neville,” Tevez was quoted as saying in a radio interview with ESPN Argentina. “He acted like a complete sock-sucker [boot-licker] when he said I wasn’t worth £25m just to suck up to the manager.

    “What’s the tarado [moron] talking about me for when I never said anything about him.”

  54. arsenal yup