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

by & filed under Uncategorized.

ALmunia
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!

Ratings

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. Pat

    So Diaby and Song both miss the Villa game. Fuck, I can’t see us getting 3 pts.

    Both of them were immense when we played them at the Emirates. Controlled the midfield wonderfully.

    Our strongest midfield is

    Diaby Song Cesc

    and 2 of those will be missing. Nasri and Ramsey as well…

    Rosicky in CM?

  2. B.B.K

    arsenal yup that has got to be one of the best calls for a while the way it has spread is very,very comical well done…..whats next on the cards????????

  3. stonroy

    Yeah calm down Yup, you’ve been on all the blogs this morning with your little rant. Take it easy and say something new.

  4. 78692

    We have got a very good chance of winning the League and the FA cup, I hope Wenger sees sense and makes some decent signings.

  5. ReVELAtion

    Wenger will play a relativly strong team IMO against stoke.. It’s a chance of a trophy…

    Fabianski

    Sagna Vermaelen Silvestre Traore

    Merida Eastmond Emmanuel-Thomas

    Walcott Vela Rosicky

  6. patthegooner

    It is really dissapointing that we are probably not going to be able to field a team that I would feel confident could win the game against Stoke.

    With Villa on the Wednesday, we simply can’t risk it.

    Shame, as again with a couple of extra players in our ranks, we probably could.

    We are playing on a tightrope at the moment.

  7. A

    Sagna is out too Reva.

    Yeah Stu I agree, but I’d expect Cesc or Denilson to play over Rosicky. Though I wouldn’t be surprised if all were considered too great a risk.

  8. patthegooner

    The only thing that is slightly in our favour is that Villa have a game at Wembley coming up, so they might not be as up for it as normal. Their players dont often get to play at that place….mind you nor do ours 🙂

  9. ReVELAtion

    stoke will beat a team of kids at the britannia… if he doesn’t start rosicky he’ll need to play eduardo or arshavin.. I still think my team will be the 1 that starts the game

    Fabianski

    Sagna Silvestre Vermaelen Traore

    Merida Eastmond E.Thomas

    Walcott Vela (Rosicky/Eduardo/Arshavin)

  10. ReVELAtion

    if we dont treat stoke seriously it will ruin our winning momentum.. Players don’t get fatigued when they are winning mayches…We are concedeing too many goals and the only thing that has masked that is the fact we are not losing games..

    We shouldn’t need to come back from 2-0 down at home to a team fighting relegation…

    A Carling cup side will get a hiding… If he said sagna won’t play and risks no 1 who started against bolton on wednesday, we will lose it is that simple..

  11. rayman

    Sagna’s out of the stoke game according to AW – so we need a RB from the reserves – either eastmond or coquelin (I think he has played there) now that gilbert has gone on loan.

    I think patthegooner’s team is very close to what we will see. We threw the FA cup before when our injury problems were a lot less acute, AW won’t have any problem doing it again. No way will tv, gallas, cesc, tom, arsh or eddy play we cannot afford to lose any of them.

  12. ReVELAtion

    i know liverpool are having a shocking time of it right now, but saying a weakened team of ours is likely to beat stoke is a joke.. Any team in this league can beat any1.. Even if we played our 1st team we could lose to stoke.. They aren’t mugs!

  13. A

    Reva Sagna isn’t playing because he’s got a shoulder injury. He should be back for Villa though.

    Players do get fatigued when winning – that’s why we’re conceding loads of goals at the moment imo!

    I would say Arshavin will start, but he’s got a bad foot.

    Eduardo could play I guess, though he’s a risk

    Rosicky an obvious risk, been injured pretty much every time he’s played 2 in a week up to now, let alone 3!

    Cesc and Denilson just back from injury.

    It’s really tough to see who will play who’s experienced.

  14. ReVELAtion

    I’m sorry but these “men” get in excess of 50 grand a week, to be nothing but finely tuned athletes in healthy balanced diets… They should be able to play every 3 days without question.. It’s bordering on embarassing if we cannot “risk” certain players 4 days after the last game…

  15. ReVELAtion

    i’d rest cesc, the centre halves, denilson and clichy.. But everyone else (bar coco the clown) should really play..

  16. A

    Actually Eduardo could play. I wouldn’t mind a front three of Theo, Eduardo, and Vela.

    The midfield is tougher though!

  17. ReVELAtion

    after the time he spent on the sidelines getting paid i don’t really think he’d want to not play A.. I refuse to believe an arsenal footballer has that sort of mentality..

    The only risk here was giving him that new contract if his body cannot handle this run of games considering he hasn’t actually turned in that many starts for the first team this season anyway

  18. patthegooner

    I dont think it is embarrasing at all Reva

    We cant risk them as there is nobody to replace them if they get injured.

    This is not a fatigue issue, it is a lack of players issue.

  19. ReVELAtion

    Eduardo needs goals because after his “I can fill van persie roll” exert, he isn’t exactly covering himself in glory…

    West ham are trying to sign benni mccarthy, rudd van nistelrooy etc… Cole on his way?

  20. gunning4eva

    what was wrong with the commentators? they blamed their goalkeeper(you know who!!!) for the first two Arsenal goals. shame….

  21. David

    Johan Says:
    January 21, 2010 at 12:41

    What PISSES ME off is the fact taht considering how little Vela plays he should be fucking furious that he misses his chance to prove himself………. but it’s sad to see such obvious proof that Vela will never be a winner and never will manage in our team, every player in our team should be angry for missing a chance, thats what it means to be a winner.

    ——————————-

    Interesting you didnt say the say for Nikki B.

    Hmmm.

  22. SUGA3

    Fabianski has all his career ahead of himself – he will be a very good keeper if he improves his decision making…

    still, I think we have a bloody gem in the shape of Szczesny 😉

  23. Goonerman

    Mirror Group:

    Dzeko, 23, has a summer £35m move to AC Milan lined up and does not want to move in January for fear of losing a £3m bonus in his contract.

  24. Samir

    ………….Fabianski………….
    …Coquelin–Sol–Silvestre–Traore
    …….Denilson–JET–Eastmond…..
    …..Walcott–Eduardo–Vela……..

  25. Samir

    BENDTNER-MAYBE he will not be completely ready for Stoke but, after that, he should be able to be in the squad.

    He might be on the bench for Stoke then!

  26. Samir

    Fran Merida
    January 18
    Fran Merida sustained an ankle injury during Sunday’s 2-0 win at Bolton. It is not yet known when he will be back.
    “Unfortunately we have lost Fran Merida,” said Wenger. “He got kicked straight away when he came on [at Bolton] and his ankle was very bad today.”

    Jack Wilshere
    January 15
    Jack missed Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Everton and the trip to Bolton due to a hamstring problem but the midfielder isn’t expected to be out for long.
    “Jack Wilshere is out with a small hamstring problem,” said Arsène Wenger before the 2-0 win at Bolton. “We do not think it is a very big [problem].”

  27. David

    AS many times as fabianski lets in a goal its at the near or far post. Usually a low shot.

    Does he get a bollocking? Ofcoarse not.

  28. goonermichael

    sky and f365 are reporting that Diaby has done his shoulder. They haven’t even read Wengers comments properly. Sagna has the shoulder knock. Lazy fuckwits

  29. SUGA3

    we are really down to bare bones, aren’t we?

    I guess we can play MF of Cesc, Denilson and Rosicky, but that’s skating on a very thin ice if you ask me – one injury and we are in deep, deep doo-doo 😉

  30. goonermichael

    “Diaby has a calf problem,” said Wenger. “The first news is not bad but he has a scan tomorrow [Friday] and we will know more from there.

    “Of course, he is out for Stoke and certainly for the Villa game. There is hope he might be back for Manchester United but we don’t know yet.

  31. ManGoonian

    Evenin Groovy cats!

    Another day, another injury and cameroon have scraped thru so no Song back early….

    We will deffo sign someone won’t we… Won’t we??? Say it! Say it is goin to happen!!!

  32. ManGoonian

    Team for Stoke;

    Fabianski
    Coquelin – Sol – Silvestre – Clichy
    Denilson – Eastmond – Wilshire
    Theo – JET – Vela
    __________________
    Yep, quite a few young uns, but considering the injuries and certain players needing a rest and others needing a game, then, lets do it…

  33. Ray in SF

    My team for Stoke on Sunday

    ____________Fabi
    Eboue____Sol____Sendy_____Sly
    ___________Eastmond
    _____Merida_______Denilson
    Theo_________JET__________Carlos

  34. A

    Doesn’t mean anything i’m afraid Ray, Eboue isn’t eligible to play for us until Ivory Coast are out of the tournament.

  35. Ray in SF

    wow, this discussion shows how paper-thin our squad really is

    it shouldn’t be this hard to come up with a team that protects the senior squad

  36. SUGA3

    Ray,

    it would be easy if our players weren’t made of glass or if we had a few proper enforcers available…

    fuck me, I looked at these shitckickers yesterday and I was like ‘shit, they’re massive’

  37. gambon

    So does anyone believe Myles Palmer about Dzeko being at Arsenal the other day? Apparantley the ghost of his mothers milkmans brothers plumber told a guy who told a cat via morse code who informed Myles.

    I hope its true but lets face it, it aint!

  38. A

    It’s gibberish gambon, just someone either making it up, or genuinly mistaking someone for him, then people getting over excited. As you’d expect Myles Palmer would jump on the bandwagon, good for hits on his site! Remember the Vieira to us, Gallas to PSG, Bassong to us all done deals!

  39. gambon

    A

    Then when it happens he gives a reason why, rather than just admitting he made it up. I seem to remember to extract himself from the vieira one he said we had agreed a deal but the money never showed up.

    After last night i maintain that we need to replace Denilosn, Clichy & Almunia & get a good CB as cover to achieve dominance in the PL/CL

  40. A

    Yes indeed gambon.

    When he said that he also said that the deal was therefore done for him to arrive on Jan 1st!

    He just loves sensationalist reporting but as if it’s factual rather than rumour, and he has insider knowledge etc, when it’s just largely made up to get attention!

  41. Maciek

    I understand A, but Wenger seems to think we can cope and that he will be able to win it without signing players. It’s obvious we have to buy another strong cd if Senderos leavs a cdm and an offensive mid and a striker and SOON, since it only 10 days till the window shuts.

  42. 78692

    This is from another blog;

    My God, AW must be sick of looking at his first 11 team of hobbits.

    If a future Arsenal team sports Bendtner, Galindo, Traore (from Cluj), Szczesny, Djourou, Smalling, Angha, JET, Miguel…they are all 190 cm+!!!

    Lol, and the captain will be Wilshere at 170 cm!

    OzGoonerGuy said this on January 20, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    ——————————————————
    LOL 🙂

  43. A

    Maciek Sol has come in because Senderos is leaving, that’s already sorted.

    gambon i reckon if we’re within 3 of chelsea then we’ll walk it! I reckon if we’re within 6 points we’ll be favourites, and just edge it.

    8 points would mean we come out of the 4 games 5 points at the most behind chelsea.

  44. Maciek

    I can’t see us winning at Stamford and against United even though they are crap recently. And Villa will be hard to beat, be sure of that. Liverpool are back in business as well.Don’t forget we also play Spuds, B’gham away and City at home. Hardly, easy games.

  45. A

    so of 12 remaining games we’ve got three that aren’t easy, but far from the toughest games you play over the course of the season….

    Utd at home I could see us winning, Villa will be tough, as will Stamford Bridge, Liverpool you never know, they have a tendency for beating the big teams when they’re shit against everyone else.

  46. 78692

    West Ham’s new owner David Sullivan has offered a striker wages of £100,000-a-week to join the club.

    Sullivan, who now controls the Hammers together with David Gold, admitted this week that the club are £110m in debt.

    But with West Ham struggling in the league, Sullivan has made the offer to a “special” player to try to avoid the “horrendous” prospect of relegation.

    Sullivan would not name the player but Real Madrid’s Ruud van Nistelrooy has been linked with the club.

    “We’ve offered £100,000-a-week to a player today and we are still not sure we are going to get him,” Sullivan told BBC Radio 5 live. “That was a very special player.

    “There’s no transfer fee involved and he’s got the choice of almost every club in Europe. He has played at the highest level.

    “He’s down to three clubs and West Ham are the only English club still in the hunt for him.

    “We can carry one exceptional player, who would make a difference on that wage, but generally we have to bring the wages down and in the summer we would hope to sign younger players on a fraction of those wages.

    “We have a crisis and you have to have a different strategy to what our long-term strategy will be.”
    ————————————————–
    1.Who could this be?
    2.Does this mean Cole is on his way out?

  47. SUGA3

    A,

    we will have it really tough against each and every of them with the midfield options we have – why, oh why do we have to make it so hard for ourselves?

  48. gambon

    The thing is the number of points is irrelevant, as there are so many different ways to get them points.

    Take 6 points from 4 games for example, but done 2 different ways.

    1) Villa (W) Chelsea (L) UTD (L) Liverpool (W)

    or

    2) Villa (L) Chelsea (W) UTD (W) Liverpool (L)

    The first is a disaster & the second is brilliant.

    I think i will rohypnol myself with a big enough dose so that i wake up when theyre all over, cos with our defence its gonna be quite a ride.

  49. A

    yeah gambon that’s why i said 8 points, means we don’t lose any games!

    8 points could actually be better than 9 points, if the loss in the 9 point scenario is against chelsea!

  50. Maciek

    LOL ManGoonian.I would LOVE to see us WINNING the league. I really do. I love this Club so much, but start to dislike Wenger more and more. Why is he sooooooooooooo STUBBORN??????

  51. gambon

    I dont understand wenger at all anymore, he used to be the greatest manager there ever was, but i dont think he is at all any more.

  52. 78692

    ManG, I think that we will do well with the other big 4,but im a bit worried that the shitkickers like Blackburn,Birmingham and Hull(Fergusons arse lickers)could derail us when were on a good run.

  53. Pedro

    Gambon, he’s doing a pretty good job this year. He’s still go it in my opinion… I just wish he’d deviate from his ideal of a large enough squad.

  54. dennisdamenace

    IMHO, i think we’ll get 7 points out of the 12 on offer from Villa, ManUre, Chavs and Bindippers.

    I think we’ll beat Villa, draw against the Mancs, lose to the Chavs and beat the Bindippers….

    2 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss = 7 Points.

  55. A

    gambon if he wins us the league this season I’d say that it’s the best achievement in his time at the club, and far surpasses anything the media favourite fergie’s done!

  56. gambon

    Pedro,

    But hes the exact opposite of what he used to be. He used to build big, strong, physical, aggressive teams that won & he was ruthless.

    These days its the exact opposite.

    For me anyone that leaves Almunia in goal has a fundamental flaw in their thinking, even his own mum probably lughs at how shit he is.

  57. A

    I dunno ddm, would be close for me. Though the unbeaten season will go down in history, winning the title in the current money years, with a squad totally written off by the media and half the fans, expected to struggle to make champs league, would be a hell of an achievement.

    Different to the invincibles.

  58. alex

    Line-up against Stoke, down to bare bones. Will he rest the likes of cesc, denilson, arsh, rosicky, eduardo? anyone know if Wilshere and Merida are fit?

    I wonder if we’ll get to see JET?

    Fabianski
    Coquelin Campbell/Senderos Silvestre Traore
    Merida/Wilshere Eastmond JET
    Walcott Vela Watt

  59. Pedro

    Gambon, there must be a reason he’s doing it? He had no problem dropping him earlier in the year… then the new guy started fucking up.

    I think he’s built a different team this time around. Nimble, fast… and ruthless.

    Look at the goals we’ve scored this year, how can we not be ruthless!

  60. gambon

    A, it would certainly be a great achievement.

    But ultimately it wouldnt be anywhere near the treble utd did, or their last 3 seasons with the team built around Ronaldo, or the invincibles.

  61. Maciek

    BigRaddy. I started supporting Arsenal in 1993. I come from Poland, I’ve never been at Highbury or the Emirates, BUT I love our CLUB.I’m not a glory hunter,but I would like to see our manager trying as hard as he can. At the moment, I think he should have done better with this squad.We need additions.

    Take care.

  62. dennisdamenace

    Actually thinking about it, any team that wins the league with that numpty Denilson in the side deserves it to be the greatest ever achievement!!!!