I have to try and bang this report out quickly today, I have to drive to Fakenham, can you believe that people set up business there? What a nightmare…
Wenger sent out a team that had a mixture of brilliance and possible complacency written all over it.
He drafted in Alex Song, Sagna and Nasri which I Facebook ‘liked’ to the max. However, he also brough in Denilson, Nik B and Andrey Arshavin, which as there is no longer a dislike button… I had to merely sit on my hands and hope for the best. At the back, according to many, Wenger had made a fatal error in not resting JD who apparently is incapable of playing too much sport in a week… a bit like my grandad.
Just on that, what is it with trophy starved fans and their insistence on vocally backing resting half the team for the trophies we actually have a superb chance of winning? Wenger has really had his way with far too many people on the propaganda front!
Anyway, the game started at pretty hectic pace, the atmosphere was raucous and Leeds had come to play!
That excitement was short-lived though. Gibbs slipped Chamakh in with a nice through ball, he cut it back to Arshavin who’d spotted Nasri with a lovely through ball, the Frenchman controlled and placed past Kasper the friendly keeper. One up after 5 minutes… just what the doctor ordered!
Simply put, if Nasri was a rockstar and I was a girl at one of his gigs, I’d take all my clothes off and throw them at him… the guy is moving up into superstar levels of consistency this year… dare I say it, putting Cesc is firmly in his shadow in the process (snigger!…)
Arsenal went close with a Chamakh downward header and a few Arshavin long-range efforts. Chezzer also had to be alert on a few occasions.
We really needed a goal to settle the game, Nik B fluffed his lines in the box, the ball bounded out to Sagna, he moved into the area and you knew he only had one thing on his mind (Peroni), he looked up and launched a fearsome right footed shot into the top corner of Leeds goal… a fricking ripper!
I was going to write something about NASA asking his right boot to help them launch rockets into space in a greener way… but that really would have been p*ss poor of me.
We were cruising, however, down the other end, Arshavin wasn’t fouled, the ball ended up at the feet of Johnson and he also flew off a rocket of his own that hit the top corner. It was more dangerous than the Gaza strip out there (rockets flying everywhere). Two incredible goals within minutes of each other. There has to be something said for ball watching outside the box, there really is no excuse when there are 2 defensive midfielders in the team.
That gave Leeds a bit of fresh impetus, though you never really felt like they had another gear. Arsenal on the other hand had about 6, most of them sitting on the bench.
The second half started and Song nearly scored one immediately, he was smartly denied by Kasper.
Leeds worked tirelessly to press us which was impressive considering you’re not supposed to be that fit in the Championship!
Chezzer’s kicking was noticeably poor in comparison to the young Dane’s up the other end. Our keeper is obviously one of those people who works ultra hard on his upper body strength, neglecting his legs in the process. As someone pointed out, if that’s his only fault, we’ll live with it!
I felt bad for Bendtner out wide, it’s like putting someone numerically dyslexic as head of finance then disciplining them for messing up the monthly P&L. How is he supposed to develop confidence if the coach doesn’t deem him good enough to play centrally?
Andrey Arshavin was working his socks off but struggling to find his form. You know what Arshavin, you’re a genius, good luck comes to those who work hard… He now needs to maintain that level of drive going forward, we’re going to need his ability to unlock defences in the coming weeks.
The last thing we want is fans slating him at the ground and online. Funny, it’s normally the people who militantly defend Eboue and Denilson who seem to take the most pleasure out of slating actual talent like Andrey.
Robin and Cesc came on to make sure the tie finished with an Arsenal win. I felt bad for the Leeds players… it must have been like getting a whooped in a bar by Ali, getting up and stepping on Mike Tyson’s toes… daunting!
Chamakh slinked off after another anonymous game. He can’t dine off his summer form all year, this is England, he’s paid a shed load and I expect more from him than just hard work and creative ability with wet look gel.
Nik B picked up the ball out wide, slotted a perfect cross right in the path of Robin who buried his header! A fantastic cross, a perfectly timed run and a smashing header!
Robin looked to me like he was starting to get back to his electric best. When he’s buzzing on the pitch, you can feel the excitement… he’s hitting form right on cue!
The game played out, Arsenal secured a home tie against Huddersfield and we all went home happy!
Wenger nailed his tactics and team selection this evening. He gave the team a solid base to play from by fielding his strongest defence, he went a little over cautious with Song and Denilson, but it worked and up front we had enough to win.
Leeds were superb last night, a real credit to their manager who has done an amazing job. I hope to see them back in the Premiership next season, it’s not the same without them. They’re a proper club with proper support, it’ll be good to have that fixture back on the calendar.
According to local hospital sources, none of the players who weren’t rested broke down and collapsed after the game. Medical sources indicated that professional footballers are trained to be able to play multiple games in a season. If I hear any news to the contrary, I’ll let you know!
Did anyone hear Gordon Strachan say Alex Song was the best defensive midfielder in the league? He’s always flirting with Song, regardless though, that is big praise from a player who wasn’t too shabby. I’m sure many didn’t hear that though, too busy complaining that everyone on TV hates us…
Next up, dirty Wigan at home. Time for a bit of revenge I believe…
See you in the comments!
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