Wenger’s tactics bang on as Arsenal knock Leeds out of the FA Cup

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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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806 Responses to “Wenger’s tactics bang on as Arsenal knock Leeds out of the FA Cup”

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  1. gambon

    Kresh

    I think our size of squad is pretty much perfect, so we just need to replace a few players with better ones.

    Im not sure wenger will be after a keeper any more, so is like to see Squillaci, Denilson, Rosicky & Arshavin replaced…as well as the worse kids shipped out.

    I think bendtner may go as well.

  2. goonermichael

    gambon says:
    January 20, 2011 at 22:41
    Kresh

    I think our size of squad is pretty much perfect, so we just need to replace a few players with better ones.

    Im not sure wenger will be after a keeper any more, so is like to see Squillaci, Denilson, Rosicky & Arshavin replaced…as well as the worse kids shipped out.

    I think bendtner may go as well.

    You don’t think we are that far off then Gambon

  3. finestcuts

    Evening grovers, hope you’re still enjoying last nights win. I certainly enjoyed it and hope for more such performances.
    Yesterday was our legendary former manager Herbert Chapman’s birthday. He used to manage Leeds as well. Our next stop in the FA Cup is Huddersfield, also a club Chapman used to manage. The FA Cup was the first cup he won with Arsenal. Hopefully history will repeat itself and we’ll win the FA Cup again which will springboard us back to being the English Premier Champions. When you watch a great performance like last night’s, you can dare to dream.
    Farca were beaten by Real Betis in the Copa del Rey. They’re just a football team, they’re beatable just like everyone else is. They play great football, they’re the team to beat at the moment.
    Favourites don’t always win…..Ipswich beat us…..and we can beat them so as long as we can score goals we’ve got a chance, and that’s one thing we’re good at.
    Would you call winning the Carling and FA Cups this season a major success? I would, it’s time to end the trophy drought…….at last we’re getting the right messages from the club, that all the trophies are important, gotta try and win them all, there’s no such thing as being too good to compete for a trophy.

  4. gambon

    Gm

    In terms of players possibly not.

    That said I don’t think our GK or LB is good enough. I know wenger won’t change them now so no point mentioning it. I’d like to see about 14 players leave ( including reserves) and about 6 come in by next season.

  5. finestcuts

    We might be able to get Mexes, if Roma can’t agree a contract extension with him, they might not be able to turn down 10 mill from us rather than keeping him on the books for another 4 months.

  6. gambon

    Gooby

    Definately-

    – Almunia plus one of Mannone or Fabianski
    – Hoyte (nowhere near good enough)
    – Traore (ditto)
    – Squillaci
    – Denilson (just appalling)
    – Randall (cunt)
    – Barazite
    – Rosicky
    – Vela (good player, no future here)
    – Sunu
    – Murphy

    Maybe-

    – Clichy (tough to find good lb)
    – Arshavin (he may get back on track)
    – Bendtner (Ditto, but I think he will as to leave)

  7. Gooby

    agree with most of them:

    imo we should keep clichy, he’s been doing very good lately, and if we sold bendy we should look for a third striker.

    denilson, rosicky, arshavin out with lansbury wilshere ramsey as replacement, vela to make room for jet and afobe or possibly wellington
    arshavin off hazard in would be great.

  8. finestcuts

    Gambon, I don’t agree on Squid…..he’s a decent squad player, so is Rosicky……can’t comment on the reserves……have you really been watching all the reserve games?!

    Clichy should stay, Arshavin is a good squad player so it would be nice if he stayed, but if it’s a choice of a winger like Hazard or him staying, I’d go for Hazard. And Nick B…….he just seems like he can’t be bothered playing at times. I know it’s strange playing him on the wings, but the guy talks himself up so much he gets on my nerves…….always great when an Arsenal player scores but maybe this Latvian chap, Artjoms Rudnevs who plays for Lech Poznan, is the answer.

  9. Maciek

    Finest,

    Czołem Mistrzu!

    Rudnevs is not the answer.

    I watch Polish league and I’m not convinced at all. Yes, he scored 4 goals against Juve, but is not good enough to play for us.

    I can’t see anything special in this kid.

    Sorry, because I like him as a human being.

  10. finestcuts

    Serwus Maćku, dzięki ziomku…..nawzajem składam hołt…..

    I’ll take your word for it Maciek…..I have’t watched Polish league games for a while….have they improved?

    I’ll take your word for it……maybe he’s not the finished product and we could make him better…..like we made Nasri better?

  11. Pedro

    Maciek, only that we were looking at Samba.

    Nothing on bids… I was told I’ll get a call if we’re up to anything… no calls.

  12. Rickys had enough

    Sorry to be a kill joy but we aint getting cahill & TV5 wont be back untill LATE in the season.

    Wenger will rely on squillaci & the defenders we have, end of story!

  13. Maciek

    Finest,

    You bet our league has improved! Everything seems to go in the right direction.

    We have new people from the West( Maskaant, Stan Valckx from Wisła, Boos from Polonia). Our infrastructure is growing and it’s much better.

    We have number of good stadiums and you must remember that soon it will be even Better, because Narodowy Stadion, Baltic Arena and Stadion Sląska Wroclaw are almost ready.

    I think Wisla is going in the right direction, they want to do here the “little Arsenal”- players from the academy, great scouting. And Valckx is from PSV, so he must be good.

    Wojciechowski from Polonia Warsaw is spending money like a mad man. He bought Smolarek for example.

    Yes, our league is improving.

  14. finestcuts

    Good stuff Maciek…..being a supporter of the red and whites I’m very pleased to hear that, I’ll have to tune into an Ekstraklasa game and check it out.

  15. Maciek

    I also like Wisla.

    Shame, Zurawwski is past his best.

    Brożek brothers has left as well. I think they will do well in Turkey.

  16. finestcuts

    Yup they joined Konyaspor…….but I wanna see the Polish League competing with the French and German leagues, there’s definitely potential. I know that’s a huge task but you’ve go to aim for the big time.
    It’s unfortunate how Poland has some of the most dedicated football fans in the world who love the game yet there has been a constant lack of investment, nowhere near what the fans deserve.
    Arsenal are also getting big in Poland, which is good news as far as I’m concerned.
    I didn’t think it would happen, because we know how local fans loyally support their teams, but…..it seems Arsenal appeal.

  17. Maciek

    Yes mate,

    Arsenal is big here. And it’s nice to know.

    When I look at Polish sites and I read that they love Arsenal and that Arsenal is in their blog I know that I have made the right choice back in the 1995 when I started supporting the Gunners.

    I love this Club sooooooo much and it’s nice to know that here in Poland I’m not alone.

  18. Potter

    How was Fakenham ? Didn’t see you unless you were the lorry driver that delivered about 10 minutes before I went home. Good effort last night, more of the same needed to put both 3 points in the bag and put Dipshit in their place.

  19. Nightman

    Would just like to put this out there.

    Luis Suarez to Arsenal would = Premier League champions and more possibly….end of story

  20. Nightman

    i know its not remotely likely….but if you agree lets get some people talking…maybe the current will make it to Wenger

    He would score at least 25 a season I am convinced.

  21. jay4741

    no CB no signings as usual, arsene says squillaci back in two weeks, vermelean six weeks, we have enough until then. FFS!!!