Saturday, 2 February 2008

At just the right time

This is the optimal time of the year to click into gear, and Arsenal are doing just that. Not many sides could go away to Manchester City and control the game so convincingly. Overall the 3-1 scoreline was rather flattering to City who barely forced Lehmann to make a save all day long.

Bar a rare error from the dominant Clichy, it was a great team performance lead from the front by the warrior that is Emmanuel Adebayor. The defence was solid, Sagna raiding at pace down the right with Senderos and Gallas imperious at the back. Flamini and Fabregas complimented each other nicely, while Diaby is starting to look like the player that he obviously has the potential to become, Hleb was decent too. Eduardo was razor sharp, capping a fine performance with a lovely overhead kick following a good piece of chest control to put us 2-0 up after twenty odd minutes. Adebayor was a beast, strong, dominant in the air and predatory in the box.

Clichy's error gave City hope, but they never looked like levelling matters. Adebayor made the game same with five minutes left when the referee did well to play the advantage. It was a shame the referee missed two pretty good penatly shouts when Richards fouled Adebayor from behind twice on seperate occassions, luckily it didn't matter in the end.

We are spoilt as Arsenal fans, to be able to play away from home and dominate a good side in such a manner is not easy, credit must go to the players whose teamwork and determination was there for all to see, and to Arsene for managing the club so excellently. Whatever the outcome at the end of the season, I am proud to be an Arsenal fan, the football is from another planet and it is done on a relatively small budget compared to our main competitors. I salute you Arsene.


Ted said...

Completely agree. Peter Reid was the pundit on Sky's Goals on Sunday and pointed out that since Eduardo drops quite deep, Adebayor took on Dunne and Richards by himself and won the contest, both of whom are excellent centre backs.

Not once did you get that look of frustration that so diminished Thierry Henry's performances in these sorts of away games. Instead, Ade just worked hard, scared the shit of the the defenders around him and scored two goals. Absolute class.

When asked the question is Adebayor better than Henry, which sounds stupid to ask given Henry's reputation, Peter Reid took a long time to answer and said "maybe, but he is definitely better in the air."

Also of interest was Peter Reid's comment that of Arsenal's current first XI, only Toure has won the league before. I thought that must be nonsense, but the only others who were around in 2004 for the Invincibles were Lehmann and Gilberto, neither of whom are now playing, and Clichy, who was second choice behind Cuntley.

The fact that Wenger has completely changed the team in 4 years without spending any money in net terms, in fact he might even be in credit, is so incredible that it is making me grin from ear to ear with pride.

We are indeed spoilt little children.

1979gooner said...

Watched Henry playing for Barca against Osasuna and it was really quite sad to watch someone who once so great, who has now become a shadow of his former self.

Barca were over elaborate and poor. However Henry was so mediocre it hurt, he couldn't step on the gas and hardly beat his man once.

It was just like his shadow like performances of last season.

I am not sure why he has gone so profoundly off the boil.

He obviously hasn't been fit but it seems to be more than that to me, as sometimes it looks like he can sprint at top speed, but doesn't feel the need to.

Has Henry become so cocky that he believes he can coast through games without putting 100% into them?

Is he a man living in denial, and was his arrogance with younger colleagues down to him trying to blame everyone but himself for his loss of pace?

I don't know.