Monday, 26 January 2009

Huff, puff but no end product

Maybe the stuttering poor reception that I had with Setanta gave me a false impression of the game, maybe not, but I really don't think it was a poor performance yesterday. There was definitely a lack of sharpness and quality in the final third, while Cardiff certainly came close in the first quarter of the game as the adrenaline pushed them on, however as the game went on there was only one team that looked like winning, it was not Cardiff, and with a little more precision a one nil victory should have been taken as Cardiff flagged, never mind though, we can take them home and teach them a lesson in footballing terms.

Cardiff were quick out the blocks, biting into the challenges, and they did put together a couple of decent moves, however they did mainly create half chances that looked a bit more dangerous than they actually were. In the first half we looked dangerous on the break, one Nasri effort and a Bendtner break just before half time gave Cardiff a reminder that they had to be careful. I though Gibbs did well at left back, Ramsey was caught in possession too frequently, while Song looked a little rusty even though he did reasonably well overall. Of note Eboue received a ridiculous booking for diving when he was clipped twice in the box, it was too soft for a penalty, but to book him for a dive was really pretty poor refereeing.

Cardiff appeared to wilt and wither as the game went on, we kept coming back at them with wave after wave of attack, a combination of poor crossing, sloppy touches around the box and poor finishing meant that the scoreline remained nil nil, really the game was there for the taking as Cardiff died on their feet after their first half's efforts. Adebayor missed a great chance, however it would not be fair to blame just him, several other great openings were wasted with sloppy passes or loose bits of control around and about the penalty box.

Being a strange kind of optimist I was strangely encouraged by yesterday's game, this was because despite the sloppiness and missed openings, the heart and the effort was there, if not the quality. Even Nic Bendtner was rushing around closing down the opposition and getting stuck in, we might not have been at our best, but we looked like a team that played and battled together, we did not look like the apathetic collection of individuals that we have done at earlier points this season, and for that reason I am encouraged. I don't expect everyone to agree with me on this but when does that happen?

10 comments:

Obsinho said...

We weren't terrible yesterday, but we weren't good enough to beat Cardiff. Which I suppose says it all.

I know Utd's "reserves" were beaten by Derby recently, and VIlla were held by DOncaster, but it's only right to examin your own health before passing judgement on others.

Eboue was poor as a winger again. His face when he was substituted was odd - he looked angry and dejected. Maybe he knows he isn't a winger and is getting fed-up of being made to look a fool. Why Wilshere got only 3 minutes I don't know.

Also, I know we're missing our "new signings" of Theo, Eddy, Tommy and Cesc but the lads just looked bored out there. We do need to bring something into the squad to breathe some life into the players.

We may be unbeaten in almost 10 games, but to carry that through we have to show some fight/spirit and improvement in the final third of the season. I can't quite see where that will come from at the moment - unless RvP provides a spark no-one else really seems able to.

Ted said...

I agree with you 1979!!
As I said on Friday, the idea that Arsenal could go to somewhere like Ninian Park and expect them to roll over in the face of our superior technique is stupid. Cardiff are a good side but we were better. This was no lucky escape by Arsenal and we should stuff them at the Emirates next week.

Obsinho said...

Sorry to bring up the Russian, but a thought has just struck me...

....given that we are in the 21st Century and are bidding at least £15m for a player, why are we doing this by fax? Surely Russia has the internet - could we not do a few teleconferences or something? Or even an e-mail? In fact we could call them on an old 1980's brick mobile phone (like in that Virgin ad on tv at the mo) and still be more techonlogically advanced.

No wonder it takes weeks to sort out a transfer if all the negotitaiotns are done by fax.

Rhinogooner said...

Good day fellows.

I wanted to remark about the comment made by Obsinho concerning our players looking bored on the pitch. Many of the supporters have noticed that the players seem to have trouble getting up for the less desirable fixtures this season. Does anyone think that our wage bill is a reflection of paying these young players more than they are ready for (and more than a fair reflection for what they've achieved so far in their careers)? And is this contributing to an attitude amongst many of our players that they've "arrived" and therefore do not need to work hard in order to keep their places?

Perhaps it has more to do with no one in the dressing room properly preparing them mentally for the matches and getting them gee'd up?

Also, pertaining to Obsinho's comment on transfer dealings in this day and age. I've thought about that too - still using faxes? Video conference meetings could be done on a moments notice these days.

It leads me to think about Mr. Wenger's role in transfers. I pose this question - is he more involved in the transfer process than other club managers? It seems to me that most managers identify the player(s) they want and it's up to the board to perform the negotiations to obtain the player and determine how much they are going to spend on the player. So why does it seem like Mr. Wenger has more say in the process than that? I would think he is busy enough with his other duties that he wouldn't have time to be involved in transfer negotiations. And perhaps that is why it seems to take so long for us to negotiate for a player and why transfers windows run out without us having filled our needs - because Mr. Wenger wants to be involved but doesn't have the adequate time to devote. I know we have a CEO now who will take on this role. But it seems to me that deals went through more smoothly when Dein was at the club.

Ted, just read that Cudicini went to Sp*rs on a free. I always rated him. I don't know if he is still quality, but before Cech came he was the bees knees. I'd have him at Arsenal to add competition.

Obsinho said...

There has been a lot of comment (internally as well from Old Cappi Billy) that the attitude is a problem in the squad.

But attitude is a good thing. Look at Dennis, PV4, Wrighty, Freddie, Bobby P - they were made of attitude, and that was part of what made them better than your average. So I want our players to play with arrogance, and I don't see an issue if lads like Bendtner look aloof.

The boredom seemed to come from not taking enjoyment in the way we were playing. As if it was a chore to play with the line-up we did - "how are we going to win with Eboue on one-wing and Rambo and SOng in the middle". This is clearly bullshit, but there was something lacking across the pitch.

1979gooner said...

Rhino,

Personally I didn't think the players looked bored, I thought they fought hard, even if they didn't play their best, the effort was there.

I do agree that this has been a problem, especially in games like Fulham away and Stoke away.

On Wenger and his personal touch in transfers, this does have its down side, however there are so many players that we would not have signed had it not been for Wenger's personal touch, Fabregas for one, the fact that he takes the time to meet their families himself makes all the difference sometimes.

WeGunnerBeKings said...

Hi 1979gooner I have a post about Villa taken fourth place. Woould like to see any thoughts u might have on it.

WeGunnerBeKings said...

Good post 1979, good analysis of the match. I do, however, believe Eboue deserved his card. He never once looked like he was trying to do anything with that ball in the box. The moment he didn't make the pass that was there, I knew he was going to drop, that's all he looked for and I think it was pathetic. He might of created a half chance for a goal.

Ted said...

I am not sure about the idea of Arsenal players being bored on the pitch. It sounds a bit crazy to me and I suspect its a result of certain players "style", e.g. Bendtner, Diaby etc. I saw a lot effort on Sunday, not boredom.

Also a quick word on faxes. Yes, it may seem old-fashioned, but most business transactions still revolve around written offers rather than the spoken word. Terms can be negotiated over the phone but the nitty-gritty is usually done on paper. Some people are as advanced as sending pdf or email exchanges but others don't like doing it.

I also think people are missing the point about the transfer deadline approaching. It is working in our favour - not against us. Zenit want to sell and Arsenal are the only bidder. Unless Zenit do the deal then they are out of pocket. This was always going to go down to the wire because we were not going to pay the asking price.

However, there is still just about time for Man City to blaze in, so I doubt this is a done deal yet.

Ted said...

P.s. on Cudicini, i also think he is a good keeper, but there is no way he would come to Arsenal to sit on the bench or otherwise add competition. This is the end of the road for Gomes at Spurs.

Is Cudicini better than Almunia? Maybe he was 4 years ago, but since then Almunia has established a very consistent record for us and Cudicini has hardly played. I wouldn't replace Almunia for Cudicini now.