Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Eduardo brings a glimmer of Silva

Let's not get carried away just yet, but that was an excellent performance from Arsenal last night.

The patchy team news before the game was, perhaps, deliberately so as Eduardo was given his long awaited comeback from the start with minimum media spotlight before the game. Wenger also picked the midfield formation that many have been crying-out for in recent months, with Vela and Nasri on the wings, charging forward with the solid forms of Denilson and Song in the middle. The passing and movement were, at times, first class and Cardiff had no answer. It really could have been six or seven nil and Cardiff could have no real complaints.

I had also forgotten just how good Eduardo is. His movement, control and passing are simply in a different league to that of Bendnter, and I am not being overly critical of the young Dane. Eduardo is simply top class and is technically a far better player than Adebayor too. Whilst Eduardo may not have the physical size of Ade or Nikki B, he his far more adept in making his runs, using his skill and strength when it suits. But first and foremost, Eduardo is a threat around the box. As soon as he gets a sniff of a chance, he wants to score.

That is a completely different instinct to Ade and Nikki at the moment, who seem to be playing deeper and deeper in their desire to get more time on the ball. With both of them playing indifferent football this season, if Eduardo can put another performance like this under his belt, then he will be making a very strong case to be first choice alongside RVP. Hopefully that will also be the massive kick up the arse that Adebayor clearly needs as well.

Whilst Song did not have his best game in an Arsenal shirt, it would seem churlish to dwell on that. Nasri was a livewire, especially in the first half, and it was great to see Arsenal get on the offensive straight from the start. Lets hope we take this momentum into the Sunderland game on Saturday.

Its also going to get interesting when Walcott, Arshavin and Cesc are available. Whilst we can all worry how that team selection issue will resolve itself, lets not overlook that Arsenal have had an appalling injury record over recent seasons, so the idea of having some genuine competition for places will be a relative novelty. If it also means that the services of Comrade Eboue are no longer required in midfield, then thats fine by me.

One odd thing last night was the massive police presence around the Emirates. Clearly the taffs like getting drunk and having a fight, but this was the biggest policing operation I have ever seen at an Arsenal home game and forcing the pubs around the ground to close after the game seemed a bit OTT.

Lastly, big shout out for Amaury Bischoff. What a player he is going to be. The natural successor to Stefan Malz has, at last, arrived. You should be able to watch him most Sunday's on the Hackney Marsh from 2012 onwards.


Anonymous said...

Great game.....old arsenal passing was back....

I hope Eudardo plays every game like this...and with Walcott and Tomas and Cess waiting....it wont be long before we say byee byee to ade and edoube :)

Obsinho said...

Edaurdo gets the plaudits and rightly so.

But I do think the re-appearnce of a formation with two out & out wide players is important. It is how Wenger's most deadly teams have lined up, and is what we have been missing in the very static and horizontal-playing midfield we have seen recently.

Nasri and Vela both looked to play the ball square AND forward, and that momentum and change in directin created more space for Eddy and Nicky B to move into.

Add more direct players in Arshavin & Walcott and the balance of the team looks more set again.

1979gooner said...

Great stuff.

I agree with Obs, and it's not as if we haven't been calling for Nasri and Vela on the flanks for a while now, at last Arsene has seen this is the way forward. Eboue should not get near the first team now.