Sunday, 19 April 2009

Cheer yourselves up Gooners!

The defeat to Chelsea has not made the weekend the most pleasurable for Gooners up and down the land. This has been tempered somewhat by Manure's hilarious penalty shoot out defeat to Everton, their hopes of the treble are now gone (I don't count the Mickey Mouse cup as a trophy anymore). Watch the video above to cheer yourself up if you're feeling a tad depressed today.

Having had a browse of other Gooner opinion on the web, I have reached the conclusion that most people are in agreement with our assessment of events, the team selection was foolish and we paid the price for this. Goodplaya echoes our earlier thoughts, many others have reached the same conclusions independently as well. Arsene is a great manager, a top bloke and one of our prized assets. However he is not immune from criticism, and on this occasion he has not covered himself in glory, he has made clear mistakes that have cost us a place in the cup final. I also feel that the likes of RVP, who we desperately need to keep at the club, will not be enamoured by being played out of position and then subbed off early in one of the biggest games of the season.

I just hope he can learn from them and not repeat them against Manu in the Champions League semis. The moaning about the pitch is not clever, we knew the condition of the pitch before the game and it was the same for both sides, the pitch was indeed poor, but commenting on it after the game only makes one appear to be blaming it for the defeat. Manu do not like it up 'em, we must make sure that we go for their jugular from the off at Old Trafford. An overly cautious approach could see our tournament over before the second leg has even started, we need to attack them at Old Trafford. I'm not saying this will guarantee our passage to the final, but it will maximise our chances of getting to Rome. He who dares more often than not wins.


Anonymous said...

I was surprised to see arshavin on the bench, but other than that, I don't team selection was a big issue. maybe song instead of denilson? i thought AW with a more defensive approach knowing it wasn't the first choice back four.

at the end of the day, Fabianski's shakiness gave them confidence and the defeat was bound to happen, starting or not starting arshavin would not have resolved those issues.

I don't have any blame for Fabianski, he's young, a great, if sad, learning experience, you just need to get beat up, he did, and he will bounce back.


1979gooner said...

The team selection was a huge issue.

He played RVP on the wing.

He played Denilson in the holding role where he does not look at all at home.

Ade was horrendously isolated up front, there was no support other than Walcott.

If 4-5-1 is used then you must have someone in the midfield trio who has pace, and who will get up and down to support the striker. You must also have two attacking wide men with pace who can support the striker, we had Theo who did the job and RVP who does not have the game to do it.

We never looked in the game and it was against a Chelsea side who looked far from a fluent and cohesive unit.

The team selection/tactics were poor and I cannot fathom the logic behind them.

Rhinogooner said...

Well done to Everton. I'm pleased for them. They are a hard working side with some skillful players mixed in. I have a lot of time for Moyes too. They deserve to be in a cup final.

That said, it makes me more nonplussed to think it might have been us playing them...

I was thinking about Barca earlier today. I don't consider their back 5 any better than ours. They have a bit more going forward. But they always go for it because that is their strength.

I don't know if their formation is considered 4-5-1 (more 4-3-3 in my opinion), but it isn't the type where you hoof the ball to a big center forward to hold up or knock on for the wingers. It's more cut-and-thrust or possession football. And we could play that way.

But my point is not about the formation. It's about being heavily offensive in order to keep the ball away from your opponents, keep your defense from danger, and demoralize your opponents by causing constant pressure. I think that is our best strategy while our defense is weakened.

Two quick questions:

Does anyone think our performance v. 'Poo will suffer due to our loss on Saturday?

Is Eduardo available for the 'Poo match?

Vertino Aleci said...

it certainly eased the pain of our own defeat against chelsea to an extent. however we need to beat utd ourselves (just the CL will do) before we can really have a hearty laugh at their lofty ambitions.
As I said to my dad, time for us to win the CL so that utd don't have to wear that hideous world champions badge anymore. Tongue in cheek I also suggested that should we win it then we will wear it on our shirt where it will look awesome.
As for the comments on the pitch, I have written a post about it myself. It would be good to hear your view on this.

Obsinho said...

The comments on the pitch have come from the losing sides - it's only factor if you lose. And it's only a factor if you play your football on the deck, to feet, and with pace. Chelsea and Everton don't. Utd and Arsenal do. It was an issue, but in both losing sides the weaker team selection has been punished.

Wenger and Fergie both know better, and should be criticised. Fabianski ballsed up, but so did Cech (and him and Reina did in the week). It happens to keepers, but he looks like a confident lad, and has a lot of ability.

My real concern was with Diaby/Denilson. They've been dropped in Song's favour, and rightly so. They had a chance to stake a claim for some huge games, and both were poor. They let themselves down, and my gut feeling is that for one of them, they may not be given another season. We need competition for Song's spot, and Diaby is far too inconsisten & Denilson is far too unsure of what he is (tackler, passer, playmaker - he seems to do a bit of everything ok, and nothing very well). I'd like to see us hold onto the whiole squad (especially all the front 7/8), but we need changes in the middle.

Probably a comment for the off-season, but in hindsight this is what has been nagging me.

Ted said...

Still angry about the team selection and formation. Arsenal and Manure rest players and both sides go out of the FA Cup. I think that tells you everything.

Lets leave the Denilson/Diaby debate for another time. Neither of them were that bad on Satuday. Cesc was probably worse.

Obsinho said...

Agreed on Cesc - I have actually been tryong to work out who of Cesc/Diaby/Denilson was supposed to be getting forward to help Ade.

In actual fact was it a 4-3-2-1 formation? It makes less and less sense when you try to establish the role each player had.....

K man said...

RvP and Ade out. Sagna in. Probably good to rest the 2 front men aynway. Hopefully a chance for Eduardo and Arshavin to shine.

Obsinho said...

Also, Ade seems to be getting some stick (slightly unfairly - it is always hard to judge how culpable a striker is when he doesn;t get any service. Is it his fault for not making space, or the midfield for the quality of ball they deliver?) for his performance on Sat, so Nikki B is probably due a run out.

A good performance will banih a few demons...

Rhinogooner said...

In my opinion, we need to play 'Poo with the handbrake off. I'd go with this line up:

GK - Fabianski
D - Sagna - Toure - Silvestre - Gibbs
M - Walcott - Cesc - Song - Arshavin
F - Bendtner - Eduardo

Subs - Vela, Mannone, Nasri, Eboue, Denilson, Diaby, Ramsey

Torres is the obvious danger man, so we will need to mark his runs and cut out his supply lines. I hate that cheating plonker Kuyt, but he can pop up and cause danger at times too. Riera has looked more dangerous in the second half of the season and Babel's pace can be a concern.

Trying to play through Alonso and Mascherano is going to be difficult so we need to spread the play wide and the fullbacks should get down the line to push their wide midfielders back. I also expect Carragher and Skrtel to be the grabbing, tugging, wrestling, shirt-pulling, shin-kicking oafs that they always are - and get away with it, so we probably will struggle to beat them by lumping balls into the box. But the deep ball over the top to Walcott could catch them out. Or a moment of brilliance from Arshavin.

One area we desperately need to improve on though is taking shots from outside the box. And when we do, we need to work the keeper. I'm tired of seeing us sky shots from 18 yards when a shot on target would at the very least cause a rebound and a chance to tuck away the loose ball.

Any thoughts from others on this match?

K man said...

If you're talking about the Man Poo game then I would hope that Almunia, Ade and RvP will all be back. Otherise I agree with this line up aginst Liverpool with the exception of maybe Nasri for Walcott if he's tired.

Ted said...

yep. I like Rhino's team selection.

Rhinogooner said...

Sorry all for any confusion. 'Poo is my little pet name for Liverpoo. Dirty, cheating scouse buggers...

Rhinogooner said...

Line up: Fabianski, Sagna, Toure, Silvestre, Gibbs, Arshavin, Song Billong, Fabregas, Denilson, Nasri, Bendtner.

Subs: Mannone, Diaby, Eduardo, Vela, Walcott, Ramsey, Eboue

So Mr. Wenger opts for caution again. 4-5-1 it appears it will be with Denilson and Song in front of the back 5 and Cesc, Arshavin and Nasri looking to get forward when possible to help support Bendtner.

Theo on the bench, so no outlet of his pace to cause some threat at the start. And Eduardo on the bench as well, so let's hope any good opportunites we get can be finished off. Another chance for Bendtner to prove himself tonight. Come on Niklas!!!

Mr. Wenger hasn't done him any favors by sticking him up front alone though.

I hope this formation and personnel works out for us tonight, but I'm not feeling confident. If we started with 4-4-2 and our best available players playing in suitable positions, I would be confident. And if we still lost, I'd accept that so long as we had a go.

If we underperform again tonight and don't get a result, questions will be raised about the tactics again. It's hard to blame the players when they're handcuffed from the off.

I'll be happy to look like a fool for questioning Mr. Wenger ;-)

Obsinho said...

4-4 then.

We need Djourou & Almunia back quick. Also, Denilson has faded so much - Song was incredible again tonight.

And Arshavin is simply awesome - is it time to bring up the team selection from Saturday again? Why didn't he play?