Thursday 28 August 2008

FC Twente - Done

Arsenal's 6-0 aggregate win looks great in the papers this morning, but lets not be fooled by it. They never posed a threat and in true Gordon Ramsay style, they were "blitzed" "griddled" and "done".
At 2-0 down from the first leg, and then conceding a goal to Nasri on 26 minutes, FC Twente basically were going out and had nothing to lose. So did Schteve Mschclaren let them off the leash? No they sat back in some form of damage limitation exercise and did absolutely nothing. What an idiot Schteve is.
So, what about Arsenal? Well, the goals were all quite good and there are some positives to take from the performance. First and foremost, we are twice the team with Cesc back. He is so involved in the game, so many nice touches that just keep things ticking over. Djourou also played well, but that was not hard given that he had nothing to do. I'm not sure if Kolo was injured, rested or dropped, but with Big Phil currently boarding his Ryanair flight to Milan, it looks like AW has backed Djourou to play a lot more this season.
Couple of talking points. First, Block 6 were on good form last night. The new chants for "You've only come to see Eboue", "Theo Walcott - The Englishman at Arsenal" and the "Eduardo" sea-shanty were top. However, its a shame that the other 50,000 thousand odd who turned up can't be bothered to sing. At all. Its an even bigger shame that so many people did not turn up in the first place. You are not customers, you are supporters. So support your team. The FC Twente fans put you to shame.
Secondly, and back to the action, Nikky Bendtner was not at his best. He scored a goal after a great back-heel by Denilson, but otherwise he was poor. The ball was not doing what he wanted last night but I'm not too worried about it. He is really our 4th choice striker behind RVP, Ade and Eduardo, assuming everyone is fit and available, and as a 4th choice striker he looks like someone with a lot of potential. He is clearly miles better that Aliadiere ever was.
Thirdly, I really quite liked the shape of the midfield in the second half. Theo switched to the left, Eboue came on the right, Alex Song and Denilson played the last 30 minutes in the middle. Now, bearing in mind that FC Twente were cack I'm not going to get carried away, but Theo has been poor down the right recently whereas playing down the left lets him cut in and shoot (and score a rather good goal). The much-maligned Eboue was actually quite effective. In fact, once you cut out all the play acting and diving, he is an extremely good footballer. Problem is, he is a play acting diver. But that's no excuse for booing him. To those that did - read point one above.
Fourthly, and that leaves Alex Song. He's big, strong and according to Theo, the thickest man at Arsenal. His 30 minutes did no harm whatsoever for his chances of being the enforcer to play behind Cesc.
Despite all the recent doom and gloom, a midfield of Nasri-Cesc-Song-Rosicky might just do something (especially when you consider that leaves Theo, Eboue, Denilson and Diaby as cover). Only problem is the only time you are likely to see it will be on your Playstations.
Lets hope we can carry some of last night's improved performance through to Saturday against the Toon.


1979gooner said...

Well said that man.

Have to agree with Obs, in that Eboue is lpokinh handy at times, people should be fair to him, he's really not a bad player at all.

Theo will frustrate, but has talent to burn and we just need to be patient.

I agree about Song, he looks like he has what it takes to play defensive CM, and we have no other decent options.

Denilson is coming on, but not yet ready for starting regularly in the prem in the holding berth.

Saturday will be interesting.

K man said...

Pleased all you lot have become less suicidal!

Good to see some goals last night even though I agree that Twente were cack. Walcott was decent and I thought Nasri and Djourou also played well.

I still have big concerns over Gallas. He did a lot of shouting and not much defending. Wasn't surprised that he scored because he seemed determined to go forward all the time leaving poor old Denilson to track back.

We have some decent players coming through - our subs bench was full of good players last night - but, for me, we're not going to challenge for the title this year. Too many weaknesses - particularly at centre back and midfield tacklers. I just don't see Wenger backing Song and the other prospects are too lightweight (Denilson, Ramsey) or injured (Diaby, Bischoff). I wouldn't mind seeing Toure have a go with Cesc in the middle - might be worth a look.

We need another good performance against the Toon.

Thought the "You've only come to see Eboue" chant was genius. That's why I go to football games.

Obsinho said...

Last night was all that you could ask really.

And I know FC Twente are cack, but they did knock Ajax out and they are in the Champions League. Standard Liege are also cack, and they made Liverpool look very poor, so let's not get too derogatorys about last night's performance.

My fear is that it has supported Wenger's stance on not making a signing - we looked strong. But we need muscle and brawn in the middle, and Denilson/Diaby/Song are not ready.

Denilson as a Fab replacement, Diaby as a utuility replacement and Song as a DM replacement all look great. As first choice they all look undercooked.

Obsinho said...

I go to football games to watch football.

K really goes to look at Johann's impressive physique.

Don't think I am ever going to let that one go I .......

Ted said...

Wenger's "official" email report on last night says:

"As far as central midfield is concerned, I felt Denilson had a good game on Wednesday night. We have Aaron Ramsey as well - for me he will be a very good player - and we have Alex Song and we have Abou Diaby. Even Nasri can play central but we have to see. "

Obs - I think you can forget about signings.

Si said...

Why do you think Eboue had a decent game? He didn't, it is nothing personal, but he's just not up to the task.
If that's Wenger's verdict at least Ted'll be chuffed that Alonso's not on his way.
Song was good, well impressed, although he wasn't under the kind of pressure he's going to face in the Prem.

Obsinho said...

I think Eboue did well in that;

- he was excellent defensively, and worked very hard to shore up the right hand side;
- he looked to get forward whenever he could, and normally successfully;
- he got behind the last man two or three times; and,
- he also showed some great touches of skill.

As a right back by trade, I think that is a good show. Against any opposition.