Thursday 14 August 2008

Has Wenger learned anything new?

A result in itself tells you little about a game. We won 2-0 and by all accounts were not the better team. Liverpool drew 0-0 against Liege and by all accounts were both lucky and God Awful. But whose prospects look brighter after this first big test? My gut feeling is that Liverpool blogs are probably a happier place to be this morning.

Our performance last night was professional, and was a testament to the fitness and mental strength of the players. A few players stood out;

Ramsey - Although at times he looked like a little boy lost (and Twente targeted him with some very dubious challenges), Ramsey did not shy away from the challenge nor the ball at any point.

Denilson - likewise kept his chin up, and showed clear improvement during the game. He is good enough to play for the Arsenal. I just don't think it is as first choice next to Cesc, but as first choice replacement for Cesc.

Almunia - he is a good keeper. People often attack him for not winning us games and points, in the way that Cech and Van Der Sar seem to. He did that last night. He was composed and calm and solid, and I think the clean sheet is largely due to him.

Djourou - If it wasn't for Billy's goal scoring penis, then Johan should have got the headlines and the back page picture. He looked a better defender than his captain, and showed composure even after Denneboom (great name) tried to invert his nose with his elbow.

However, although it was good to learn that the players above do look like they will one-day be good enough, we also learned that the team that played last night is not good enough now. I know there are injuries but this is likely to be the team we start the league campaign with, and WBA will give a more stern test.

We need better options than Eboue and we need more guile and experience in the middle of the park. Vela can come in, but he is both young and new to the league, and likewise Nasri. Diaby is an option, but in my view that is it - an option. I think the back 5 look fine, especially when we have King Kolo and Big Phil to come in. And up-front we should be solid, especially when Eduardo returns.

If you take out Cesc from our team though, it loses 70% of what makes it great. And that is Wenger's gamble. He is not giving Cesc the protection needed to play every game, as we have no-one we can actually RELY on to deliver if he is having a quiet game or needs a break. Can we honestly expect to compete for both the league and in Europe with the knowledge that if we lose Cesc we lose more than a player, we lose the very heart of the team?


Ted said...

Good stuff Obs. A midfield of Walcott, Eboue, Denilson and Ramsey is amazingly weak.

Cesc is a class act and we will always miss a talent like that. However, the obvious candidate to replace him is Rosicky, who if he ever gets fit is also a class act.

Obsinho said...

Fair do's, but with Rosicknote the IF has to be in bold and size 30.

Disappointed that we are now running out or non cup-tied signings (Alonso, Toure, Cana), as it seems Arsene is using the closing of the window to drive down prices.

Unless he has a gem lined up, I'd fancy we're signing Inler. Who really won't solve any of our problems.

1979gooner said...

great stuff, the penis has the midas touch!

agree on midfield, it was very weak, however given the circumstances they did ok

you're right about the negativity of some blogs though, some claim this result was of 'no consequence', strange given that many millions of pounds were at stake

also some people reckon our current side wouldn't finish in the top ten, fucking cretins

we need a bit more experience and strength in depth, and if we get this we could have a very good season indeed

wenger has promised a signing, so i think he realises this too

Obsinho said...

People have a right to be negative at the moment, just as people have a right to be hopeful and positive.

What gets me down is the schism that is being created on the web between Arsenal fans. Why there is a need to label, denigrate and insult people's opinion is beyond me.

I really hope none of this bickering maifests itslef at the Emirates - it is quiet enough there without the fans spending more time arguing with each other than actually getting on with being a vocal supporter.

Anonymous said...

last season we were accused of not winning the league because unlike man utd and chelski, we didn't win when we played badly. last night we did that and won ugly for a change and people still see it as a negative. if we can beat a team in the champions league who knocked out Ajax by the way, with a reserve midfield and people still have the nerve to say we have no strength in depth then i think they will be just as surprised as the critics last season.

1979gooner said...

"What gets me down is the schism that is being created on the web between Arsenal fans. Why there is a need to label, denigrate and insult people's opinion is beyond me."

I agree. If some Arsenal fans wish to continually insult and belittle our manager and players then I think they deserve to have their opinion questioned and sometimes mocked.

Saying that people have 'rights' and that all opinion should be respected is a stance that falls down pretty quickly on the logic front, as why should someone who shows no respect for the 'rights' of others be respected themselves?

I agree that everyone should get behind the team, and I suspect that quite a few of those at the Emirates who love shouting abuse at our own players (Eboue for example) would be the ones who are overly negative at the moment.

Personally I'm not going to show respect to morons who speak without thinking and insult a lot of people who are working very hard for Arsenal football club.

In fact some of their good points are lost, as they make so many stupid ones too.