Tuesday 25 November 2008

Stuttering but satisfactory

With the low morale thanks to recent events and results, combined with several key players out this was never going to be Arsenal at their best. Getting through to the next round was all that mattered and a 1-0 victory did that very nicely, it hit the proverbial spot like a pork pie to an empty stomach.

Kiev were solid as a unit, cheated effectively and we never really had enough width to open them up, they also created some decent chances on the counter, looking pretty incisive at times. In fact a cracking Almunia save in the second half really saved our blushes, going one nil down at that point could well have been curtains. The Kiev red card was rather amusing, they do say that cheats don't prosper.

We did have a lot of possession and created a few decent chances, for example Ramsey's toe ender and a couple of opportunities from some excellent set pieces, largely delivered by RVP. Playing Denilson and Ramsey was never going to give us width, both players did reasonably considering, while it was good to have the mini maestro Cesc back at the helm, his passing did make a big difference. Song had a decent game overall, breaking up play well most of the time despite a poor spell early in the second half.

Gallas was solid, Clichy excellent and Djourou capable out of position at right back, I still have yet to see why Arsene brought Silvestre in from the mancs, he looks slow, cumbersome and doesn't do much good in a game. Vela worked his socks off up top and put in a good performance, RVP did ok. The subs Bendtner and Wilshere did superbly, what a finish from the young Dane, while young Jack showed why he had a very good claim to have been a starter tonight. In reality though, if we play like that against Chelsea then only one side will be winning the game and it won't be us.

Overall thought it was what the doctor ordered, hopefully we can build on this victory and use it as a platform. Cesc is a popular young man and the captaincy will be a lot of responsibility for him, I hope he can handle it. I also hope that William Gallas can put all the recent events behind him and start playing football to the best of his ability again, I really don't think Silvestre is the right partner for him, Djourou is better in every department for me and must start playing regularly in the centre back slot. If Nasri and Walcott remain out then Wilshere must start at Chelsea, we need to have width and he can provide it. Just the final word for Manuel Almunia, our one match captain, great save, keep up the good work.


Si said...

I agree wholeheartedly. What else is there to do at the moment after all? We can all vent our spleen at the end of the season, the only thing to do now is get behind the team. Even if the team blatantly needs improvements over several areas, nothing can be done about it right now. A good result against one of Europe's better sides (thrashed an in form Spartak).
Go on the Gooners... Wilshere thunderbolt to sink pensioners.

Si said...

Oh and another thing... Did anyone else notice the T not working on one of the Emirates Stadium signs at last night's game? Is this a sign of a club in such turmoil that they can't even fix the name of a company who throw money at us? Or has someone taken it away because it's T for Totten*am?
Although as I said in my previous post, the result was good, I still had a right old moan in the pub afterwards. But at least it was only about the weather

Si said...

Oh and another thing... Only joking! Wahey!!!!!

Ted said...

Good commenting Si. Well done.

1-0 nil and the less said the better. They hit the post and forced an excellent save from Almunia in the second half. We were largely poor, but as 1979 says, what else could we expect at the moment?

That said, and I can't explain why, I don't think Chelsea are playing well either at the moment and I think we might just get something at the bridge.

Lastly, I quite like Silvestre. Big, slow, good in the air, a bit dirty, keeps in simple. Good old fashioned defender in my book, but totally agree that Djourou is the prospect for the future.

Problem is Gallas simply does not play well at the centre-left berth, so Wenger bought Silvestre to play alongside him, allowing Gallas to play centre-right. It seems Toure and Djourou lose out as a result.

From memory, Keown and Campbell both had to play centre-left alongside Toure. Its all a bit odd - surely Kolo could play centre-left if required?

The papers are praising Gallas this morning, but I thought he was pretty shite last night. He also only has 1 or 2 years left at this level. If Wenger chooses Gallas over Toure and we lose Kolo as a result, then that would be a complete disaster. The Kolo to man city rumour is rather worrying.

K man said...

We were poor and very thankful to Almunia for his save and Cesc/Bendtner for the moment of excellence.

Can't agree with you 1979 that Gallas was solid - he looked shaky to me and very nearly gave them a goal when he sat on his arse and they hit the post. Had the ball been squared they had plenty of options to score.

Silvestre has done nothing wrong but he is keeping Djourou outof the team and I agree that the Toure to Man City rumour is worrying. Kolo must be tempted - he was overlooked for the captaincy, can;t get into the team and probably rates himself above Silvestre.

The result was more importantn than the performance and lets hope the biys get some confidence going into the Chelsea game.

By the way, dead balls aside, RvP was very poor again. He's just got a big new contract and he needs tostart showing his worth.

1979gooner said...

No way.

Silvestre has done nothing wrong!

He does nothing right.

He is so slow he can't get to the bloody ball to make a mistake.

Watch him closely, he is so so so off the pace, he never makes a tackle.