Saturday 31 January 2009

Blank drawn against Zola's hammers

The game is less than one hour gone and I've already heard some ridiculous comment from some rather foolish football pundits, I'm sure there will be plenty more strange perspectives on this goalless draw to come. It was extremely frustrating stuff and in the end I am left more worrying for Abou Diaby than over the dropped points, it would be a great shame if he were to be out of action for several weeks when he is just in the process of growing into a footballing beast who can dominate games.

The starting eleven was strange, how Eboue merited another start was beyond me again, while dropping RVP to the bench was another strange decision. We had complete control in the first half but we didn't really threaten enough, the tempo was lacking, and we were especially poor up front, in particular some loose touches from Bendtner would have even looked bad in the Blue Square Premier. Eboue picked up an injury and Vela came on, a blessing is disguise if ever there was, but we never came closer than from a near own goal from one corner than came fairly early on.

The second half performance was far far better, in particular I thought the midfield were completely on their game, West Ham could not get into the game, while we attached with a lot more vigour and tempo. Diaby was fantastic in the centre, Nasri bright, Vela dangerous and Denilson neat. Again Bendtner offered nothing, I feel he really needs to start doing more other there is little point keeping him at the club given his goalscoring record thus far.

At least Adebayor got in the positions to score, however he missed two exceptionally good clear cut chances to score. The first came on the counter, a lovely low Sagna centre found him with just the keeper to beat from five or six yards out, he somehow contrived to hit it wide at the near post. The second came from a great left flank cross, he headed it firmly but straight at the keeper, not as easy as the first chance, but he really should have done better. RVP's introduction came too late in the day as he replaced the ineffective Bendtner.

Steve Bennett deserves a mention for a few utterly awful decisions today, what a gigantic tool the man is. He let West Ham off several bookings for cynical deliberate fouls, Upson and Neill were particularly lucky on two occassions, while he booked Vela for diving in the second half when he was tugged back in the box and then had his ankles clipped. It would have been a soft penalty, but I've seen them given at Old Trafford, while he was definitely yanked back and then clipped, bad bad decision Mr Bennett.

West Ham are a solid side and did defend well, but we really should have won the game, you simply cannot afford to miss the kind of chances that we missed today if you are to win games like this. On the plus the defence kept a clean sheet, the midfield were outstanding, while on the negative we were again very sloppy in front of goal, while the late injury to Diaby is not good news, I really hope he makes a swift recovery. At least Villa dropped points at home to Wigan, while the spuds lost to Bolton, it still doesn't make up for a draw that really should have been a win though.


Mittoo said...

i decided to do my own match commentary for this game. as i went along and watched it. I only could do the first half, as i decided to go join some buddies for the last half…

worst line up ever..embarament of a line up at home if you want to contend for the title..eboue, bendtner..ade to some degree..gallas/toure combo..all of arsenals problems in one basket.

10 mins in..

the commentator - “2 really big players to get on any cross in the box..”just as they say that clichy runs down the wing, pressure free chance and he whipped the worst cross in possible,it lands all the way to the other touchline…

- wtf EBOUE as our main playmaker????terrible shooting attempts.he was the only one on the ball first 10 mins or so

EVERYtime he dives (Eboue) he complains..arms flying in the air

-diaby just lunging for balls and tapping away (does that all he do??)

16 mins

nasri great along the lines one in the BOX at the right positions to receive crosses. nasri crossed the ball to the only arsenal person in the box ,bendtner, and he was in a horrible position..we are terrible on counter because we have no one in the box ever!

west ham just taking whatever arsenal are giving which is nothing!. lots of possession, passing around, no penetration
sagna cant cross that well either.. (i have been saying this about clichy and sagna all along.poor crossers..look at man u, chelsea, barca…driven balls, great crosses, great opportunities, many goals!)

32 mins
commentator “teams are getting better and its not as easy for arsenal to get through.” dufus.. our team has no creativity or vision, aside from nasri, and he cant be on the ball all the time..especially when he has NO GOOD SUPPORT, aside from clichy standing 10 feet in front of him and denilson in the center, and eboue trying to play the free role..

VELA!!! YES!!!, hopefully its fro eboue!!
YES!!!! (After eboue makes a “great” run down the line.bitch)

instant impact with vela! so much better than eboue already and been on only 2 mins,
another denilson horizontal pass (wing to center)….nasri hurt???he is pretty fragile

bendtner is striker. why is he playing behind sagna..why do our strikers not play in the box where they can recieve the cross..bendtner is never in the right position..and ade, seems better..a lil slow though

another clichy mistake..westham posing threat here..lucky clichy was at the post..bastard saved his own ass…i notice a decent amount of empty seats in the lower portion of the field…

wow..questionable half…lots of arsenal possession, no final attack in the 1/3.. no creativity, poor positioning.

i am glad i didnt do the second half..aside for a few good plays, some nice build up and a few headers we did nothing new…
we need help soon!

1979gooner said...

It may come as news to a few football fans, but no team will play perfectly week in week out and win every game by four goals.

The margins between what the media terms a 'great performance' and a 'poor performance' is actually very fine.

Today we should have put one of our chances in, if we had done West Ham would have buckled and it could have easily then been two or three nil.

Then everyone would be going on about how great we had been!

The truth is over the ninety we put in a good performance other than the strikers who had a bad day at the office.

Therefore I don't think the team deserves to be written off.

This kind of performance is a lot better than we were producing earlier this season, progress is definitely being made.

K man said...

Very much agree with your match report 1979. Very disappointed that Wenger is sticking with Eboue and I have lost my patience with Bendtner - I just don't see the Arsenal quality there like I do with Vela, Ramsey and Wilshere. Ade missed two excellent chances as you say. Good that he is getting in the right positions but his finishing has let him down a lot this season. Let us not forget that despite his excellent goal tally last season he missed many chances as well. The biggest disappoitnment with him is, unlike last season, he doesn't seem to feel the need to work as hard anymore - I sense his big contract and the interest from Milan has gone to his head. Great shame.

We are facing an injury crisis with Diaby now joining Eduardo, Rosicky, Fabregas, Silvestre, Walcott and Eboue. What annoys me is we already had quite a small squad in the summer and yet let more playes go than we bought.

I was at the Hull v WBA game yesterday and am pleased to report that Jay Simpson was one of the better players on display - he scored and looked a threat. I think it really helps loaning out these talented youngsters to good footballing sides. They may get relegated but WBA do play proper football. Simpson will come back with good experience.

I leave you with a final thought that has been nagging me today - we finished 4 points off top last season. We are 5 points off 4th today with 14 games to go. The fans should not be booing our team off like yesterday - that is disappointing - but I do understand the frustration. We have regressed this season and that hurts.

1979gooner said...

It does hurt, but booing the team off after a performance like that is beyond pathetic.

We are down the table now because of the points we dropped early on this season, our recent form over the last two months has been much better and does not deserve the disproportionate negativity that is greeting it.

It's such a shame to see what has happened with Adebayor, if looks like he started to believe the hype a bit too much and he then stopped putting the work in, not realising that without the effort and work rate he is barely half the player he was before.

Obsinho said...

We are where we are in the league because that is how god we are. Our form across the season has been that of a 5th placed team, not just in a spell at the start.

Villa, liverpool, Chelsea (this may change) and Utd play more incisive, efficient and consistent football.

Yes we were ok yesterday, and booing doesn't help. But people do not go to a 60k seater stadium to watch mediocre football. This team may be good enough at some point, but at the moment they are not. We need to fill the stadium, and even if we were losing but at least playing exciting football it would be.

We are predictable, slow and sloppy. And with Wenger making crazy selection decisions (resting RVP! Keeping Eboue! Bendtner to right wing?) he is getting close to being wilfully amateur in his job.

Really bored with football at the moment. I don't mind not winning, but I do mind being served up shit and being told that we showed grit and the opposition defended well. Show some fucking balls Arsene.

1979gooner said...


that was not mediocre football, it was also not comparable to being served up shit,

i'd watch the game again, we played some lovely football second half, west ham defended admirably and we missed our good chances,

i'm happy t admit when we played poorly, but that did not happen on saturday,

i think there is a big danger that we are becoming rather spoilt,

we're fith in the league and can easily take chelsea and villa, our current form is reasonable but we need to start finding a few more goals, if we do this and put a run together then we can easily make third position

Anonymous said...

RVP should have played !! Coming top 4 and playing for Champians League is more important than Carling cup....then y rest RVP .

He was involved in every goal which was scored in there was no reason y he shouldnt have played on 31st Jan too ??

I m sure we could have won then .

And Ade was extremely disappointing . U really cant miss chances like that and that too so often . I think he has lost interest in Arsenal and i wont be sad if he leaves this summer !!

Obsinho said...

I said we were ok, which we were. Nothing more, and nothing less.

Matter of the fact is we would have won if RvP had started. I know hindsight is a blessing and a curse, but more often than not this season hindsight has show we have made some very amateur decisions as a club.

We can still make third, but we have been saying that all month. How much ground have we recovered? None. How much do I believe we will recover ground - 50:50 at best.

5th in the Premiership may not be mediocre, but my point is we are where we deserve to be at the moment. To get to 3rd we will need to improve. And that applies to the players ability to play as much as Le Boss' ability to mke the right decisions.

Ted said...

I agree that we should have beaten West Ham and this was yet another nail in the coffin for this season's league form.

I have mixed views over dropping RVP. On the one hand, if we lost him to injury as well, then we would be royaly screwed for the rest of the season. On the other hand, I am sick of our squad rotation policy producing bad results.

I guess, of the top 6 teams over the weekend, we have gained on Chelsea, increased the lead over Everton, and kept pace with Villa. Its actually not a bad set of results. But I agree its not good enough.

I am already shitting it for the trip to Spurs next Sunday.

Obsinho said...

The whole transfer window has been so badly handled as well.

I don't give a monkeys about Arshavin, as he is actually quite shit and clearly quite a troublesome little sod.

But we all spent all over November and October saying "don't worry wenger will sort it out". We have then proceded to spend a month trying to sign a player we don't really need, failed to sign him, and picked up more injuries.

I don't want this season to end, as the Summer is going to be so painful it is untrue. A mix of a need to sign players, none of whom will sign, fans arguing with each other non-stop and Wenger being told he's a cunt and should be sacked.