Tuesday 22 September 2009

West Brom pushed aside

The youngsters lined up as follows: Szczesny, Gilbert, Senderos, Silvestre, Gibbs, Coquelin, Ramsey, Wilshere, Traore, Sunu, Watt. Of note the absence of Fran Merida appeared strange, injury must have been the cause of this after his fine pre season form. The opposition were West Brom who have been on fine form of late, beating Boro 5-0 at the weekend and their starting eleven contained a lot of experienced talent. It was more of a 4-4-2 formation, with Coquelin holding, Ramsey alongside him, with Wilshere and Traore on the flanks.

In truth we we lucky not to be behind after the first quarter, Szczesny forced into a couple of fine saves, a solid keeper who seems to exude self belief. We did have some good chances at the other end as well, Watt finding a post with a poked effort from a Wilshere cross. Coquelin looked handy, putting in a few very decent tackles as he tried to halt the West Brom flow. Wilshere threatened with his pace and tricks, showing his ability to open up defences on his own with one great dribble and shot that flew just wide. We were handed a big advantage when Thomas was given a straight red for an elbow he threw at Wilshere. The game bustled towards half time, a penalty claim came and went, while Mikel Silvestre showed just why he is not on view on a more regular basis at the Emirates.

The second half began in a rather bitty manner, with Arsenal struggling to make the extra man count. Sunu was replaced by Vela and Coqeulin by Randall, the former added a bit of pace to our attacks. The atmosphere built slowly, a half chance here and there while the Baggies still carried a threat on the break, Mulumbu showed some talent having replaced Cox midway through the half. In the end the break came when Sanchez Watt's predatory instinct was rewarded after a great Kiely save from an excellent low Vela shot. Vela then capitalised on Randall's excellent chip which bounced back off the bar to leave a relatively simple finish. At the other end another excellent chance for West Brom went begging as Wood shot tamely wide.

Overall the game was turned by that moment of stupidity from Thomas. West Brom's poor finishing combined with Szczesny's excellence kept the sheet clean for our defence, while the game gradually swung in our favour as that extra man counted. Vela added a bit of spice to the attack, while Wilshere was a constant menace. It is amazing just how many talented youngsters we have at our disposal thanks to Arsene's attention to the youth policy, although few of them will make it as first team regulars, nights like this are great for a lot of supporters who cannot get tickets for other matches, while the experience gained by a few of them could prove invaluable in the long term. Well done Arsene and the lads, let's keep our fingers crossed for another home tie in the next round.


Anonymous said...

guys I found the highlight of Arsenal game here:


take a look at it, it's amazing

Rhinogooner said...

I find it ridiculous that I am seeing multiple headlines criticizing Wilshere just because DiMatteo said he was disappointed that he didn't shake hands with Thomas.

If he's disappointed with Wilshere for that, then he must be infuriated with Thomas for throwing his elbow and then pushing Wilshere to get sent off!

It seems every minor mishap regarding Arsenal is getting scrutinized and exaggerated by the press right now. More than usual I feel. I'm beginning to wonder if it is an intentional scheme being collaborated by various papers and journos.

Paranoid? Me?

Good to see you back 1979.

Uncle Mike said...

Arsenal finally emphasises an English player (Wilshere), and still they complain. You know the old saying, Rhino: Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean there isn't somebody out to get you. Some paranoia is justified.

Anybody need a laugh? I headed into my usual football haunt, hoping to see this match, and instead I get... Liverpool vs. Leeds. Liverpool vs. Leeds? "My name is Sam Tyler. I was in an accident, and I woke up in 1973!"

Because I'm such a recent convert, and Leeds is now somewhere in League Five and a Half, I've never seen them play as it happens before. Never seen Leeds fans before. They're not the knuckle-dragging morons that Man U fans seem to think they are. But they do hate Liverpool.

And then, right after Pool scored to make it 1-0, the Setenta feed went out! The Scousers sang, "Shall we pay, shall we pay, shall we pay the bill for you!" We were stuck watching Barcelona batter Racing Santander with 3 goals in 10 minutes... and then, to add insult to injury, they showed a replay of Arsenal vs. Wigan! (Which was fine, I hadn't seen it anyway.)

This is a funny game. Sometimes.

Anonymous said...

Calm down Rhino - its only a commercial.

Jack clearly said something, Jerome lashes out, gets a red and West Brom lose.

It was undoubtably the turning point in the game and Di Matteo makes a big thing about Wilshere, so blame him.

Wenger hardly helped by saying he was deaf as well as blind.

Its a good story for the press and no-one will give a shit by Thursday.

Good story Uncle Mike. Leeds are a good story of what can go wrong if you let idiot directors spend what they like on players.
Their fans have always been dubious at best, but it would have been sweet if they beat the Scouse.


marcus said...

1979, Merida is not injured. Both he and Hoyte are at the FIFA U20 world cup in Egypt, with their national teams.

Have to agree with Rhino. It's ridiculous to see the media fixate on the Wilshere-Thomas incident --- and also to see them twist what actually happened. Di Matteo's and Thomas' version is very disingenuous.

Thomas laid into Jack’s head with a powerful elbow and knocked him to the ground, after Jack had been subjected to several very tough tackles that went unpunished. It was a cynical move on Thomas’ part. So then (disingenuously, feigning the “sportsmanship” crap) he supposedly extends his hand and apologized? I don’t see him extend his hand at all in the video. Jack probably didn’t take his supposed apology seriously after being knocked to the ground deliberately and told him what he could do with his apology. So Thomas slaps him. What an ass. Just another small incident for the media to sensationalize in order to trash our manager and players.

Rhinogooner said...

Yeah, no worries though Marcus - once Jack is an England star, he'll be able to get away with all sorts of misbehaviour and indiscretions just like Rooney does with full support from the press.

On another note, I just wanted to make everyone aware that this is the 5th anniversary of Goodplaya's website. If you enjoy his blog, as I do, pay him a visit and leave your well wishes.


Ted said...

Well said Rhino.

Goodplaya does a great job.

marcus said...

Thanks for that info, Rhino, I'll head right over there right now. Goodplaya's a regular stop on my weekly Arsenal cyber-visits. :-)

football shirts fan said...

I have seen more than one blog on the internet talking bad about Wilshere... in my humble opinion this is too supid to believe. Just because dimatteo talked that he didn´t shake hands with Thomas... too stupid to be true.