Wednesday 16 December 2009

Burnley line up, to the wolves?

So there are two changes from Sunday. Silvestre replaces the hamstrung Traore and Denilson is replaced by the temporarily fit Diaby. The line up is Almunia; Sagna, Gallas, Vermaelen, Silvestre; Cesc, Song, Diaby; Walcott, Arshavin, Nasri. No sloppy errors at the back tonight would be nice combined with some incisive counter attacking at pace.

First half update. A good start thanks to a neatly taken Cesc goal, unfortunately Burnley then got it back to 1-1 with a slightly soft penalty. The majority of the clear cut chances fell our way, the post was bruised, the keeper tested on several occasions but Burnley held on. Cesc was taken off with what sounds like a muscle strain, hopefully nothing too serious.

Second half. A very open game of football, chances at both ends and it looks like this is going to go right til the death. Walcott struck the bar, Almunia made a cracking save from Eagles tipping a goalbound effort onto the post, Burnley could have had one if it hadn't been for the linesman. Eduardo came on and looked dangerous, almost scoring when clean through and then being crowded out when trying to get on the end of an Arshavin cut back in the box. This is going to be a tight finish.

We huffed and puffed late on, Eduardo fizzed in a dangerous free kick, a half chance here and there came and went, we looked the more dangerous side in the final stages of the game. Then at the death Gallas had a great chance to win it but headed tamely straight at Jensen. The full time whistle came, bollocks, a chance missed if we're honest. A decent performance but overall a pretty fair result. With our main strikers out, and being down to our four choice left back, we just aren't taking our chances and we look a little too slack at the back. Two points gone, damn damn damn.


Anonymous said...

at the half, it was really disapointing we weren't winning. if just one of those 3 or 4 good opportunites had gone in, most of which came before their penalty goal...

after the game though, i thought we were lucky to escape with a point. it looked like we were bit of defensive mess the second half.

i don't know what it is with almunia and i've really liked him, but fabianski deserves a good run.

i also don't know how it is possible that eduardo, walcott, vela, nasri (although he has had some decent finishes) and diaby have been playing like ass. all at the same time. i wish a few of them could get out of the slump...


Obsinho said...

The players named by Rahul are a real concern to me - their form has not got above average all season. They are holding us back and placing increased pressure onto Arsh, Fab & Song. Wenger needs to do something with them, ad the list of poor performers is getting longer to be honest.

Almunia simply has to be dropped.

Rhinogooner said...

Aston Villa in a fortnight worries me greatly. I watched them tear Man U apart when they played.

Villa really do have a well balanced team and some very good players that mix talent and grit well.

For me, we're battling for third or fourth again this season. I just can't see this squad of players we have being able to seriously challenge for the title. There are too many fallibilities to list.

And Villa is our steepest competition for third place. Yet we cannot dismiss Citeh, the Spuds, and Pool from turning up the pressure in the run in.

To your chagrin, I haven't disappeared. Just been traveling 'round Europe and have had little worth saying lately. Never stopped me in the past I hear you say! :-)

marcus said...

Agree with Rhino - but I'm not just worried about Villa, I'm worried about Hull! It's incredible -- RVP gets injured and we fall to pieces. The 4-3-3 just doesn't work right now, not without RVP. And Almunia is a complete disaster this season, it's scary what his form is doing to our defense (and all our other players) - it's obvious none of them have any confidence in him. There's no understanding or communication, it's scary as hell to watch.

Ted said...

hmmmmmm. Not the best result but I think we have to take the point from Burnley and make sure we beat Hull. This season is going to be an absolute roller coaster.

I also agree about Villa. They were terrific against Manure. Reminded me of how Arsenal used to play.

Its our injury list that is our problem. It really is a joke.

1979gooner said...

agree on villa,

they are exactly the kind of side that we do not want to play,

fast on the counter and strong defensively

Rhinogooner said...

Fortunate draw for us. Not that Porto are pushovers, none are at this stage. But it could have been much more difficult.

I typically fancy playing one of the stronger sides at this stage. Because we often raise our game against them (non-English sides I mean!). And, conversely, we often play down to our competition when they aren't one of the bigger clubs.

But, with our injuries, and the mental weakness in our team, I'll be pleased to skirt the bigger clubs for as long as possible.

I know the matches aren't for a few months, so our current injuries won't affect us too much. But what are the chances we won't have a long list of injured players come February and March as well???

Rhinogooner said...

This match against Hull tomorrow.....I don't know how to accurately articulate how badly I want us to absolutely annihilate them to the point that they crumble into a little heap in the corner sucking their thumbs and soiling their pants uncontrollably.

After the FA Cup match last season, I have a fervent dislike for this lot.