A better day at the office ….. three points in the bag

This was another of those games where the title of the match report could be ‘What is Diaby for?’ How many times did he go on a great run only to come to a grinding halt at the edge of the penalty box? Those long, strong legs with feet that obviously have the ball magnets in their boots have to be attached to the most infuriating footballer in our squad.

He doesn’t have to keep the ball at his feet while he’s running but he does have to keep running. His awareness of where his team-mates are is virtually non-existant. His shooting ability has never been in question so why doesn’t he look up and check what’s happening around him. BigRaddy said last night that once Theo returns Diaby will have company on his runs but that won’t be of any help if Diaby hasn’t got his brain switched on. I can run with the ball at my feet into space – admittedly not with the grace and speed of Diaby – but if I didn’t know what my next move was going to be what would be the point?

Maybe Diaby just doesn’t know what his job is  – I’m afraid to me he is just a  ‘headless chicken’, but he’s been like this for far too long and needs to answer some stern questions. Footballing skills are great but pretty pointless if you don’t fit into a team.

But there were positives to take from this game. Our favourite flapper was considerably more solid than I can ever remember. If Birmingham were ever to score it was going to be from a free kick or a corner and Fabianski wasn’t at fault for their goal. With a fledgling partnership in front of him in the form of Djourou and Squillaci it could have all gone horribly wrong but he was vociferous and didn’t at any time look vulnerable. Shame on those supporters who hammed up their applause of his first touches of the ball, when he’s wearing the shirt at least give him a chance.

Jack Wilshere was once again at the heart of all that was good. Some great interplay between him and Chamakh that should have yielded a goal but once again there were too many passes. Arshavin was unlucky today that none of his back flicks found a man but he kept on trying. I’ve just seen Jack’s tackle again that led to his red card and he was late and could have hurt the player – who thinks that Arsène Wenger sent him out to let the player know he was there? Obviously not and having watched Jack in pre-season I felt that he had a fiesty tendency that he’s so far kept under control – good for him,  he’ll learn I’m sure.

Watching Theo, Rosicky and Nikki warming up after half-time did bring a flutter to my heart. When Rosicky came on he added great directness to the play managing to sting the keepers hands with 2 rasping shots. Nikki also got a chance to join in and could have scored with his first touch. He’s way behind Chamakh and van Persie in the pecking order which hopefully he won’t mind. I thought this game was crying out for Theo but we’ll have to wait for Tuesday night against Shaktar to see him. I don’t want to put a hex on it but its worth noting that the penalty was scored by a cool penalty taker who smashed the ball into the back of the net.

So, overall this was a game we were expected to win, it wasn’t pretty by any definition but on reflection we actually ground out a result. I’m not going to say it was comfortable because it certainly wasn’t and the last 10-15 minutes were suitably nervous as we looked, as usual, like we could concede at any moment but we hung on and added three points to our total…….. more than the chavs and the manks ha ha. Sometimes its nice to win ugly.

Here are some player ratings from BigRaddy

Fabianski. A solid performance, not at fault for the goal – it was a superb header.His distribution was a bit suspect. 7

Eboue. Added little to the attack and was guilty of a very poor tackle. Good application 5

Squillaci. Improved performance. Unlucky not to be on the scoresheet. Could be the answer once TV comes back. 7

Djourou. Still looks rusty to me. Probably the most mobile of our CB’s. Got caught under the ball for a couple of headers and was outjumped for the goal. 6

Clichy. What has happened to his positioning? A shadow of the player we saw 3 seasons ago. 5

Song. A dynamic performance. Drove the team forward and put in some fine tackles. One of his better games though his passing was wayward on occasion 8

Nasri. Got a bit lost in the midfield hurly-burly but once again was aggressive in his attacking play. Not at his best. 7

Wilshere. Our best player prior to his rash tackle, let’s hope it is a lesson learned. Strong and disciplined in defence when required, excellent link up play and moved the ball very quickly when required. 8

Arshavin. Started really well and faded. Mr Inconsistent ran about for 20 mins the first half and went missing prior to his substitution. Is he fully fit? Does he need a break? Does he know that Arsenal play in Red? 4

Chamakh. As usual worked hard. Scored , got the penalty (I believe it was the correct decision), the focal point of our attacks. He is improving. 7

Subs:

Rosicky. Came on for Arshavin and immediately shot from distance (clearly under instructions). A good cameo. 7

Bendtner. Only had a few minutes but almost got on the end of a cross. 6

 

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46 Responses to A better day at the office ….. three points in the bag

  1. Sorry, I was waiting to get the nod from Rasp.

    Morning all

  2. Are you still there Micky? The intricate play around the penalty area and inside the box beggars belief sometimes but its worth nothing without the ball hitting the back of the net.

    If we did it quickly I’m sure we’d win more penalties but its oh so ponderous a lot of the time and then they’re trying to squeeze passes through too many legs.

  3. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Great post, especially for a loyal Gooner who could not be bothered to forsake his family duties and actually watch the game!
    One of the last words I used earlier was “directness”, but I have been cogitating in a shallow way and have come up with something that I think encompasses what we lack…
    THRUST.

  4. MickyDidIt89 says:

    In the name of THRUST, we will be good to go just as soon as we have fit and well RvP, Theo and Rosicky.

  5. Big Raddy says:

    Here’s my player ratings to be shot at…..

    Fabianski. A solid performance, not at fault for the goal – it was a superb header.His distribution was a bit suspect. 7

    Eboue. Added little to the attack and was guilty of a very poor tackle. Good application 5

    Squillaci. Improved performance. Unlucky not to be on the scoresheet. Could be the answer once TV comes back. 7

    Djourou. Still looks rusty to me. Probably the most mobile of our CB’s. Got caught under the ball for a couple of headers and was outjumped for the goal. 6

    Clichy. What has happened to his positioning? A shadow of the player we saw 3 seasons ago. 5

    Song. A dynamic performance. Drove the team forward and put in some fine tackles. One of his better games though his passing was wayward on occasion 8

    Nasri. Got a bit lost in the midfield hurly-burly but once again was aggressive in his attacking play. Not at his best. 7

    Wilshere. Our best player prior to his rash tackle, let’s hope it is a lesson learned. Strong and disciplined in defence when required, excellent link up play and moved the ball very quickly when required. 8

    Arshavin. Started really well and faded. Mr Inconsistent ran about for 20 mins the first half and went missing prior to his substitution. Is he fully fit? Does he need a break? Does he know that Arsenal play in Red? 4

    Chamakh. As usual worked hard. Scored , got the penalty (I believe it was the correct decision), the focal point of our attacks. He is improving. 7

    Subs:

    Rosicky. Came on for Arshavin and immediately shot from distance (clearly under instructions). A good cameo. 7

    Bendtner. Only had a few minutes but almost got on the end of a cross. 6

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Peaches,
    There were moments last season during RvP and Bendy’s injuries when we were playing AA up top, and I was advocating sticking Diaby up there. Lets face it, he can shoot with the correct footwear on, can’t pass or defend, and has THRUST.
    God I am pleased with myself with that word!

  7. Big Raddy says:

    Micky. One of my favourite words ;-)

    Peaches. Fine post. Did you enjoy the day out?

  8. No thrust – in truth, we have no thrust Micky.

    Rosicky made a big difference when he came on, he’s a proper footballer in that he’s played football elsewhere. Some of our team are skillful without being good footballers. Does that make sense? Arsene loves to do it his way but the raw talent has to know what’s expected of him and thats where we fail by creating our own ‘wengerball’ players.

    It comes back to the money again doesn’t it and being able to buy players rather than develop our own.

  9. Morning Raddy

    Thanks for the player ratings, I’ll attach them to the post if thats ok

  10. MickyDidIt89 says:

    “No thrust – in truth, we have no thrust Micky”.
    Are you taking the Micky out of Micky?

  11. Raddy – it was one of those games that you came away at the end thinking it could have been more enjoyable but it also could have been worse. Reminded me of last gasp Highbury games where a 1-0 was enough. The first half got really fiesty and we don’t every often see that at the Emirates – great atmosphere :D

  12. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Have a great day all. A performance is one thing, but then again, so are three points. Bye Bye.

  13. :) not so Micky, actually I’m sure that London’s first match report following the Blackpool game was titled Thunderbirds are Go so our thrust has been weakened somewhat by our injuries.

  14. Rasp says:

    Super post peaches ;)

    Diaby is an enigma wrapped up in a conundrum!

    Last week I highlighted how ridiculous the ‘new’ offside rule is – yesterday we had the perfect illustration.

    Gallas was clearly offside for the winning spud goal. The linesman flagged it but inexplicably, the ref over-ruled his own decision and allowed the goal. Huddleston’s shot was heading for the goal, but Schwarzer was aware that Gallas was in its path and likely to delect the shot. Schwarzer would have been in two minds and so did not commit to following the flight of the ball = Gallas’ presence allowed the goal to be scored. How the hell is that not interfering with play????

  15. alex says:

    Agree on Diaby.
    He just doesn’t understand the concept of counter-attacking.
    Where’s the Arsenal that were feared of their counter attacking?

    One more rant, why was Arshavin ahead of Rosicky on the last few games? In the penalty incident, Arshavin tried to shoot at an open goal and, missed! It was fortunate we got the penalty.

  16. Big Raddy says:

    Do you think it was a penalty or a dive?

    Trevor Francis was unequivocal in his claims but he would. The man is such a poor pundit – how does he get a gig. Shameful and enough to make me listen to the Spanish commentary which was unintelligible.

  17. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp. I disagreed with you at the time but upon reflection you are right. A correction to the offside laws is essential. Yesterday made it clear that the rule is subjective

  18. Big Raddy says:

    Very little has been made of Chamak’s goal which IMO showed the awareness of a top class striker. His turn and close control plus the instant finish was real quality.

    Had Rooney scored it we would have been hearing about it all week

  19. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I reckon man u are on the downard spiral. Ever so slowly but definitely tangible.

    BR

    I noticed you are flying in the Fantasy League, well done :)

  20. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    By the way BR. I got myself a 1971 long sleeve cotton replica Arsenal top from Toffs. I got number 9 on the back. Its my pride & joy :D

  21. Big Raddy says:

    You lucky lucky boy GG. I am sure you look the dog’s nuts in it.

    Do they make them in XXXXL ? ;-)

    Although I was very disappointed in AA’s performance it should be pointed out that he captained Russia in 2 vital games for them over the Interlull.

  22. Red Arse says:

    Rasp,

    I am perhaps being a bit nitpicky, but you mention a point I feel really strongly about.

    You mentioned at 10:56 that you made a point in your Post last week regarding redefining one of part of the “new” off side rules. Actually, in my response to your Post, on 9th October at 12:51, I outlined my total opposition to this pathetic rule, and explained why I held that view.

    The Huddleston “goal” yesterday, perfectly demonstrated my concerns about the application and misunderstanding of the that stupid law.

    Even “our ‘Arry” later said he did not know whether it was a goal or not because he could not understand the current offside law. If managers don’t understand it, no wonder there are so many arguments between them and the referees, who also don’t seem to understand it.

    Stand up Mr Blatter and take a bow. Another of your nonsense rule changes. (or lack thereof, such as goal line technology!)

  23. Tim says:

    Personally, I thought Chamakh was better than a seven, notwithstanding his dubious tumble for the penalty. His workrate is prodigious, he leads the line well and his goal was sublime. I know I say this every week, but it’s easy to forget he has been in English football for less than two months – even Bergkamp, Henry and Pires needed a while to acclimatise to the Premier League, but Chamakh has slotted right in as if he has always been here. Superb.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/10/16/chamakhs-dubious-dive-and-dancing-dribble-down-dour-brum/

  24. tom says:

    How embarrassing. After being lauded a hypocrite for waging a war on tough tackling once all his dirty players, like Vieira (more red cards than anyone in the history of Premiership football), Keown, Lauren etc. have left, Arsene Wenger was left with egg on his face on Saturday afternoon.
    Arsenal youngster, Jack Wilshere, was guilty of a nasty tackle when playing against Birmingham today. So, you would expect that after spending weeks ranting about the dangers of bad tackles, Wenger would criticise his own player, right? After singling out individual players in on other teams, he would surely expect his own players to set the example, right? After claiming our very own Paul Scholes had a “dark side”, then he would be happy to admit the same about his own player, right? Course not.
    “He mistimed his tackle and got a red card, which he deserved. He did not spend his whole game trying to kick people, he was one of the best players on the pitch today. It was more of frustration and did not want to hurt the player, but we do not complain about the red card.”
    When one of his players makes a horrible challenge, something he admits is worthy of a straight red, he’s got an excuse or a reason. First he claims it was a mistimed challenge, then he concedes it was a bad challenge which came out of frustration. Is that ok? Is it alright to go in late on someone because you’re frustrated?
    You can’t have it both ways Wenger.

  25. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Ha Ha BR I can guarantee they make them in XXL :oops:

  26. Red Arse says:

    Tom,

    I cannot see your point.

    Jack committed a mistimed tackle, which both he and Arsene admitted was worthy of a red card.

    AW has made comments about various football related matters, including his dislike for dreadfully reckless tackles, having had 3 players almost crippled in recent seasons.

    There is nothing mutually exclusive there. Your short sighted bias has made your complaints incomprehensible with your muddled aggregation of disparate isssues, and resulting fuzzy logic.

    By the way, has Ferguson ever, and I mean ever, admitted that any Manure player has been in the wrong, even going back to when Keane crippled an opponent?

    I know it’s Sunday, but we don’t need preaching from a Manu fan, thank you.

  27. Red Arse says:

    That’s easy for you to say red Arse, because Frothing and I go to Sunday Service every week, and we need a bit of preaching, even if it is from a Surrey Manu supporter!

    What would Sharkey say? :-)

  28. rockylives says:

    Hello All
    A Few points:

    BR – did you leave Diaby out of your player ratings because you were so annoyed with him?

    The Penalty – the MoTD boys actually got this one right. Dann made a stupid lunge and got a slight touch on Chamakh.

    But on Chamakh’s goal they referred to him ‘riding his luck’, which I think fails to do justice to his skill: he dummied to kick the ball, forcing Carr to pull out of committing, then pirouetted round the defender to where he knew the ball would be and slotted it home. Shades of DB10 away at Newcastle.

    Did anyone else spot the ABSOLUTELY STUNNING defending by Squillaci when Zigic had a chance to make it 2-0? Watch the incident again (the excellent Arsenalist has it – arsenalist.com). Squelchy got in front of Zigic and Bowyer to get his toe to the ball. If he hadn’t it would have been 2-0 and West Brom all over again. Great determination and skill. It was defending straight out of the Tony Adams/Martin Keown ‘how to’ book.

  29. rockylives says:

    @Tom
    Arsene Wenger says the tackle deserved a red.
    Jack Wilshere says it deserved a red and has apologised.
    Two bits of class that you’ll seldom see emanating from the Theatre of IOUs.
    How’s the weather in Godalming today?

  30. Red Arse says:

    Spot on, Rocky,

    The sort of defending that endears me to someone I originally thought was suspect! :-)

    I am so pleased we got shot of Adebarndoor. Abysmal in the first half against Blackpool.

    Hope he does not prove me wrong in the 2nd half.

  31. Red Arse says:

    Rocky, :-)

  32. Big Raddy says:

    Fine performance from L’pool today. How can a team make one of the world’s finest strikers look completely toothless.

    Relegation is unlikely but so will be European football :-D

    Rocky. I dont know what happened to my Diaby comment – I wrote one complimenting his fantastic dribbling skills and gave him a 7

  33. Big Raddy says:

    OK After two wins for our rivals earned purely by dodgy refereeing, it is time to review the offside rules!!

  34. Rasp says:

    Raddy, you are correct. Blackpool scored a goal today where the goalscorer was onside but other players weren’t. IMO, those players were less guilty of interfering with play than in the totnum game, but this referee disallowed the goal = 2 extra points for citeh.

    The FIFA/UEFA should produce definitive rules that, as far as possible, are not subjective and so make the referee’s job easier.

  35. Rasp says:

    Red Arse @ 12:28

    I wasn’t claiming the intellectual rights to the suggestion that the new offside rule should be scrapped. I wrote a piece that made the suggestion and you responded with added conviction.

    I perceive you have very strong feelings on the subject, so why not vent your spleen in an article for us? :P

  36. Big Raddy says:

    Come on RA …… you can do it!

  37. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Thrust Arsenal, Thrust.
    Yip, still pretty pleased with myself.
    Goodnight.

  38. Benwell says:

    Did you hear Jamie Rednapp on Sky saying that he knows it got a touch from a Spuds player on the way that was obviously Gallas.
    Poor old Blackpool got mugged by the ref three times today, this interferring rule is a joke.
    As for Diaby, what position was he playing because I couldn’t work it out.
    He might as well sit on the ball when he goes on a break and let everyone get back, if he was in a queue in the bank he would get to the front then forget what he was there for and go to the back again. (cheers Dickie)

  39. rockylives says:

    Benwell: :)

  40. Yus Habibi says:

    What a great article. My favourite is Fabianski. Best player ever…

  41. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    I say good on le Prof. More heavy tackles please mon ami from the boyz. The FA don’t seem to want to listen to moaning (who does ;) anyway) so its time to leave the opo players groaning :twisted:

    Plus the odd elbow in the opos snozza @ corners. Its Hammer :oops: I mean Gooner time :evil:

  42. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Several media outlets in the UK are reporting that Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney will leave the club in January.

    Speculation on Sunday was rife that Rooney would leave Old Trafford after an alleged rift with manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

    The rift has been ongoing and is believed to have stemmed from News of the World’s allegations that Rooney paid over 1,000 pounds to a prostitute while his wife Coleen was pregnant with her first child.

    Ferguson has chosen to leave Rooney out of his side in recent weeks citing an ankle injury, but the striker contradicted him by saying he had no issues with ankle recently.

    When Rooney was left out of Manchester United’s starting line-up on Saturday against West Bromwich Albion, talk continued before the Guardian reported that he told the club he has no intention of signing a new contract and wants to move to another club.

    The Daily Mail reported that journalists after the match on Saturday suggested that any Rooney questions after the match would see their interview with assistant manager Mike Phelan terminated.

    They also said that Rooney was ‘effectively on the transfer list’ and that Rooney told his England team-mates during the week that he was ‘fed up’ with Manchester United and would be looking for a new club soon.

    The speculation gathered so much momentum that the club had to make a statement on the issue.

    ‘To suggest Wayne Rooney will be sold in January is nonsense,’ a club spokesman said.

    With Rooney said to be wanting out, it is likely that the Premier League club will sell him in January to cash in on his value, as his contracts runs out at the end of the 2011/12 season.

    If they refuse to sell the striker, he could leave the club on a free transfer which would be a hammer-blow to the financially troubled club.

    Last season’s Premier League runners-up have a gross debt of over 520 million pounds and in addition to that sum, have 225 million pounds of high-interest loans that they are required to pay back.

    To lose an asset worth potentially more than 50 million pounds would be a big hit to the club.

    The Daily Mail also linked the striker to Manchester City and revealed that they have previously expressed an interest in the former Everton forward.

    While moving to Manchester United’s city rivals would anger supporters of the club, it should not disrupt Rooney who has already made one courageous move in his career.

    After scoring a goal for boyhood club Everton, he displayed a shirt which read ‘Once a Blue, Always a Blue’ before departing the club and moving to Manchester.

    Rooney could also more than double his wages at City and would not be forced to leave his home.

    He scored 36 goals from 43 appearances in all competitions last season for Ferguson’s side but has only netted once this season.

  43. Big Raddy says:

    We have a spare €50+ m. Sign him up.

    Rooney would be great at THOF. Almost a perfect player for us and Colleen wants to move to London.

    As if ………………

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Kelsey. Do you know which PL team has had the most shots so far this season?

    Arsenal.

    Which shows that eyes can deceive

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/football/rankings/4949054/Premier-League-Statistics.html

  45. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Colleen?

    Is his wife Irish :)

  46. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

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