One Nil to The Arsenal

League positions usually go out of the window when there is a local derby, and West Ham who had fared quite well against us in recent years came with the obvious intention of not losing. Expectations were high amongst the home supporters after seemingly scoring for fun whoever we played in the last few weeks,yet it soon became apparent this was going to be in the main an all out attack against a resilient defence. I don’t think I am being too harsh in saying that this wasn’t one of our most fluent performances as unusually Cesc and co weren’t on top of their game yet others who had been criticised lately, mainly Clichy and Sagna both had outstanding games. Koscienly is performing better with every game and his partnership with Squillaci looked solid. Fabianski had little to do, but he is reborn,oozing confidence and commanded his area well. Long may that continue.

Arshavin is just totally out of form and should have been substituted earlier and Denilson didn’t have the best of games. Chamakh is only human, and he too found it difficult to impose himself.

Nevertheless as the game progressed Nasri started to control the game and the surge continued, and he blasted a free kick from a full 35 yards which hit the crossbar. Song,who obviously enjoys his role as an attacking/defending centre back or is it midfielder kept moving forward more and more. Eventually Walcott was introduced and within minutes was unfortunate not to score, hitting the angle of the post which rebounded to the excellent Green. Green made several other outstanding saves, primarily from Fabregas and Walcott and many watching felt resigned to us drawing against our East London neighbours.

Everyone was on edge and the clock was ticking down, when Clichy cut inside from the left flank and sent in a curling ball and there was our unsung hero  Song to head the ball into the net.That is three goals in three games for the much maligned Alex.

The final minutes were a master class of possession by the lads and as the final whistle blew there were smiles all round and a huge sigh of relief.

1-0 to The Arsenal :)

Player ratings courtesy of RockyLives:

Fabianski: Not a lot to do, but when he had to do it he was composed and sure. His confidence is growing visibly and there was a wonderful moment when he was literally dragging Cesc onto position in the box as we defended a free kick or corner. (I gave him an extra half mark for that). 7.5

Sagna: some misplaced passes in the final third but excellent defensively. 7

Koscielny: didn’t put a foot wrong. His tackling and positional play were first rate and he’s brilliant at staying on his feet and steering opponents away from danger without diving in. MoTM: 8

Squillaci: another good game for The Squid, who is forming a solid partnership with Kozzer. He made some strong tackles when needed, always looks calm and is a threat in the opposition’s box from set pieces. 7

Clichy: comes in for a lot of stick for his positional play but he was good today (partly helped by West Ham’s lack of ambition). And a rare assist for the vital goal. 7

Song: worked his socks off playing box to box and scored the late winner. West Ham’s lack of threat in attack meant you never felt too worried about any potential holes he was leaving. Got his customary first-half yellow for diving in in a non-crucial area. 7.5

Denilson: Tidy, if unspectacular. Nevertheless with Song charging forward his conservative positioning was important. 6.5

Fabregas: Not one of his better games. His touch was off and he misplaced a third of his passes, which is very uncharacteristic. On the plus side he kept trying to make things happen and had a couple of attempts on goal. 6

Arshavin: what’s happened to the player who single-handedly destroyed Liverpool? Nothing worked for him and it was painful to watch at times. Sadly the time has come to take him out of the spotlight for a few games. 4

Nasri: not as influential as he has been in other recent games (partly because Cesc and Arsh were misfiring, so our rhythm was never properly established). But he still did well and was driving us forward at the end. 7

Chamakh: some have criticised him for yesterday’s performance but in truth he was a victim of our general lack of fluidity and West Ham’s packed defence. It’s not as if he missed a hatful of sitters, it’s just that he couldn’t get in the game. 6.5

Subs

Walcott: continued his good recent form and was unlucky not to score. 7

Bendtner: didn’t have time to make much of an impact but definitely added to our threat as we chased the winner. 7

Eboue: a typical Eboue cameo: 6

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36 Responses to One Nil to The Arsenal

  1. Carlito11 says:

    Spot on write up Kelsey. A third clean sheet in a row is one of the main positives for me and Walcott really looks like the player we’d all hoped he’d become. A resiliant performance from west ham- the team (if not us nervous fans) stayed patient. A good three points! :-)

  2. Big Raddy says:

    Fine report Kelsey. Nothing to add.

    As you say Arshavin looked lost again. I cannot understand why he doesn’t switch wings when he is getting no joy down the left. It wasn’t as if WHU were an attacking threat and he was needed to back up Clichy.

    Why wasn’t Parker sent off? He made some dreadful tackles – took out Cesc early in the first half with a late tackle and then almost broke Denilson’s back. Fine player but the ref. was very lenient with him

  3. Rasp says:

    Morning, spot on with the match report kelsey.

    I haven’t been Clichy’s biggest fan of late but his pin point cross for Song’s header was superb, as far as I am concerned, Clichy won us the game.

  4. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Thats pretty much how I saw it as well kelsey, although the photo @ the top of the page needs to be updated of the free scoring sheeps head :)

    I must admit, I was quite confident that Arsenel would get the goal. The thing that made me nervous was West Ham equalising through Cole :) Anyway, its all good, chamonee!

  5. Rasp says:

    Morning GG,

    There isn’t a good head shot of Song available sporting the blond locks so you’re just going to have to use your imagination. I didn’t like the look at first – too much like Harpo Marx, but I don’t care now as long as he keeps scoring ;)

  6. Tim says:

    We have now scored 10 goals in 15 games this season between minutes 81 and 90 – a real compliment to the belief and never-say-die attitude of the side.

    Song continues to develop as an all-round midfielder, bit just a defensive one. His versatility is a huge bonus because other teams just don’t pick up his unexpected runs. It gives us another weapon – never a bad thing.

    http://thearmchairsportsfan.com/2010/10/30/song-nails-hammers-to-overcome-woodwork-failures/

  7. Red Arse says:

    Well summed up Kelsey. :-)

    What was a worryingly late winner, could so easily have been a straightforward win, if either or both of Theo’s shot, or Nasri’s wonder strike had gone in instead of just striking the post or the crossbar.

    That’s football!

  8. dandan says:

    A good game for the nail chewers among us but the right result in the end….. I know it is not the done thing to say I told you so, but a look back at the negatives posted on here last season after Chris Twaddle’s and Hansell and Gretells comments re Woolcott not getting his head up, would I am sure cause some to reflect. Also we are at last attacking the far post which is where Theo was putting his crosses. The boy is a work in progress and will cause those faded geniuses to choke on the biased ramblings they present as informed opinion, as Theo becomes the super star for us and England many of us have always thought he would. Jusy pray we can hang on to him.

  9. GunnerPete says:

    Well mate that is a good honest write up and shows that some of our supporters actually watch the matches.

    Arsene the Great will soon have his dream squad to pick from and Im glad he has to do it. What I can see is Kossy being used in MF when Vermy comes back.

    The team/s we can put out will be trophy winning for sure ie;

    Fabiansky…Sagna Vermy Squilli Clichy

    Kossy & Song

    Wilshire Cesc Ramsey
    Chamakh

    Or perm the following…..Theo, Arsharvin, Eboue, Gibbs, Nasri, Rosicky, Bentner, Denilson, Diaby, and soon Wellington & JET !!!

    Beat that from any other team in UK ??

  10. Rasp says:

    If Cesc is still carrying a hamstring injury, he should not even step foot on the plane for Shakhtar. Wilshere will be back and fired up. Cesc admitted that he couldn’t turn properly due to his hamstring and that may explain what was, by his standards, a lack luster performance. Cesc has had this niggling hamstring for over a year. I pray he gets a rest at the end of this season, there are no tournaments I am aware of.

  11. kelsey says:

    You won’t believe it but 5 minutes after I wrote the post we had a total power cut in our area,and have literally just come back on.(Quite usual over here)

    Thanks for the comments.

  12. RockyLives says:

    Spot on write up Kelsey. I loved “unsung hero Song.”

    Here’s my version of the ratings:

    Fabianski: Not a lot to do, but when he had to do it he was composed and sure. His confidence is growing visibly and there was a wonderful moment when he was literally dragging Cesc onto position in the box as we defended a free kick or corner. (I gave him an extra half mark for that). 7.5

    Sagna: some misplaced passes in the final third but excellent defensively. 7

    Koscielny: didn’t put a foot wrong. His tackling and positional play were first rate and he’s brilliant at staying on his feet and steering opponents away from danger without diving in. MoTM: 8

    Squillaci: another good game for The Squid, who is forming a solid partnership with Kozzer. He made some strong tackles when needed, always looks calm and is a threat in the opposition’s box from set pieces. 7

    Clichy: comes in for a lot of stick for his positional play but he was good today (partly helped by West Ham’s lack of ambition). And a rare assist for the vital goal. 7

    Song: worked his socks off playing box to box and scored the late winner. West Ham’s lack of threat in attack meant you never felt too worried about any potential holes he was leaving. Got his customary first-half yellow for diving in in a non-crucial area. 7.5

    Denilson: Tidy, if unspectacular. Nevertheless with Song charging forward his conservative positioning was important. 6.5

    Fabregas: Not one of his better games. His touch was off and he misplaced a third of his passes, which is very uncharacteristic. On the plus side he kept trying to make things happen and had a couple of attempts on goal. 6

    Arshavin: what’s happened to the player who single-handedly destroyed Liverpool? Nothing worked for him and it was painful to watch at times. Sadly the time has come to take him out of the spotlight for a few games. 4

    Nasri: not as influential as he has been in other recent games (partly because Cesc and Arsh were misfiring, so our rhythm was never properly established). But he still did well and was driving us forward at the end. 7

    Chamakh: some have criticised him for yesterday’s performance but in truth he was a victim of our general lack of fluidity and West Ham’s packed defence. It’s not as if he missed a hatful of sitters, it’s just that he couldn’t get in the game. 6.5

    Subs

    Walcott: continued his good recent form and was unlucky not to score. 7

    Bendtner: didn’t have time to make much of an impact but definitely added to our threat as we chased the winner. 7

    Eboue: a typical Eboue cameo: 6

  13. Rasp says:

    Thanks Rocky,

    I’ve added your ratings to the article.

  14. Neamman says:

    Much maligned Song? Yes ..he is but certainly not by me. I thought originally he is going too far forward but obviously AW has seen something in training and given him his head. Result 3 goals. I am of the opinion we should never criticise our plyers because even the wost of them is 10,000 times better than we are. We really dont have a clue about the playing end of football. I have been watching the Arsenal for 50 years almost and I have never booed one of our players. To my shame I was one of those who chanted “Wright must go” over Billy wright but lets face it.. most of the 71 double team were signed during his watch.

  15. kelsey says:

    Neamman,

    I would love to talk to you about commodities and your feeling that hard cash will eventually be a thing of the past.Is that your line of work ?

  16. Neamman says:

    Kelsey
    you can get me at neamman@hotmail.com. No I was a banker but teaching English now plus have some side
    business(es).

  17. SharkeySure says:

    Afternoon all.

    Every good thing that Song does is a kick in the arse for his detractors, not that there are too many of them left mind you.

    Kozzer has been a revelation since day 1 at Anfield. That day he won his one on ones with Torres, and some idiots suggested that Torres wasn’t fully fit. Since then Kozzer has proven to us all that he really is the real deal, and is ready to take on all comers

  18. RockyLives says:

    Kelsy – I happen to think Neamann is right. You should check out the ‘Crash Course’ on Chris Martenson’s site (www.chrismartenson.com)
    It’s sobering stuff, and is one of the reasons I am now living in Canada.

  19. kelsey says:

    Hi rocky.

    he may well be right,that’s why I am interested.

    By the way did you read that I wrote yesterday that you and gunnerN5 live quite close by.

  20. kelsey says:

    Thanks for the link.This need a hell of a lot of time to grab the concept.

    If you want to amuse yourself,go over to the other channel and see one man’s crusade against the authors.Very articulate,very polite yet everything is falling on deaf ears.

  21. SharkeySure says:

    Agreed Kelsey…Jacob’s doing very well isn’t he. Good lad. I sometimes feel to send a message of support to people like him and QoS who stand for ‘all that is right amd good’

    Surferosa/Surfer X is a legend over there in my eyes!!

    The ‘younger author’ is showing signs of cracking up with his general tetchiness of late. He gets more and more like ‘the older one’ each week it seems.

  22. RockyLives says:

    Cheers Kelsey. Is gunnern5 in Toronto?

  23. Video says:

    The perfect information. Thanks

  24. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    AA23 would appear to be off par for some games. A 4 rating may be a bit harsh when you consider the theory that he may be being used sometimes by Le Gaffer as a foil, drawing in defenders when in posession, which leaves others free. But the thing that negates that theory is that sometimes his passes don’t find the target & then the opo mount a counter ;) Oh well, its just a theory :)

    One thing’s 4 sure. Alex Song has found this range, which is an extra valuable string in his bow, & I spose The Arsenal’s armoury.

  25. gunnern5 says:

    Rockylives: I live in London, Ontario.

  26. Neamman says:

    I am in Mississauga when I am not in Asia.

  27. RockyLives says:

    Sounds like we should have a party!!! I’m in downtown TO.

  28. Neamman says:

    http://www.kitco.com/

    Kelsey et al, this is a great site

  29. Neamman says:

    RL, I should be back for the winter. Whats the name of the pub at Yonge and Bloor, just south of Bloor? Ever watched games there? I used to sneak off work to watch our CL games there.

  30. Neamman says:

    http://www.mexicomike.ca/php/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?p=127532#127532

    Sorry for non Arsenal stuff.

    Kelsey/RL
    This site is a TO based one. The owner writes for the Investors Digest. He sometimes arranges meetings at a pub where we just meet and discuss invsting. The site is PM based but also has discussion, general interest and other invstments. I find it very useful. It has grown to over 3500 registered users

  31. RockyLives says:

    Thanks Neamann, will check it out.
    Not sure I know the Yonge and Bloor pub, but there seem to be plenty that show the games.

  32. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    G5

    G’Day mate.Long time no see :shock:

  33. Neamman says:

    RL yeah I usually go to one in Mississauga as I cancelled my Setanta as I am away so often. Only been in Canada 2 months in the last 15

  34. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

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