Some goals, some heroes – Back to the future….

Arsenal3 Celtic2

It was only a pre-season friendly but having taken the lead after 2 minutes following some wonderful build-up play I felt sure that Celtic were going to get a hiding. Watching the footage of the first goal again I was amazed to see Theo running back to stay on-side before LJ passed to him and he in turn flashed the ball across the front of the goal for the onrushing Vela to tap home.  There, you see, Theo does have a footballing brain  but sadly that was about the only time he used it.

Theo’s name  receives the loudest cheer when the teams are announced, the collective wills of 60,000 people want our No. 14 to be the hero and its still not happening.  His crosses were whipped into the box time and time again to no-one. Someone, somewhere has to be learning a lesson from this, if its not Theo then who??? On a positive note he did take a pretty amazing free-kick that he’s obviously been practising and was unlucky not to score.

Another player unlucky not to score was Wilshire who received the ball on the edge of the box from a Rosicky corner. His perfectly executed volley hit the bar and he was quick to head the ball as it returned to him but the keeper was as quick and denied the young mid-fielder his goal. Wilshire is also a hero in the making and there is talk of him being called up to the England squad. If he had scored with this volley he would have cemented his place in Arsenal folklore but I believe he’ll have many more chances to do that.

Thomas Vermaelen is already a hero in my book, he is aggressive in everything he does and the shot he blasted at the keeper must have stung his hands. He scored some great goals for us at the start of last season and I’m hoping that being the caretaker at the back doesn’t stop him getting the chances again.

But there was to be an unlikely hero in this game and it came in the form of Bacary Sagna who scored a fantastic goal in the last minute of the first half. All his team-mates rushed to celebrate with him and a few had wry smiles as they left the pitch for half-time thinking of the chances that had been missed.

It was hard for Arshavin and Chamakh to get any sort of hold on the game when they were introduced late on in the second half but Nasri was busy again playing in the Cesc role. Although Wilshire was awarded MOTM, Frimpong put in another solid performance and I hope he gets his chance.  He’s lively and aggressive, had a few misplaced passes but always chased back after the ball.

It was all going to plan – 3-0 up and the party atmosphere was infectious cue panic and a nail-biting finish.

Celtic were awarded a penalty as Wilshire dragged a player down in the box which was skied by Samaras and then the visitors set about ruffling some feathers scoring two goals late on. We were again left with the familiar feeling of having played some beautiful football, created what could have been some amazing goals but we could have been undone by some chronic defending.

Here we go again ………………………….

30 Responses to Some goals, some heroes – Back to the future….

  1. tommystout says:

    yeah here we go again indeed.
    i believe that wenger is going to bring in another CB, its a no brainer. I don’t however believe that there will be another keeper, so will one of the current crop be able to step up? i don’t know.
    I think almunia getting the armband is always a bad sign, why did TV not get it.
    On the whole i enjoyed the emirates cup, the highlight for me is that wilshire is ready, frimpong has also stepped up and i believe has saved us a fortune in defensive cover. Kozzer & TV when they started the first day looked good together.
    Just get a centreback Mr Wenger please. If you don’t get another 10m centreback then you need to sign a worldclass goalkeeper, and we know you aint gonna do that.

  2. Rasp says:

    Good and generous post peaches 😉

    What you omitted to report was that everything fell apart when Vermaelen was subbed. Koscielny looked stiff and tired when he was warming up and played that way when he took to the pitch. The first goal was entirely his fault when he committed himself to intercept a ball half way up the pitch that he was never going to get and for the second goal he was hopelessly out of position. Djourou looked shaky in the first half too but TV was always around to steady things at the back. He went on a run through the midfield and suddenly forgot what he was doing and fell over the ball unchallenged.

    I know kozzer had a great game on saturday, but yestrday he was completely out of sorts for his short appearance.

    If we do not buy another quality CB, it will be vital that TV stays fit all season as it is his presence that holds the whole defence together.

    So much for strenghtening the defence this summer -here we are with the same keepers and two fewer defenders.

    The plus side is definitely Frimpong. What an engine this guy has. He misplaced a few passes but Gilberto used to do that too. He is already advanced on the stage Song was at when he was drafted into the side. I am a big fan of Song, but Frimpong seems to have more energy and be busier on the pitch. When he gains experience and greater positional knowhow, he will challenge Song for his place in the side.

  3. charybdis1966 says:

    Morning all, very fair assessment of the game Peachy, but I’d like to put on my schoolmasters hat and point out 2 spelling mistakes.
    It should be “wry” not “rye” and its “chronic” not “cronic.”
    Sorry Peachy for being pedantic 🙂

  4. tommystout says:

    rasp – if we didnt know frimpongs background – he wouldnt have looked out of place as a arsenals new 10m defensive midfielder signing!
    so i’m very happy about him, and yes he does look as though he will be better than song in a couple of seasons.

  5. tommystout says:

    yes as obviously apparant as it was last season it is essential TV stays fit all season…. and thats too much to ask.
    i think wenger fully understands this though, watch this space 🙂

  6. charybdis1966 says:

    Yes TommyS – Frimpong is good enough to play in the Carling and against some of the lesser lights in the FA Cup, but I still feel we really need a “ready to play” DM as back up for Song.
    However, as is the consensus and has Wenger has said, we are no longer in the market for a DM. Pity that.

  7. Morning chary – I knew they were wrong but the editing dept did a disappearing act at the crucial point 😳

  8. Rasp says:

    Hi tommy,

    He (Frimpong) is very strong and several times just barged players off the ball with his hip with considerable force but not in a way that the ref could call a foul. He is also very good at shielding the ball and some of his passing was very good. When he kept his passing short and early, he was excellent, it was only when he tried the clever through balls that he sometimes gave away posession. If he can break up play and gain possession and then feed the likes of Cesc, Nasri and AA, he will be a great asset to the side.

    I know Jack is getting a lot of accolades this morning, but he definitely tires after after 70 minutes. The penalty he gave away was ridiculous; he lost possession by trying to be too clever in the box and just lunged in from behind – he has to control his aggression in a positive way.

  9. Rasp says:

    Sorry peaches 😳 I was out for an early morning cyle ride as part of my new get fit campaign.

  10. Rasp says:

    I don’t know about Kipmonster’s ‘let’s get Barça’ petition; perhaps it would be more helpful if he waged a ‘Let’s get Mertseacker’ campaign……

  11. charybdis1966 says:

    LOL Peachy, you just can’t get the staff nowadays.
    BTW, are you guys going to members day on Thursday ?

  12. tommystout says:

    rasp-i was impressed with Jacks tackling yesterday, he’s certainly added something to his game with his spell at bolton, even if he is a bit on the edge sometimes, i love it that he not over awed by his opponent.
    yes maybe he did tire but he was all over the place and 2 games in 2 days!!
    I’m delighted with him, he has a role for us this season.

  13. tommystout says:

    anyone else that suffer the commentry yesterday on sky…. god i want a button where i can just turn them off – please sky please.

  14. Rasp says:

    I agree he (LJW) should get games this season tommy, he is a rough diamond gifted with exceptional talent. His dribbling runs were up there with Nasri’s yesterday.

    He is a little street battler of a player. I just think he is not ready to play the full ninety and AW should sub him when he looks tired or if he gets a yellow and keeps jumping into tackles.

  15. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Why is Coco Se Clown still Captain? What is the reasoning there. He is being offered as a transfer one day, then given the arm band the next. That just doesn’t sit well with me.

    Maybe all this talk that Arsene Wenger is losing the plot has some “mewit” after all.

  16. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Wenger is bigging Jack W, Ping Pong & Theo as future England stars, or something. Is this Le Ebeneezer Scrooge dropping hints that he wants the most jinxed job in world football, England manager?

  17. Hi gnarley – I don’t think he wants the England job I think he thinks its good PR for Arsenal to have young English players coming through. I have read that Frimpong wants to play for Ghana and not England though 😦

  18. gnarleygeorge9 says:

    Peaches, does Back to the Future have anything to do with The Clock End & North Bank being resurrected. If so, then you can guarantee “Boring Boring Arsene” being heard in the outer. I just can’t get up for The Club anymore. Its just the same old pre season crap again.

  19. It just felt like the same old same old – coasting along and then wham, 3-2 and time for them to get a third. They weren’t even that good

  20. Brian in New York says:

    I’m with Tommy (@10:29) and Rasp (@10:31) re: Wilshire. After playing a full game Saturday, he came out and put in a great sixty-five minutes yesterday. He didn’t miss a pass, got his rocket of a shot off the cross-bar, and even made a few successful tackles from behind on Celtic players trying to advance the ball. The drag-down penalty in the box was stupid, but I think that’s because he was both tired and a little frazzled by Samaras, whose arrival on the pitch seemed to shake everyone on our side. But Wilshire is totally ready for the first team, and I’m glad to hear that AW won’t be loaning him out.

  21. Rasp says:

    Welcome Brian,

    Are you an ex-pat gooner, or one of the impressive bank of US supporters?

    I think the midfield and attack are stronger than last year without doubt, but I am begining to worry about the defence. The stats prove that it is the teams with the best defence who win the Premiership. You only have to look at how Milan v Barcelona to see the perfect illustration of how (on average) teams with a strong defences will triumph over those who concentrate on the offensive side. The theory that you can win by simply outscoring the opponents is a fallacy.

  22. dandan says:

    Well done Peaches funny isn’t it how different people see different games. But great to have the footy back.

    Hi Rasp…… beginning to worry you say, what you been doing for the past month then mate, god help us when you do get worried,

    The defence will be fine, trust me help is on its way.

  23. Rasp says:

    Hi dandan,

    I think you misunderstand me. I consider myself to be more of a ‘forward thinking commentator’ than a stress head 😉

    What worried me yesterday was how poor kozzer was after a good display the day before – maybe he has stamina issues. Jack and Nasri have played a lot of games but still seemed to have plenty left in them.

    We can expect the young players to be on/off in their form. JET was pretty poor after a great performance in Austria. I am impressed with Frimpong’s consistency. Kozzer needs to be up for every game if he is to be first choice CB.

  24. Brian in New York says:

    I’m a new(ish) soccer fan and a newly minted Gooner. I’ve followed World Cups since 1994, but this year, with the profusion of online news; YouTube and other video highlights; and supporters’ blogs, I really got into the tournament, and rather than wander off after July 11 I’ve become fanatical. Also, my work is in the visual art world–I’m a writer–and it’s been nice to have something _other_ than art to talk about with my European colleagues.

    You’ll probably see me commenting here more often.


  25. Rasp says:

    Thanks Brian,

    You will always be welcome on this site. There is a link to an excellent US Arsenal site, 7amkickoff, on the right hand side of this page if you’re interested.

  26. ArseChicago says:

    Quick observations from the weekend:

    Nasri – Very fit, reborn and looks to be a man on a mission
    Rosicky – Reminded us of his tremendous and clever ballhandling skills this weekend
    Theo – Showed flashes, but what I can’t get past is his forgoing a shot during the second half yesterday when no one was between he and the GK. He’s got to get some balls and just let that rip instead of just trying to center it amidst the crowd of defenders.
    Chamakh – If I’m Bendtner, I’ve probably just had my “oh, shit” moment. Chamakh looks to be faster, more athletic and possessive of better feet than our great Dane. Chamakh is going to be a force.
    Vela – Also looking more fit and made some youtube worthy penetrating moves this weekend. Very good show from him. Still has to prove himself.
    Wilshere – That shot he took without the ball coming down to the ground first where he hit the top post was amazing. Sure he’s got a lot of room to improve, but he looks comfortable enough out there. He’s a lock to stay with the squad.
    Frimpong – He should probably still go out on loan, but he’s quickly becoming a blogosphere favorite. Great strength and energy.
    Kos – Kudos, Wenger. We’ve got another hard working, fast, smart and confident CB along the lines of Vermaelen.
    Goalkeepers – It is what it is. Some great saves from Mooney yesterday. Fabianski looked alright too.
    Clichy and Gibbs – Each looked great this weekend. Loved yesterday when Clichy faked a cross and instead cut right, pushed towards the box and passed it in. Thing of beauty watching these two bomb up the side.

    Scary to think about how we were missing Cesc, RvP, Bendy, Song, Denilson. The good news is that watching the lads this weekend, I didn’t really dwell too much on who was not out there. We looked pretty dynamic. Overall, despite the goals allowed, I’m quite excited based on what I saw. If we can pick up another CB with good EPL experience, I’ll really be feeling quite better.

  27. kelsey says:

    Afternoon all,

    More or less everything summed up well in the headline post by peaches and some optism and caution by others.

    Well i have a mixed reaction.

    It was good to see Vermaelen and then Wilshere have two outstanding cracks from outside the box and Theo showed glimpses of improvement.note, I say glimpses,he still has the infuriating habit of not looking up when crossing the ball and when he cut to the bye line again he should have cut back to either Nasri or Wilshere who were waiting.

    Rasp made a good point that when Vermaelen went off, our defensive issues reared their ugly head again.

    If it had been a competitive game that really mattered it reminded me of the Wigan game, when we cruising ,and again 5-0 wouldn’t have flattered us when we were 3 -0 up against an ordinary Celtic side, yet but for a truly horrible penalty miss this game might have ended as a draw.

    Our crossing is generally woeful, and no matter how many players were or were not in the box, the majority of crosses were never going to cause a threat.Why not drill the ball on the floor as for our opening goal ?

    I actually thought Fabianaki played better than Almunia, and that might be a minority opinion.
    Keepers have to be shot stoppers, which he is, but Almunia’s positioning is never great and the ball he palmed over the bar nearly got tipped into his own net,as he was a yard or so too far off his line, just as he did somewhere last year.

    However it doesn’t look like we will be signing a new keeper,but Wenger will be concerned for a team that prides itself on fitness, in both games we wilted in the last twenty minutes,even allowing for various subs.
    Nasri,Chamakh and Vermaelen looked very composed, Jack though a little spicy has a natural football brain, and Eboue is just loved by everyone.When Sagna scored I thought he(Eboue) was going to make love to him 🙂

    If we consider that Cesc,RVP ,Diabyand Denilson and Song were all missing, a good work out yet again, but the need for more cover in defence remains evident.

  28. barumgooner says:

    Hello All. I agree with you Kelsey that Fabianski did look the more composed of the two keepers. I think little Jack will get regular appearances as a sub this year. The problem again yesterday as has already been mentioned is that TV went off. The trouble is that he is a leader and inspires confidence which I think brought out the best in Koscielny but when he is not there its a different matter. So many times last year when Cesc was out the forward minded players reacted the same way and when Vermaelen got injured towards the end of the season the defence just collapsed. We dont need so much to find a partner for TV as a player as mentally strong as him so if one is injured or suspended then we still have those qualities on the pitch. I have been impressed with Koscielny but it will take him time to bed in.

  29. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  30. FLAVOUR says:

    Here we go again

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