So far so good Part 2. Midfield and Attack – written by BigRaddy

The midfield has been very good. Nasri continued his pre-season form and looks a fantastic player, his injury is a blow.  To see Nasri  take on and beat a player then lay off an accurate pass is to see the future of this Arsenal team. Should /When Cesc goes, this will o’ the wisp is his natural successor – assuming he remains fit.

But how brilliant has Rosicky been?  In the absence of Fab and Samir he was my MotM against Blackpool and showed what we have been missing. Barring injury I anticipate a great season for him.  That our lightweight midfield outplayed a very strong L’Pool midfield consisting of 2 England first choice players and Mascherano (who was superb) gives enormous hope for the future.

It was brave of Wenger to play Wilshere at Anfield but he wasn’t overawed and gave good account of himself. He has yet to stamp himself upon a game though we all know his time will come. Whether he accepts a bench role for a season or two is another matter, but whilst we have such a wealth of superb atttacking MF’s , he will have to wait his time.

Diaby has been solid, not spectacular, though his goal at the Emirates was the best we have scored this season. His link-up play has improved and he looks very comfortable, releasing the ball earlier and not trying to beat everyone in front of him. It was noticeable at Ewood that Diaby was very concentrated upon defence and was always in the middle at set plays; either marking Samba or getting under the long throw in, he managed to disrupt B’burn’s giants.Three starts in 3 games shows Wenger’s belief in him, though I expect him to give way to Fabregas. I cannot recall shouting at him once, which I can assure you is a major shift!

We needed Song back for B’burn and he looked rusty. Perhaps like Samson he has lost some power with his new haircut (must be a lost bet). A few games will see him back to the man upon whom so much rests. Cesc plays so much better knowing the Song is alongside him. I have grown to enjoy Song’s game, he is unassuming, tough, plays with a smile and is surprisingly skilful for a defensive midfielder. I have no doubt he will become a far better player than anyone imagined when he was first introduced to the team, and is an essential to our prospects of winning the title.     p.s.  I have just read that Alex Song has 17 sisters an 10 brothers!!!

Arshavin looks to have regained the enthusiasm in his game. Scoring twice already and looking dangerous, plus his tackling has been spiky. A mistake at Anfield caused by trying to play out of defence led to a goal, but that apart he has been energetic and tricky. The man almost never loses possession. His website is a hoot and is highly recommended,. Arhavin has said that he has lost his “sparkle” and that he no longer scores amazing goals – well I don’t care if he scores 20 tap ins (he is in my Fantasy Team), the fact that he is becoming a team player is of far more importance. Last season was so frustrating because he appeared to be playing in B minor when the rest of the team were in C major. Hopefully he will tune up this campaign and we get to see him become a lethal instrument in midfield.

Chamakh has looked very solid without being very dangerous. I like the way he closes down the opposition defenders giving them few passing opportunities which results in them hoofing and by-passing the midfield. At Blackburn he took the role (with Diaby) of marking Samba at set plays and did a fine job, which shows how strong the Moroccan must be. He looks superb in the air, his goal from RvP’s corner was a beauty and reminiscent of Alan Smith – we have missed an aerial threat for many years. First time control is good – a lesson to Nik, and he appears comfortable on either wing, allowing RvP/Theo to interchange the central striker role. Perhaps he will not be a 20 goals a season man, but he will score and in the inevitable absences of RvP will be a good spearhead for the attack.

We haven’t seen enough of Cesc to assess his form, but from what we have seen of Mozart, Samir, JW, and Diaby, he will struggle to regain his place (joke). He may be tired but he remains the best player in the PL (how did Giggs get the gong? )

No-one would have been surprised by the injury to RvP. It is so bloody frustrating to have a player of his talent spend so much time in the treatment room. His pass to Theo for the goal at Ewood was sublime, he will be a big miss as always. I have to admit to questioning why it was necessary to risk Robin at Ewood. We all know what happens up there, and it was no real surprise to see him carried off. Had the medical staff any qualms about RvP’s fitness they could have waited for the Interlull and given him 2 weeks of further training. IMO playing him was a costly mistake.

Theo. What can one say? His form for Arsenal is a revelation. This is the Theo we have been waiting for. Making the correct decisions, scoring goals with lightning pace, (the poor Blackpool FB must have left the pitch bewildered), moving all the way across the frontline, not getting pushed around. His goal at Ewood was a masterclass in movement and powerful, accurate finishing. It is hard to believe this is the same player, and yes, I know we are talking about just two great games but if we cannot celebrate now when can we? His confidence is sky high as is his fitness. Arsenal need him to be a superstar, we need an English Face (does the nation really have to be represented by the likes of Rooney, Cole, Terry and Gerrard?).  Please, pretty please Theo stay injury free and brilliant.(written pre-England game and am too saddened to write amendments)

7 points out of 9 from two away and one home games, 9 goals, unbeaten, 2nd to the Chavs who have a very easy opening run, players in form, Cesc to come. What is there not to love?

8/10

49 Responses to So far so good Part 2. Midfield and Attack – written by BigRaddy

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Carried over …..

    GG.
    The longest run of Aussie wins took place between ’88 and ’05 which sits very nicely with AFC’s reign at the top.

    I could stomach a hollow Aussie victory on fixed pitches if this is a winning year for the Arsenal

  2. London says:

    Great BR, a very, very enjoyable read.

    The reason for choosing RVP to start for that Blackburn game is quite a mystery. The only reason I can come up with was the CL draw in which we start with a tough home game to Braga. My guess is because of that Wenger tried to step up RVP and Cesc’s fitness in an attempt to get them ready. If we had had something a bit easier I doubt we would have seen both of them until the next game of any real importance which in my view will be against Chelsea.

  3. SharkeySure says:

    Thats a brilliant read…..

    Too many highlights to list them all…..so I won’t.

  4. tommystout says:

    wasnt about yesterday so ive had both posts to read and a lot of comments. So not much work done yet today.
    Excellent writing Braddy, though its a real kick in the teeth about theo…. did anyone else turn off the TV when theo got stretchered away on Tuesday???
    Anyway i am hopeful about this season, i just hope that when injuries kick in (they havent already?), i hope that Arsene doesnt play people out of position and uses his excellent squad to its full potential.

  5. London says:

    Ok time to play guess Wenger’s team.

    ————-Almunia
    Sagna,Koscielny,Vermaelen,Clichy
    —-Diaby,Song,Fabregas
    –Eboue,Chamakh,Arshavin.

    Might be a low scoring game.

  6. peter wilkin says:

    in what sense has Nasri been transformed? he has played one game so far and then been out injured. playing well in pre-season fixtures against Barnet and Austrian part-timers hardly constitutes a case for saying he has gone up a level.

  7. kelsey says:

    I like a man who gives his own post a rating 🙂

    I said weeks ago that on paper we had many attacking options,but if the dreaded injury bug hit us we would be at least one man light.

    London, fair guess at the team but though I don’t think it will happen I would start Vela not Eboue.Arshavin needs to pull his finger out,and I reckon with Theo out, Chamakh will play a more traditional striker role with Arshavin playing just behind him.

    Nasri was showing a huge improvement pre season or not and I was pleased how he appeared to progress,until injured.
    Hopefully Cesc will be match fit and focused,because on his day he is undoubtedly a match winner.

  8. tommystout says:

    Almunia
    Sagna Kozzer TV Gael
    Song Diaby
    Fabregas
    Eboue Chamach AA

    snap same as London
    can Vela play right side instead of eboue?
    will Fabregas be ready considering Argie trip? If not i wouldn’t mind if we went with Motzart
    I wouldn’t mind seeing LJW on the right.

  9. London says:

    Morning Tommy

    I reckon LJW plays better on the right than on the left.

    The Argie game being on Tuesday gives him a better chance of recovery I suppose.

  10. London says:

    Peter Wilkin

    You miserable git. “In what way has Nasri improved?” In every way but most notably in his self confidence.

  11. SharkeySure says:

    Isn’t that why the fixtures were brought forward a day..?? I think thats what I read somewhere

  12. Rasp says:

    Great follow up Raddy. I agree Nasri looks to have developed as a player and so too did Theo – I share your sadness 😦

    London ….. have a look at the top of the page

  13. kelsey says:

    I know I am stating the bleeding obvious above, but it would be nice to converse with someone,or anyone .

  14. Rasp says:

    Morning kelsey,

    We’re all here, its just that it is a slow news day.

    Did you read the article on Peter Storey’s autobiography?

    http://www.hamhigh.co.uk/content/camden/hamhigh/sport/story.aspx?brand=NorthLondon24&category=Sportarsenal&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=sport&itemid=WeED08+Sep+2010+16%3A38%3A47%3A960

    It seems he’s had a colourful life away from football.

  15. kelsey says:

    Morning Rasp.

    Yes I read it.

    I wonder how many players will make over 500 appearances for any club the way football is set up now.The numbers will diminish for sure.

  16. kelsey says:

    Reading all these posts from days gone by, mainly from dandan and Gunnern5, I look at the present squad and say to myself is there really one player who we will look back in years to come who stood out as a great.

    This is not meant to be a derisive comment, just an observation.

  17. Rasp says:

    True kelsey, football has changed irreversibly. I guess we’re lucky to have witnessed those days when it was all so simple.

    That dreadful programme Big Brother was originally meant to be an experiment to observe social interaction, but the producers soon realised the participants just saw it as a means to make money and achieve fame for fame’s sake – football’s gone the same way, but I do believe the quality of play (not player) has improved with time.

  18. London says:

    Hi Rasp

    You know I was only kidding…..although, it is funny.

  19. Rasp says:

    Have you opened the tab London? 😉

  20. Red Arse says:

    Hi Guys, especially you London, glad you have recovered your usual sunny equilibrium. 🙂

  21. kelsey says:

    Two words I hate in the media

    “reported and allegedly”.

    Clubcall say Theo is out for 6 weeks with ligament damage.

    Morning Red Arse and I believe I forgot you,the esteemed London 😉

  22. London says:

    Hahahah nice one Rasp.

    Hi RA & Kelsey, you both seem well, not long to go now until proper football returns.

  23. London says:

    I think the closest we will get to the truth about Walcott will be from Wenger’s press conference this afternoon.

  24. Morning London and all 😉

    Just realised I haven’t read the post yet.

    kelsey and Raddy – you’ll be relieved to know I’ve been working hard on your behalf this morning 🙂

  25. Another great read Raddy, thanks for that.

    Recently we always seem to be missing key players, the fact that we have an abundance of similar bodies in the mid-field doesn’t really help when we’re now very short of strikers – stating the obvious I know – but we do know that we can get goals from all positions so fingers crossed we’ll scrape a few 1-0’s until we’re back to full strength.

  26. Big Raddy says:

    Why thank you kind lady !

    I agree with London about the team tomorrow. I would love to see AA get the support role and play Vela on the left, but t won’t happen. We will be forced to play Eboue ….

  27. Big Raddy says:

    Peaches. I will be very disappointed with scraped 1-0’s. We have the personnel to play with 2 strikers if AW so wishes

  28. I mean’t while we’re without Theo, Rvp and Nikki ……. not long term

  29. kelsey says:

    I didn’t know you were a lawyer peaches 😉

  30. tommystout says:

    press conference tomorrow London
    God its slow today, need my arsenal fix, roll on bolton, roll on braga.

  31. tommystout says:

    Red Arse has a good post today http://1rico.wordpress.com/

  32. mavrik says:

    bloody good read. inc comments. have to say though, eboue won’t be all that bad. minutes he has had this season have been his best yet, all be it in short supply. theos top firm only thing keepinghim out of the side so you can guarentee he’ll be starting. great to see theo hug him after his goal despite being the reason he’s been stuck on the bench. proper team spirit. man c could learn a thing or 2…

  33. gunnern5 says:

    Raddy: It’s good the get to read a thoroughly positive blog about Arsenal without any “if only” or “what if” type of comments.

    It paints an overly rosy picture but that sure beats reading all the blogs by doom and gloomers.

    Thanks for giving me a bright start to the day(5 hours ago).

  34. gunnern5 says:

    Strange – still no official word on Theo’s injury?

  35. gunnern5 says:

    Kelsey thanks for the tip on the blog it was very informative and very close to the reality of the new media. Some sites have become the internet tabloids – maybe they should be called tablogoids?

  36. gunnern5 says:

    Kelsey: You are correct when you talk about fan favorites and club legends the majority of names that come to mind are not from the current group of players.
    However it’s strange on how time changes ones perspective on players. For an example, as good as he was, many fans did not take a liking to Doug Lishman, there was an undertone of him being gay – why I don’t know. I remember specifically during one game when he was tripped on the wing at the clock end (I was sitting by the corner flag – after pretending to faint and being passed over the top of the crowd to be looked after)– anyway when Lishman got up and ran off some one in the crowd yelled “Hey Lishman you left your handbag”

    To get back to my original point – today I think of him as one of our all time great strikers. After all he scored an average of 20 goals a season for 5 consecutive seasons from 50/51 to54/55, And of course who can forget his 3 consecutive hat tricks at home in 50/51 – I sure can’t as I was there. On reflection he may be the only player to have achieved the 3 hat trick feat.

    Maybe I’ll put together a piece on our legends by decade….

  37. gunnern5 says:

    Looks like I’m talking to myself – it feels very lonely.

  38. Red Arse says:

    Gunnern5,

    That’s an interesting observation about Doug Lishman. I understand that in those days the fans from each club mingled thru out Highbury and were not segregated.

    If so, could it have been a naughty opposition fan? Homosexuality would, unfortunately, have been a crime in those days. (and for anyone interested, no I am not) 😉

  39. Red Arse says:

    You probably are chatting to yourself GN5, I am a figment of your imagination. And not a leprechuan or leprachette in sight. 🙂

  40. gunnern5 says:

    Red Arse: Yea we all mingled together and I kinda enjoyed that as there was a lot of good banter that went back and forth among the crowd.

    Frankly I can never remember any trouble at all – different folks and different times I guess. During post war days there was a lot of good will and folks were glad to still be alive and were overjoyed to be watching a game so parochial feelings were more muted.

  41. Red Arse says:

    GN5,

    The only problem I experienced was many years ago when I was a kid and went to West Ham for an Arsenal game and the crowd was huge, with cops on horses trying to kill us. Or so from my diminutive perspective it seemed.

    I got crushed against a wall by the weight of the crowd, when the horses made everyone surge away from them and into us. A voice yelled above me and two beefy blokes put their hands down from the top of the wall and hoisted me over. I was wearing my favourite Arenal scarf and they wore the West Ham claret, but they could not have been kinder.

    I’m sure the goodies outnumber the baddies!

    They might have saved my life, I was certainly terrified! 🙂

  42. gunnern5 says:

    Yikes! now it’s official Arsene announced on Arsenal.com that Theo will be out 4/6 weeks. On the bright side he said Nasri might be involved against Bolton.

  43. gunnern5 says:

    Am I just being paranoid or are the opposition going for our players ankles deliberately?

    It’s an easy way for them to increase their chances of beating us – or do I sound just like Arsene?

  44. Big Raddy says:

    Not good news about Theo.

    Very interesting about Lishman. I know the name but he was just before my time (joe Baker, Eastham etc). 3 hatricks on 3 successive home games is an astounding record!!

  45. dandan says:

    Congratulations Raddy on a damn good effort very absorbing stuff.
    Bloody hell,just finished packing the car, it is full to the gunnel’s and I am cream crackered. Gonna get my head down early as we leave in the early hours to catch the ferry,En-route to Spain, for a six week break. so a long drive ahead. Kelsey dont now it yet but the salt beef sarni’s are on him’
    Kids and gkids coming out to join us in shifts, so fun days in the pool ahead. Hopefully I will see a bit of the Arse on Sky or in the local bar . G5 Do you remember Bobby Gould putting it about and Gary Sprake crapping himself when ever he came near.

  46. dandan says:

    See you all when I can

  47. dandan – hope you all have a really great time in Spain. You’ll be missed xx

  48. Morning all

    Theres a NEW POST

  49. […] So Far So Good Part 2. Midfield and Attack […]

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