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?