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A Well UNdeserved Point, Arsenal 2 – Everton 2, Post Match Review

I am going to come right out and say it – we got away with one we had absolutely no business getting away with. On the day Everton were simply the better side and outplayed and outhustled Arsenal for most of the match. In fact you would be hard pressed to identify any moment in the first half at least where anything resembling an Arsenal squad had showed up on the pitch.

I am going to come right out and say it – we got away with one we had absolutely no business getting away with. On the day Everton were simply the better side and outplayed and outhustled Arsenal for most of the match. In fact you would be hard pressed to identify any moment in the first half at least where anything resembling an Arsenal squad had showed up on the pitch.

Everton had a solid game plan from the start, press high and close off any Arsenal passing lanes. Combine that aggression with bad conditions for passing and the combination was lethal on a pass happy team.No, I am not saying the weather was the reason why Arsenal did not win. I am saying it certainly helped Everton carry out their plan a little more effectively. No, all the kudos must rest with David Moyes and his lads for doing exactly what they wanted to against Arsenal.

Dude - Your Killing Me Here!

Dude - Your Killing Me Here!

I don’t want to spend too much time going over play for play, goal for goal but there are a few observations that need to be discussed. When the smallest man on the pitch scores from a free header on a corner – someone has seriously done something wrong. And make no mistake about it – everyone was at fault at some point in the game. But the first goal the defenders let Osman beat them and then in typical Almunia fashion he stayed riveted to one spot on the goal line. Denilson who actually wound up heading the ball into the net really didn’t have much of a play to make.

Everton’s 2nd goal was Arsenal plainly getting beat. Traore had a woeful game ALL DAY. He was consistently beat by Landon Donovan. And he was out of position on nearly every play. His ONLY saving grace were two beautiful crosses that nearly set Arsenal up for winning goals. Other than that the boy who had been playing quite well since Gibbs went down, was one of the major scapegoats for the day’s ineffectiveness.

However, if there is a positive to take away from this match it is two things. 1.) Teams who are successful often times have to dig down to achieve something. Arsenal were outplayed and yet they managed to create scoring chances. They did what you have to do on a day when things don’t go well and that is – shoot the damn ball. Everyone will argue the fact that Arsena;’s two goals were off of deflections. Oh well. So what. Sometimes ugly is what is needed. Sometimes pretty don’t cut it. Denilson put the ball on net and thankfully it hit someone and misdirected and Rosicky did the same. Though Rosicky’s had a better chance of hitting the back of the net than Denilson’s originally did. 2. We played our game in hand and while we could ‘ve used the upward momentum the draw didn’t hurt us either. Had we lost – that would’ve been another story.

So Arsenal take their first draw at the Emirates this season. They are still unbeaten in 8 matches in all competitions. Only Birmingham is better with a 12 game unbeaten run. Still Arsenal are going to seriously need to fix some things if they want to continue.

Manuel Almunia showed every possibly reason why Gooners everywhere want the guy gone. From nearly getting Bacary Sagna killed to taking out Aarmond Traore, he wasn’t woeful – whatever is worse than woeful that describes Almunia. While the defence wasn’t great they still didn’t give many chances to Everton. The problem is the chances Everton got Almunia let in. He clearly doesn’t pay attention to the flow of the game. If he did he would’ve seen the player near Sagna and gone in a different direction rather than dishing it out on the run. He’s lucky that Sagna is a good player and looks at what is going on and he is equally as lucky Sagna isn’t out with a broken foot – from the tackle he received having to slow up and look back to collect Manny’s pitiful attempt for a clearing pass. Finally either he doesn’t understand the role of calling off players (Chelsea Vermaelen OG and running into Traore) or he is too damn stupid to do it. Either way in order to be an effective keeper you need to have command of the players in a and around your penalty box. Almunia  doesn’t have that ability. Say what you will about Fabianski, he does talk to his team alot on the pitch. Yes, he has his own issues but he does a better job of marshalling the forces if you will.

The defence probably had one of its worst performances of the season. They were pressed into making mistakes and did very little right to keep the box clear on set pieces. Traore specifically got found out. Whether it was a mental thing because he knows Clichy is coming back or whether he just didn’t adapt or prepare well enough – Landon Donovan had him in his back pocket all day and on Everton’s second goal his weak tackle resulted in letting Pienaar free enough to be behind the team and have a free run on Almunia.

Rosicky Scores

Rosicky Scores

Overall there are numerous performances to single out as disgraceful, whether it was Traore, Denilson’s inappropriateness at the holding role, Arshavin not showing up until the last 10 minutes., or Eduardo’s contininuing ineffectiveness there was tonnes of blame to go around. Noone from the squad should be happy with the point and if there were a mechanism to do so, the should give two points back to Everton for outplaying them.

A final note – something I am sure the Wenger haters won’t like and will accuse me of drinking the Kool Aid. I do not think the importance of this season is lost on Arsene. All season long he has been doing some un-Arsene like behaviour. I would never expect Arsene to come out and say his team got out played. We know the usual story – we deserved the point, fought hard, yada yada yada. Well yesterday he basically came out and said we did not play our game, they were better than us and I am relieved we got the point. He did use the spirit line but only AFTER his negative comments. If Arsene buys in January it will only add to the speculation that Arsene has changed somehow. He never has signaled an intention to buy anyone, especially in January and by all means every indication is he will this January. Who that will be remains to be seen but I see a more aggressive Arsene than in the past. What that means only time will tell.

But let’s look on the bright side shall we – United and Liverpool both look in worse shape than us. If you didn’t watch United’s match yesterday they were more lucky than us to come away with a point and if not for an OG they would’ve lost their 6th EPL match of the season. As it is we lose no ground on them and since they played we still have a game in hand on the Red Devils. That could be useful come the end of the season.

Next up – 17 January  v Bolton at the Reebok (not the game in hand)

121 Comments

121 Comments

  1. nipuna

    January 14, 2010 at 00:22

    Gabon beat Cameroon in the ACoN. A shock first round exit would suit us fine.

    • stag133

      January 14, 2010 at 03:04

      yes, shock results to start the tournament, for sure.

  2. Andez

    January 13, 2010 at 22:38

    Liverpool are in deep trouble. Gerrard Torres are injured again. You really wonder where all those money Rafa spent for the past few years. Over 100 mil spent and ended up with a two-men team.

    • nipuna

      January 14, 2010 at 00:20

      And he continues that by signing Maxi Rodriguez, a winger (from what I saw of him in WC2006), albeit on a free transfer.

      Now they can concentrate fully on 4th place.

    • stag133

      January 14, 2010 at 03:03

      Again, Liverpool really did themselves a favor by being out of the FA Cup… (as it did with the CL).
      They will need everything they can do to FOCUS on the league, and getting 4th place.
      You can say whatever you want about their spending Andez, but Torres is among the best strikers in the WORLD. Possibly the best when he’s healthy, and you can build a team around him and Gerrard. Its the rest of the squad that is suspect. With Torres and Gerrard on the pitch, and healthy, they can beat anyone on their best.

      Rafa, will be fired soon … they won’t wait around.
      If they don’t get 4th, then they are in DEEP trouble with trying to keep Torres and Gerrard.

      I think they get pipped for 4th by Man City.

      • Andez

        January 14, 2010 at 09:57

        actually it’s not ME who’s saying whatever I want.

        Rafa’s silly way of spending money and their result is FOR EVERYONE TO SEE.

        Yes Torres is the best striker (didn’t I say they are a TWO MEN TEAM?) in the world… nevertheless, football is playing by 11 men.

    • joshuad

      January 14, 2010 at 03:19

      I remember telling Kiwi that Liverpool were in a world of hurt and there was no way back. They were lucky to even earn that replay.

      I’ve talked recently about how poorly Liverpool are run. Benitez blows money every transfer window then bitches about needing more funds. Buying isn’t always the answer, Rafa.

      Liverpool don’t have a team. They have a continually revolving collection of very descent players with a few super-talented players and no real team philosophy. Unless everyone is in good form all at the same time, there is no way to win anything. A season is too long to hope an entire team maintains form.

      Despite being young, we’re better than Liverpool because we’re a team. RvP’s been injured most of the season and we’re still in the title race. That was never going to happen for Liverpool. Torres in the summer anyonoe? He’d love to play with Fabregas and Arshavin.

      • OziKenyan

        January 14, 2010 at 10:46

        We can dream… Torres in the centre, Vp and Arshavin in support, Cesc just behind.. Song and an emerging Diaby right behind them..

        But it’s just that. A pipedream. i don’t see Torres playing for any other English team unless very silly money was on offer (City…)

        • Andez

          January 14, 2010 at 11:06

          yup if Liverpool are to sell him, most likely he will be back to Spain, at Real Madrid.

          come to think of it, for any fan who loves to see big name signings, there’s no better club in the world than Real Madrid.

          They not only shop for big names, they shop for the biggest names in world football.

          A dream land for big name hunting fantasy football lovers. Happiness guaranteed every summer.

        • arsesession

          January 14, 2010 at 11:27

          Agree Ozi,
          Wenger won’t splash the cash for Torres.

          Though its very likely that City would make an offer.

          Pool might have to sell Gerrard & Torres just to satisfy debt.
          (just my thought)

          What would Torres sale command? $50 – $70 mil?
          Gerrard ( a little older) but still $30 mil?

          Its Pool – who really cares.

  3. joshuad

    January 13, 2010 at 10:50

    Sol’s signing is a dynamite signing.

    Speaking of Jay Thomas’ hattrick, I was thinking if Denilson is still not fit and Wenger’s not going to buy, that he should bring this kid into the team. Sure, we have Eastmond but young Jay was my reserve POTY last year followed by Coquelin. He’s one of the few kids that I believe has a future at Arsenal. He can do everything. Both he and Coquelin are still a few years away but he’s a better option than an injured Denilson.

    Among the missing posts, I mentioned how I felt our biggest need was a center forward. With RvP injured and Bendtner never proving a capable option, we don’t have a recognized center forward. I think Adriano is a good option because he’s got super talent and would jump at the opportunity to play in the World Cup. He’s not cup tied and we can probably get him on an initial loan to see how he works out. The problem is will his team loan him.

  4. Andez

    January 13, 2010 at 09:56

    There’s one big difference between bringing in a 30+ CB and DM.

    Generally speaking central midfielder is expected to cover the most ground in a match. While CB usually doing the least running than any other outfielders.

    Therefore for CB experience is important. Experience gives you better reading of the game, and you can make up with your loss of pace with experience.

    DM though, no matter how massive an experience you have, if you don’t have the legs, you aren’t going to be too effective.

  5. nipuna

    January 13, 2010 at 06:29

    Sol Campbell would fit right into the current Arsenal team.

    In his first game, we conceded 2 and scored 4. :)

    • OziKenyan

      January 13, 2010 at 07:29

      But we had conceded none when he came off..

  6. Fred

    January 13, 2010 at 03:52

    Why is Flamini’s wiki profile showing him in an Arsenal jersey??? He has been in Milan for almost 2 years now! I could have sworn he changed it to a Milan jersey picture a year ago. Now he has changed it back? LOOOOL.

    Dont tell me the fucker is nostalgic.

    • nipuna

      January 13, 2010 at 04:08

      You think Flamini edits his own Wiki page?

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 13, 2010 at 14:06

      Checking for a hernia. Very considerate.

  7. Fred

    January 13, 2010 at 03:29

    I like that Campbell is back. The guy was a GIANT ponce when he left, but considering he is still better than Silvestre and Senderos COMBINED (even at 35),I am happy to take him back.

    Everybody younger than Gallas can learn from him defensively. Even Diaby, Song, Denilson, Ramsey upfront. He was a defensive lynchpin of Championship winning sides in his hey UNLIKE Silvestre who was always a random leftback most of his career.

    He must be extremely fit and motivated for Wenger to even consider it. So I have a feeling he will be a solid stop-gap signing.

    As to those wondering why Wenger will go for Sol but not Vieira, well, there was NO way Wenger would ever have bought Patrick back. The narrative would have been way too damning of him – especially if the team wins something this year.

    Anyway, with CB settled, all thats left is a DM and a ST!

    Shock us Wenger, shock us!

  8. nipuna

    January 13, 2010 at 02:22

    Some comments have disappeared.

    DAG’s comments on Flamini moving to Spurs, Campbell signing for Arsenal and the replies to that. These were right after my post – http://youaremyarsenal.com/?p=647#comment-5572

    But I don’t see any articles/thread missing.

  9. DaAdminGooner

    January 13, 2010 at 00:53

    Again not sure why the threads are gone.

    Still trying to figure out.

    • live_dont_exist

      January 13, 2010 at 01:01

      We’re saying comments IN THIS thread.. rt?

  10. stag133

    January 12, 2010 at 23:41

    Ummmm… there was some portion of debate about Sol coming in,
    and how he couldn’t play for Pompey, and United had like 4 CB’s injured but wouldn’t take him on, … and that is the team that gave us Silvestre… and will Sol actually get into a match, or will he play in
    reserves like Senderos has all season…
    :)

    No harm in bringing in Sol, but I’d prefer it if he actaully gets into a match, so either Gallas or Vermaelen get a break…
    doubt it… but that’s what I’m hoping.
    Sol looks fit … I’ll give him that much!

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 13, 2010 at 00:48

      My view is that this is not unlike bringing in Silvestre was, except even cheaper and no obvious ‘suck’ factor. So we’re marginally better off than we are without him. As things stand right this instant.

      • nipuna

        January 13, 2010 at 02:28

        I was wondering about the same thing. I was quite excited when we signed Silvestre, assuming that he would prove to be a good defender since he came from ManU.

  11. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 12, 2010 at 23:39

    Well…it seems the various pearls some of us laid down in writing are gone. Perhaps I’m wrong. Fearless Leader give us the news (we can take it, I think….)

    As for me, I lost the first 4 or 5 waking hours of my day to a power outtage, but when I got it back the news was WILD!

    Sol Campbell in an Arsenal shirt (Playing with the reserves, ready to sign as an older, reserve/FA Cup CB with at least a much nicer skull than Silvestre.) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-1242651/Sol-Campbell-Arsenal-shirt–pictures-Gunners-fans-thought-see.html?ITO=1490

    Ade, talking about his (horrific) experience in Angola, but at least he had the comfort of wearing the shirt of his ex-love. http://goonertalk.com/2010/01/12/picture-adebayor-wears-arsenal-shirt-in-ssn-interview/

    And finally that Mathieu Flamini might come back to North London. http://community.footballpools.com/blog/2010/01/12/mathieu-flamini-spurs-move-for-75m-disgruntled-former-arsenal-star/ (This one, however, seems to be running out of legs, I think)

    Hopefully we can get back on track…

  12. live_dont_exist

    January 12, 2010 at 23:29

    Hey guys….what thread vanished? All looks ok here… If you guys know what vanished I’ll check if I can.

  13. arsesession

    January 12, 2010 at 23:00

    re: Sol Campbell signing
    So what happens if Sol is paired with Gallas at CB and then Vermaelen is slotted into the DM role?

    Makes sense to me.

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 12, 2010 at 23:25

      Personally, I like this idea, esp. if we’re gonna insist on keeping Almunia in goal, where he could potentially injure the defenders in front of him at any time.

      We’re all hoping to keep TV5 healthy…so, playing him as far forward as possible might be just the ticket….plus he’s got the left foot to replace RVP’s….

      AW’s feeling his oats with his first re-signing, other wild things might not be that far off.

      • live_dont_exist

        January 12, 2010 at 23:31

        Nah wont happen. Sol is just backup. We’re light enough in DM. He’s not going to move TV5 out.. guranteed.

        • OziKenyan

          January 13, 2010 at 07:20

          Nahh.. Wengers a big believer in continuity, especially at CB. Which of course means the whole DM issue needs to still be sorted.

          Sols first game ended up with him coming off against west ham in the reserves with the clean sheet still intact. A bit of concern in that the reason he came off was because he tired… But it is his first game back. Again, I’ll reserve judgement till after I see him play a couple of games.

  14. arsesession

    January 12, 2010 at 22:49

    I can see from the trainer’s table update that we are due to have many new signings next week.

    • nipuna

      January 13, 2010 at 00:13

      If you are looking for a new signing, Rhys Murphy signed a long term contract.

  15. arsesession

    January 12, 2010 at 22:44

    After reading the last 50 posts (here), I thought I was on the wrong site – there is definitely too much harmony and thoughtful commentary.

    Did I miss the Almunia, Sylvestre, Senderos, and Denilson trades?

  16. vibe4arsenal

    January 12, 2010 at 22:16

    Who she’ll offend first? Somebody please put 1,000,000 GBP on ‘Anyone with a brain.’ ;-)

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 12, 2010 at 22:23

      Indeed….Amazing that the internationals on this board actually speak/debate with the (Ugly) Americans….

      And how did those of you living overseas ever come to start posting on Arsenal America? (This noob-tard is curious….)

      But back on topic…What a day! Sol Campbell AND Emmanuel Adebayor wearing Arsenal shirts….What odds was Paddy Power giving on THAT!?!

      • OziKenyan

        January 13, 2010 at 07:16

        And talking of betting, some dude bet 4000 pounds on Angola winning with 11 minutes to go and 4-0 up (expected return of 44 pounds). I wonder how he is feeling right about now.

      • Mazza

        January 13, 2010 at 17:19

        Can’t remember to be honest. I stumbled across it at the start of the 04/05 season and found the level of discussion more refined than the english blogs – and I still do.

        I find Americans in the blogosophere alot more intelligent and enligtening when it comes to football and Arsenal than your average Londoner, ironically enough. Obviously when you go to a game though, it’s those same ‘neanderthal’ like fans that make the experience what it is so…..

        Back then, Stag was having IV’s of Kool Aid. Was a sight to see.

        • stag133

          January 13, 2010 at 22:05

          LOL.
          Yes, I wouldn’t let a negative thing be said about Vieira, Henry or anybody really!
          :)

  17. Andez

    January 12, 2010 at 21:10

    actually a whole thread has disappeared!

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 12, 2010 at 21:22

      That’s right. And if we don’t like it, we’re next!

      • HighburyterraceSteve

        January 12, 2010 at 21:55

        Complete Censorship!! This is an outrage!…

        Or maybe it’s the ultimate in “Fair and Balanced”…. ;-)

        And speaking of which….If you’re in Britain w/access to Paddy Power, they’re taking bets on who Sarah Palin will offend first and how long she lasts on TV…http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=55097

        Time to sell Alaska back to the Russians….(for a Goal-keeper, perhaps….)

        • DaAdminGooner

          January 14, 2010 at 12:27

          I think the thread was lost during the recent site outtage during the SQL rebuild.

          I will never delete a post unless it is violent, blatantly racial, or sexually explicit.

  18. OziKenyan

    January 12, 2010 at 20:47

    Yeah some comments are missing. But the big news is Sol resigning. I must say, from the quotes published, he does seem well up for it. I’m going to reserve any judgement till after I see him a couple of times.

  19. Mazza

    January 12, 2010 at 20:15

    Umm, seems like a few comments have disappeared.

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 12, 2010 at 20:54

      But never the ones we want to. ;-)

      • Mazza

        January 12, 2010 at 21:25

        Feels like AA all over again ;)

        • vibe4arsenal

          January 12, 2010 at 21:45

          (BIG) Except here the mod is actually aware of what goes on and gives a shit. We’re, you know, wanted at YAMA. Like Rudolph was wanted on the Island of Misfit toys. (Still a vaild reference during the January transfer window!) ;-)

  20. vibe4arsenal

    January 12, 2010 at 19:18

  21. DaAdminGooner

    January 12, 2010 at 18:34

    Couple things –

    I apologize again if you have tried to get on the site and were unable. My provider keeps telling me they are working it out. I told them work it out or lose me as a customer. Problem is I am a part owner in the company.

    Secondly, I am having a miserbale day arguing with a Chav c*nt on Twitter. But no worries – he’s proven himself to be the idiot he is.

    Thirdly Jay-Emmanuel Thomas scores a hat-trick for our reserves – I give you our January signing.

    Finally – Arsenal has Sol but not a Soldier.

    • stag133

      January 12, 2010 at 23:36

      LOL.
      Love the Sol but not a soldier…

  22. nipuna

    January 11, 2010 at 05:56

  23. joshuad

    January 11, 2010 at 04:07

    Fred, like you, I would like for Arsenal to have stronger options as cover for our centerbacks and other positions. Your list of options was very comprehensive. I’m familiar with quite a few of them and believe that Arsene could sign all of them.

    These guys play every week at their current teams. The question is if they sign for Arsenal, will they stay at Arsenal if they don’t play regularly? That’s been my argument all along. It’s never been that we shouldn’t buy. It’s never been that better players aren’t available. You’ve never heard me say anything about stunting a players development. We’ve got plenty of people here stating the obvious.

    What’s not obvious is the impending predicament if we look to purchase backups. If you believe top professionals who play every week would be willing to come to Arsenal and sit on the bench instead, then you can believe that. However, I don’t. I didn’t compare us to Liverpool, but rather used them as an example of what could happen, as they’ve bought plenty of good backup players. Even Hleb would rather play for Stuttgart then sit on the bench at the best team in the world.

  24. Fred

    January 11, 2010 at 02:37

    At the rate we are going I will even happily take Sol Campbell. Anybody, and I mean ANYBODY is better the Sylvestre-Senderos axis of doom.

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 12, 2010 at 20:55

      Our back line is like a lame sitcom…two and a half men.

  25. live_dont_exist

    January 11, 2010 at 01:56

    @Nipuna: There’s tons of times I have disagreed with AW and maybe this is one of those times. Why Denilson went down is known only to him and I am sure he is professional enough(he should be) to know when to do what. The next time he crashes(hopefully never) he might keep that in mind and do it. Or he might be in too much pain and not be able to do it despite the fact that he knows. From the game’s perspective – sure it’ll be great if he everyone could be fully tuned in despite so much pain – it just doesn’t happen. So I stick to my statement that your statement was OTT.

    The other part is that if you’d said this yesterday there might have been some value in it – that you truly backed what you said. But you waiting for AW to come out with a statement and then posting on a msg board quoting AW ..after not backing ur statement up yesterday is kinda not on. Kinda flipping wherever convenient ..whenever IMO.

    Anyway its ur life and yeah Vibe.. it is a message board after all ;)

    • nipuna

      January 11, 2010 at 02:16

      LDE, I should have simply waited to understand the extent of Deni’s injury before making my comment. I knew I was right in saying what I said, but when you responded with spine collapsing and all (speaking of hyperboles), you folks succeeded in making me feel a little guilty. Now that it is clear that Deni did not suffer anything of that sort and was walking normally after the game, I do feel a little funny that I ended up flip flopping a bit.

    • Fred

      January 11, 2010 at 02:49

      WOW! This is surely a first, you disagreeing with Wenger!

      Denilson, wasnt running at full stretch then collapse. He was at jogging pace, used his hand to feel the side of his belly then fell “controllably” to his side. He could have chosen to fall on the ball.

      There is a reason Wenger will give such a public statement. Especially to a pet of his like Denilson.

      In my view, if it is not a cardiac problem and you are not collapsing involuntarily and the ball is RIGHT THERE at your feet, you should protect your team. Thats the professional thing to do.

      • live_dont_exist

        January 11, 2010 at 03:09

        A first? Maybe not on this message board. Personally there’s tons of times I have done it and continue to do so. Its just that I choose to express myself a little differently while doing so. How does one know if it is or it is not a cardiac problem? Its not possible at times. Did Puerta know that when he died?

        @Nip: Ur obviously fully entitled to your view and i’m the last to do a “I told you so” or get involved in debates. The unprofessional thing rankled a bit though. This time it was nothing and I’m glad – some other time it might be something worse. I’d like to think that every player has atleast that much sense and will not deliberately hurt his team if he can help it. Maybe this time Denilson ws wrong I’ll even concede that , but I’ll always support someone who goes down… you never never know. Life > Football.

  26. Kiwi

    January 11, 2010 at 00:07

    The same discussions keep recurring. I doubt very much whether Arsene will add another central midfielder to the squad nor a centre back nor a keeper this month. The fact we don’t like option A or B in a given position isn’t the point – the point is what does Arsene see? Buying in January is an even longer odds strategy than buying with a pre-season in which to prepare.

    Arsene likely sees Denilson and Diaby as viable DM gap fillers. Last season Denilson was first-choice and Diaby has obviously made strides this season. Remember he expects Song to come back fit enough to play. On CB – he has a quartet of CB’s plus Djourou to come back. The outside chance is Campbell signing on a short-term arrangement. So the only hope for Arsene procuring a serious CM or CB is that a real quality player becomes available at a reasonable price – which we know is a long shot.

    Striker is a different scenario. Goals win games. Arsenal need more goals than their fellow challengers given our MO. We look light in the striking position – both in physical stature and in quality. RvP is out – and Arsene must surely be wondering whether he will EVER be fit enough to build a team around. Nic is still developing. Dudu is doing it hard trying to refind his game – no one knows for sure if he will. So we’re absolutely up the creek without a paddle. You can paper the cracks and rely on the Arshavin’s and Vela’s and midfielders for a while but you can’t go through the winter and into the clutch with a bandaid lineup. That won’t win you a title.

    So I’m interested in the discussion on strikers and who Arsene and YAMA’s would buy. I think we’re in a bit of a quandary. Henry was clearly an Arsene-type striker. A footballer who fitted perfectly at the sharp end of the quick thinking rat-a-tat-tat Arsenal team. That team has gone. We don’t do rat-a-tat-tat any more.

    We now have a team dedicated to possession and fond of lateral passing. A slow team with quick minds and nice technical skills – but not an intense team. This team tried the big-man centre-forward option and it was not a happy union with our clever intricate play. We never maximised Adebayor and his strengths – our game just doesn’t fit easily with his. We don’t cross the ball, we don’t devour set pieces – it’s not our game. We are aspiring to be the great passers who pass the ball into the net and score the beautiful goals. So frankly buying another another big-man type seems pointless.

    I think Arsene is facing a difficult decision. Robin his main man is out for the season and may never be strong enough to build a winning squad around. He has a lot of unfinished largely unproven options (Eduardo, Bendtner, Walcott, Vela), many of whom are injury prone. So what does he do? He doesn’t need another unfinished article does he, he needs a serious player that can drive on goal and add a bit of lethal intent to the pretty patterns that the team weaves.

    But will he bite the bullet and bring in a real competitive alternate to van Persie? I fear it unlikely. This is the guy who has given new contracts to a full deck of first class crocks – Eduardo, Rosicky, Walcott and Diaby not to mention van Persie. So I fear he will show yet more patience. If that is the case we might get nobody this January – or perhaps another Bischoff.

    • Fred

      January 11, 2010 at 00:41

      I agree with you, Wenger will buy nobody this January.

    • stag133

      January 11, 2010 at 02:03

      I doubt he buys anyone… and we will win nothing again.
      I PRAY he smartens-the fuck-up… and does bring in playerS.

      I don’t understand why West Ham would sell Carlton Cole, but I think he would help us this season and going forward.
      I would love to see Craig Bellamy playing for us as well, and Wenger said he was an admirer… they have how many strikers? I’d bid on him, and see what happens.

      Whomever is the “3rd” Center Back, needs to PLAY!
      Gallas and Vermaelen… can NOT play every match. Again. They can NOT play every match… repeat.

      If Arsene does nothing this January, I will read how we don’t need anyone… we’ve got players coming back from injury, like a new signing… and that Arsene knows…
      and we’ll bow out of the title race, and lose in the CL in perhaps (hopefully) the semi-finals.

      If he actually addressed the issues with a few good men, the sky is the limit for what might happen this season.

      But we’ll win… the profit league, regardless.

  27. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 10, 2010 at 23:34

    To respond to Vibe above about C. Cole as a potential buy up front….I would really like to see him leading our line and getting a spot in the English National Team (Arsenal SHOULD have some representation and I fear for Theo and K. Gibbs given their injuries and the long line of easier choices ahead of them….And I guess the idea of Almunia as England’s #1 is no longer on the table….Ah geez, getting punchy here….) but it seems the last thing we need is another injured player. But maybe he’s not really injured and he’s just being kept on ice until West Ham get their price….(I, for one, believe in such conspiracies in the murky waters of European football….)

    And, yes, you cannot dust for vomit, but Timmy the Tooth (7amkickoff.com) was talking today about drilling into Almunia’s skull and finding nothing but…(another bodily excrement)

  28. Fred

    January 10, 2010 at 22:48

    For DM, I would recommend just one. Mamadou Sakho. French, 6ft 1in. 19 years old. PSG. Yes he is a central defender, but after watching him I believe his through position is DM. Very, very low center of gravity, solid tackler, persistent with bursts of acceleration over short distances.

    He would probably cost 10m. I would pair him up with Alex Song right behind Fabregas. Diaby, Ramsey and Merida can then be the backup to this trio.

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 23:17

      Oops, you’re already ahead of me…Sorry (as they also say….)

  29. Fred

    January 10, 2010 at 22:38

    I am not a scout and quite frankly it is the FULL time job of some folks at Arsenal, so they should get on it A-FUCKING-SAP.

    I have given several low profile players that I considered would be beneficial at Arsenal in the past … mostly on AA. I will re-name some of them, though just taking in CBs. I have a strong bias for East Europeans, Germans and Danes when it comes to CBs though.

    ————————————————————————
    Here is my scout list:

    1) Aleksander Kosoric: Bosnian, 23, 6ft 3in. Plays for Partizan. Seen him a couple of times in the UEFA cup. He is a beast. He wins ALL headers. A very good passer of the ball. I rate him over Hangeland personally. My only problem with him is that he often tries to dribble out of defense. He figures himself a bit of a Maradona I think.

    I think he might cost up to 5 million euros.

    2) Pedro Geromel: Brazilian, (yeah, not my defender bias demographic, but has solid German experience), plays for Koeln, 6ft 2in.

    3) Neven Subotic: American Serb, 6ft 4in. 21 years old. Solid guy. Plays for Dortmund.

    4) Mats Hummels: German, 6ft 3in. 21 years old. Also from Dortmund. Solid guy.

    5) Simon Kjaer: Dane, 6ft 3in. 20 years old. Plays for Palermo.

    6) Adam Kokoszka: Polish, 6ft 2in. 23 years old. Plays for Empoli.

    7) Jan Simunek: Czech, 6ft 1in. 22 years old. Plays for Wolfsburg.

    Others that are a bit more known:

    Per Mertersacker: 25 year old, 6ft 6in. Very elegant defender. Dominant in the air, scores lots of headers. Brings the ball out from the back.
    The only downside is that Werder Bremen might raise the cost too high. Definitely wont seat on the bench, more of a guy to bring in when Gallas leaves.
    ————————————————————————

    ALL the players I listed, I have seen a couple of times. Mostly in the UEFA cup (I currently cant be assed to watch those puny leagues like I used to in the past), but hey that is also where I saw Arshavin over two years ago – so dont knock the UEFA cup.

    All of them, I chose mostly because of their height, dominance in the air, strength BUT also positive footwork. i.e. they dont just boot the ball upfield. They can “play” football.

    All these players are several classes above the Senderos-Silvestre axis of doom. Am sure Wenger and his professional staff can find even more of these hidden gems.

    PS: And please dont come up with a “if they are so good, they will be at big clubs argument”. There are a finite number of “big” clubs. In my view more than 99% of very talented players will NEVER get to showcase their skills at the top level. If Arshavin had gotten a niggly injury last season, there is a big chance he would have spent his entire career in Russia. A LOT of luck is needed really.

    All in all, there really is NO excuse for going into the second half of the season undermanned.

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 23:16

      Wow…Impressive list. Thanks. (And just to be clear–I mean that with absolutely no sarcasm….)

      Most of those guys don’t have the cup-tied or “must play full time so I’ll get picked for the World Cup” issues…

      I’ve got this notion that Arsene fancies players he thinks can play DM AND CB (Gilberto and Song and maybe Vermaelen). Have your seen any of that in any of those guys?

      And while I’m asking questions, what about Goalkeeper? Akinfeev, Lloris, (both cup tied of course), others? Or do you think MadFab or Mannone or the younger Pole (Szczesny) will be the answer Right Now or down the road?

      And finally, up front (where we all can play Championship Manager and buy C. Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema for our dream teams), are there any people we might watch over the next few weeks and then shake our heads in sadness when we pin our hopes on our “internal solutions (Nicky, Dudu, Carlitos, and Feo, er, Theo)….

      Again, Cheers (as they say….)

      • Fred

        January 10, 2010 at 23:46

        When it comes to strikers I would be more likely to put my faith in Wenger’s choice … as long as he makes a choice!

        Defenders, DMs and sometimes AMs have more easily transferable skillsets across leagues, while strikers are a different breed. A great part of their success depends on psychology and an undefined and rather variable skillset. They are ego-driven and finicky.

        Strikers also have to a midfield that “understands” them behind them. Defenders and CMs dont need anybody to “understand” them.

        Defensive guys grow slow and steady, while strikers can explode or implode at any time LOL.

        Wenger has a good record with strikers though, he just needs to make a decision. Preferably this January.

        As for goalie, I would take ANY body who is not Almunia.

  30. OziKenyan

    January 10, 2010 at 22:30

    Talking about watchable games. How bout the opening game of AfCon. Angola, 4-0 up with 11 minutes to go find a way to draw. Spectacular. And happy to see more positive headlines from Africa.

  31. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 10, 2010 at 20:29

    Response to Vibe from above (can’t seem to reply up there):

    I’m not much of a scout either (can’t take the dire matches like the one today; plus my wife thinks I’m a hair over-the-top re: Arsenal already….) but earlier I saw a thing on Setanta about the French League and one of the big surprise teams is Lille, so….it must be time for AW–The Greatest Manager in the (Francophone) World–to slip in and break them up by buying Gervinho or Eden Hazard, promising young players forwards, not CL cup tied, etc. Of course I haven’t actually watched them play, but this is what us biotches come on YAMA to do, or so I’m told….

    It would be a second priority for me, of course, behind cloning the Verminator….Unfortunately, I’m not a laboratory scientist either….

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 10, 2010 at 22:06

      I like the name Eden Hazard. Sounds like a super-hero, and we could use one or two more. ;-)

      • OziKenyan

        January 10, 2010 at 22:28

        Heh..

  32. Andez

    January 10, 2010 at 19:21

    The EPL Vs Series A debate is easy….

    Which league we are watching week in week out?! Watchable or not.

    • stag133

      January 11, 2010 at 01:47

      its not a debate at all… the EPL is far superior to watch and the play is better as well…
      but don’t tell me Italian Football is “unwatchable”… its not true!
      I watch it!

  33. Fred

    January 10, 2010 at 17:02

    You hilarious f&ckers! :-D

    You STILL continue repeating the NONSENSE of how buying backup is bad, bad, bad …. because you know you should be promoting from within …. but then again, buying first teamers will ALSO kill ’em.

    And the MOST ridiculous part is comparing buying say a backup CB and a ST as acting like Liverpool. Because anytime a team buys for a position where there is a glaring HOLE and in which there isnt even a replacement in the team – it is being reckless like Liverpool.

    Everybody and his dog knows what is going to happen to Arsenal when (not if) either Gallas and Vermaelen go down. Especially with Almunia as number 1.

    Bendtner is rumored to be out long-term. Even if he will be fit in two weeks as Wenger claims he will still need some time to get into the groove. And it wasnt even like he was a god before he got injured. He was a kid learning his trade. RvP on the other hand is out for the season.

    But ofcourse doing anything about this is being wasteful and acting like Liverpool.

    Your argument is utterly and completely retarded. No offense.

    Do you guys use this kind of logic in your day job??

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 17:42

      If hyperbole is the essence of communication….Fred, you might be the king (or should I say KING….or at least prince) ;-)

      I think if you read above closely, there’s a bunch of consensus about how buying a bit of talent might be just the tonic that our weary (callow?) team need.

      Liverpool ARE in trouble, what with ManCity buying up our (premature?) cast-offs, not to mention getting beaten or outplayed by the likes of Spurs, Birmingham, and…Pompey. They’ve got crippling debts AND a crumbling stadium…at least we’ve got…well, you know….

      That said, Torres was a good buy (and singlehandedly got them a couple of points vs Villa at the death). It would be sweet to see him in the same team with Cesc, but we’ll have to wait for the World Cup for that….

      But here I sit, prepared to be labeled an idiot, fucktard, etc….In lieu of that, perhaps a list of who we should buy would be entertaining….

      Oh, and I almost forgot…I’ve got no day-job, just a handy (and happy) house-husband (or retired property developer, depending on how you spin it…..)

      • vibe4arsenal

        January 10, 2010 at 17:52

        You know what’s really hyperbole? To extrapolate a consistent call for two or three players into

        ‘We need to be careful or ARSENAL COULD BECOME LIVERPOOLl!!!!!’

        Talk about doom-mongering.

        I could spend 500 words on here saying

        ‘We had better be careful with our spending OR WE COULD BECOME LEEDS!!!!” but it would have sweet fa to do with anything anyone on here has EVER has actually advocated.

        Yet it would be applauded by the worshipers because it’s more obfuscation of reality.

        Does anyone actually believe there’s even the teeny, tiniest chance that AFC will even remotely resemble LFC under Wenger? Ever?? No, there is not. So…what?

        Oh, and I DID watch the match yesterday. Just sayin’.

        • HighburyterraceSteve

          January 10, 2010 at 18:26

          Good point about match watching, Vibe….

          Life is a delicate balance between appreciation and striving….but that’s just my personal philosophy (though I think I might e-mail it to AW….)

          I’m just saying that, as a concerned supporter and observer, I’d like to see some more subtle thoughts about our team….The Kool-Aid, Haterade stuff gets a little shrill at times…We all want to toast the team with champagne, not drown our sorrows with Newcastle Brown or PBR….

          Perhaps this is when we need Derek Smalls (Nipuna?) to be like luke-warm water and chime in with his thoughts….(I fear he’s sleeping at the moment, however.)

          Meanwhile, in the battle of the I-titans, Felipe Melo passes into the stands (unchallenged) and Flamini comes on for Gattuso with a half hour to impress Raymond Domenech….It’s a Super-Dire snoozefest and prelude to Juventus coach sacking and player sell-off, I would bet. Juve might actually be worse at defending corners than we are….

          • vibe4arsenal

            January 10, 2010 at 18:38

            In fairness, I do think it was Fred who said serie A was unwatchable. ;-)

            Yes, the two sides do get stuck in their respective corners sometimes. But I understand Fred’s frustration. Some of us have made the same, simple, straightforward request of our Manager for a few years now. When it gets turned into something entirely different, it is a little maddening.

            I can hear LDE thinking, It’s only a Message Board. Quite right. I truly hope no one gets as upset in real life as we sometimes appear on here. I’m pretty sure we don’t have any actual hooligans on YAMA. ;-)

            • HighburyterraceSteve

              January 10, 2010 at 18:51

              So, Vibe, if you were to buy, whom might you buy, if you were, say, manager/CEO at Arsenal? Just asking…

            • vibe4arsenal

              January 10, 2010 at 19:10

              Steve, I would love to see Carlton Cole come in (and a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed I’d feel this way). Tough, really good in the air…I think he’s exactly the kind of guy we could use right now.

              But, generally, I’m poor with specific names. I’ve said since back in the AA days, I’m a Premier League fan and that is about all I watch. At that, there are few neutral matches I watch. (United, Villa, Spurs and Everton usually warrant some attention. I also watch Fulham in a good contest, because I have a friend who follows them. Same for the Hammers, thus the Cole love.)

              Beyond that, the only international matches I watch are the WC, which I’ll watch religiously…so maybe I’ll have some names at the end of the Summer…;-)

              I recognize the pieces we have been missing, but am not 1/10th the scout that some on here are.

            • stag133

              January 10, 2010 at 18:52

              I would imagine some EPL games SUCK as well, I know, I watch them too.
              I watched Vieira’s last match in Italy, against Chievo… 1-0, and entertaining.
              Don’t paint all of Italy with a broad brush, there are exciting – open matches being played there too.
              They DO play a more defensive style than England, it is just how ITALY play in general… hasn’t hampered their National team to play that way… has it?

            • HighburyterraceSteve

              January 10, 2010 at 19:12

              The Old Lady needs to be put out of her misery….Maybe we should make a bid for Giorgio Chellini. (I don’t think he meant to hurt RVP…and, of course….It ain’t never gonna happen, I know, I know….)

              The early match was tremendously exciting with Inter getting the late goals and Jose animated as always on the touchline. (The EPL misses that guy, I think.)

              In other news, Denilson seems to be recovering from his mysterious tranquilizer shooting incident, with AW getting the memo from Nipuna about handling the ball as he goes down. http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11661_5851939,00.html

              Perhaps, he does read the blogs….

            • vibe4arsenal

              January 10, 2010 at 19:15

              I would imagine some EPL games SUCK as well,
              ________________

              Oh, Lord, yes. Most of them, in fact. I wasn’t trying to reopen that argument (about the watchability of Serie A). Just having some specific, contextual fun with Steve.

              I’m keeping it pretty light today, Stagg. Down boy. ;-)

            • nipuna

              January 11, 2010 at 01:08

              Yeah, I got a lot of grief for suggesting that what Deni did was unprofessional. Now that it has been confirmed that his spinal cord didn’t collapse, I feel a lot better. And I am quite surprised that Arsene is publicly admonishing Deni.

              Will Andez and LDE please request Arsene not to say ridiculous things? ;)

  34. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 10, 2010 at 16:57

    We’ve got some winter fog outside here…bbbrrrrr….so I’m content watching continental football on TV. Real Madrid beating Mallorca in the snow at (the empty) Bernabeu while Juve and AC Milan have just kicked off in Torino….I’ll be sitting in the GDC if anyone cares to join me….

    • OziKenyan

      January 10, 2010 at 22:22

      Its going to hit 42 degrees celcius here this weekend. “the grass is always greener on the other side’.. I wish we had a bit of a cool breeze here.

  35. Andez

    January 10, 2010 at 16:15

    Stag man, u need to light up a bit sometimes. Really no need to talk with such an emotion every time.

    P.S: The Invincbles back 4 + keeper, Jens-Lauren-Sol-Kolo-Cole, which one of them was a player from the George Graham years?

    • stag133

      January 10, 2010 at 18:47

      They passed the torch to these 4.
      Who were the back-ups that year?
      Who were your defensive midfielders.

      Hard to lighten up… when you see the CHANCE for the club to compete for the league and CL … and key issues CONSISTENTLY get neglected.
      It’s extremely frustrating, and when we play that poorly, it pisses me off to no end, to hear … we are good as we are, no need to bring anyone in.
      It’s ridiculous.

      I lighten up in regard to American sports!
      ;)

      • Andez

        January 10, 2010 at 19:17

        back up was Keown at CB. And I remember AW had to put him on at the final minute of our last game so that Martin could earn a medal.

        Meaning that he played 10 league games all season.

        As for the defensive midfielders, WHO bought them?

        I understand your point. But statement like Arsene Wenger only won titles with GG’s back 4 is invalid.

        While you can suggest GG’s back 4 helped AW to win trophies, on the other hand, if you remember…

        when AW first arrived at Arsenal, the media were talking about how our old back 4 had “past it”.

        Dixon and Nutty were already 33. Bouldy 35. Baby Tony was 30.

        All of them credited Wenger for helping them “extended” their career.

        A lesser manager would have easily got rid of all of them as soon as he arrived without much of a fanfare.

        • stag133

          January 11, 2010 at 01:42

          he extended their careers with his revolutionary ideas in fitness and nutrition, they helped his career by being solid – old school type defenders… I’d imagine that Keown helped the “new” back 4 out…

          I didn’t say Wenger only won with GG’s defense, but he definitely BENEFITED from the players that were left by GG.

  36. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 10, 2010 at 15:51

    Anybody see the finish of Inter-Siena just now? A goal down in the 87th and they end up winning (making the upcoming Juventus-Milan game less interesting, however). Wenger out, Mourinho in (!?)

    Chelsea, United and Arsenal are all struggling between the posts….I still feel Cech is strong, but Van der Saar’s been out all year, Foster has gone from England’s #1 to picking splinters, Kuscac seems serviceable but not outstanding, and our keeper….

    I don’t support buying a keeper in mid-season, but we’re gonna need those 100 goals and we still might not be able to win the league! It would be the ultimate irony if we scored 100 (2.6 goals/match), kept Gallas and Vermaelen healthy and still came away empty handed. There’s a disease in the team and it’s creeping up our back-side….

    The play-making indecision is bad enough (and fair play to Mooney, he did block 50% of his one on ones…) but nearly getting Sagna maimed and bonking heads with Traore and mis-kicking back passes and getting the back four screaming at each other (in French, I’m sure) at set pieces….it all has the effect of shortening the match for us. Not good when we’re a goal down….

    It needs some sorting out, I’d say.

    • vibe4arsenal

      January 10, 2010 at 15:56

      I don’t know if we’ve mentioned it on here, but it’s very sad what’s going on with Van De Saar’s wife. I haven’t read anything recently, but it sounds like a heartbreaking situation.

      • HighburyterraceSteve

        January 10, 2010 at 16:32

        Agreed. Same with Robert Enke’s suicide. Keeper’s are a different breed, but they’re still people….

        Also, can’t quite figure out the latest on the Togo Nat’l team, playing or leaving Angola….Early this morning I read that they we’re gonna play to “honor the dead” but now the Gov’t is “calling the team back.” Ade is a different breed also, but still….

  37. vibe4arsenal

    January 10, 2010 at 15:16

    Some classic post-match Wenger speak. Workshopping his new standup act, I guess.

    “At the end of the day we dropped two points, but looking at the game we gained one point because we were closer to losing the game than to winning it.”

    So if we’d scored two goals in the last three minutes, that would have been like 5 points?! Damn, we were so close to topping the table there.

    “With three minutes to go Everton had three or four corners and we didn’t get out of the box. At that time I would have signed for a point.”

    Well, umm, yeah. Preferring 1 point to 0 points. Arsene knows.

    “We didn’t produce the quality we are used to in our team play, we were a little bit flat, but the spirit was there.”

    Translation…

    “We sucked, we played with no energy, but at least we didn’t walk off the pitch early!”

    All completely ridiculous, yet technically impossible to argue with. Genius!

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 15:28

      I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm here….

      Before all that AW did say that we played like crap. If we’re to fault the manager for not being straight-forward in his post match assessment it has to be in the lack of comment about Almunia. At least he didn’t say that we owe the point to the save Manny made after Denilson fell down dead…. ;-)

      • vibe4arsenal

        January 10, 2010 at 15:53

        Oh, I know he acknowledged how bad we were. I just find it funny how he kept trying to mitigate it. If you’re flat, for instance, you’re not playing with ‘spirit’. As you allude, why not just say ‘Almunia is not good, but we’re also very pleased he didn’t let in five goals, because I do not think we could have scored four in the last three minutes. So he did his job.’

        He’s spinning himself into the ground there, and it’s not fooling anybody. It does make me smile, though, so it’s not all bad. ;-)

        • HighburyterraceSteve

          January 10, 2010 at 16:23

          The spin doesn’t bother me in the least, nor blaming the fixtures, nor picking which manager’s hand to shake. At least he didn’t blame the weather (I don’t think.)

          Who knows, maybe next match he’ll say that we can fix things by adjusting the “Dobly.” “You Know the Doubly…”

          • vibe4arsenal

            January 10, 2010 at 19:17

            You can’t dust for vomit.

  38. joshuad

    January 10, 2010 at 14:27

    Still haven’t seen the game. However, I think we’re in pretty good shape. Considering how many players we have out injured, we could be in a lot worse shape. We’re three points off the top spot at the halfway point.

    Do we need new players? I’d prefer our injured players back. I’m not opposed to buying new players but we need to tread carefully. Continuity is a very relevant component in a club.

    Liverpool is the template of what not to do. Benitez has bought nearly 100 players in five years at Liverpool. That’s ridiculous. How can you establish continuity with that turn over? It’s why their bench looks anemic.

    What I’m opposed to is buying players to be backups. If you need cover, it should be from within the squad. We’ve got talent and they all know A

    • joshuad

      January 10, 2010 at 14:40

      Sorry boys, I accidentally pushed the submit button. If Arsene buys players it should be to play, like Vermaelen, Sagna, and Arshavin. People will come to Arsenal thinking they’re going to play but if they don’t play, they’ll leave, especially during a World Cup year.

      Liverpool is the perfect example of what buying “backup players” gets you. Eighty-six players in five years. That’s got to be unprecedented. All of those transfers and all of that money spent, yet their bench still sucks. They’re certainly the worst in the top four. I’d rather Arsene continue with his prudence then waste so much money and still have to hope Torres stays fit.

      • HighburyterraceSteve

        January 10, 2010 at 15:22

        Totally agree about buying prudently and buying young and not buying back-ups. The “big names” are not feasible given our financial goals nor AW’s disposition, so why even bother thinking about it, though I can understand why supporters are galled by reports of our “profits.” Personally, I like bargain hunting and hate overpaying for anything, so I like the approach….but that’s just me.

        If Arsene can unearth some young talent to push the likes of Djourou or Senderos at the back or Vela, Bendtner and Walcott at the front…And if they can contribute right away, all the better.

        Also agree about the need for continuity but we have so many players out and quite a few “sucking it up” and playing hurt (Arshavin, Denilson, Gallas) or searching for match fitness (Rosicky, Dudu and hopefully soon, Cesc, Clichy, Bendtner & Walcott). We are seriously wounded….our competition are stumbling and keeping us in it…AND the window is open….It would seem a bit churlish (as they say) to not at least try to shake things up with a new body or two.

      • Andez

        January 10, 2010 at 15:59

        completely agree with u Josh.

        Personally I think we have probably the deepest squad right now under AW.

        Unfortunately we also have one of the longest injury lists at the moment under AW. It makes the squad looks thin.

        Though I been calling for a new striker, I do understand that if that happens, it will almost certainly means one of our current attackers will leave comes the end of the season.

        It’s just tough luck that van Persie and Bendtner out at the same time. I think AW now must have been facing a great dilemma at the moment.

    • stag133

      January 10, 2010 at 16:08

      we aren’t winning shit without incoming player(s).
      watch that match… you didn’t… you didn’t see the shambolic defense at its worst.

      Can’t win a trophy with that type of play…

      sorry.
      the evidence is just too much.

  39. vibe4arsenal

    January 10, 2010 at 13:56

    Good stuff, Steve. I’d say ‘fair and balanced’, if that phrase hadn’t been ruined by Fox News. ;-)

    “I guess we’ve got to start at the back where Almunia needs to disappear. (Losing the blonde hair isn’t enough!)”

    Proving that ‘dumb’ is more than just follicle deep.

    I’m so disappointed for (as opposed to ‘in’) Eduardo. I was actually very optimistic (!!!) about him going into the year, and probably (hopefully) over-estimated his (or anyone’s) ability to overcome such an horrific injury. If he can just tread water this year, maybe next year… (which seems to be our number one tune, anyway).

    Not at all optimistic about Bendtner this year. Wouldn’t surprise me at all if he keeps getting pushed back. Even if not, match fitness and consistent, significant contributions feel too far off for what we need NOW.

    • Andez

      January 10, 2010 at 14:40

      I am not sure if it’s out of my imagination, or not, Eduardo seems to have lost a bit of pace since coming back from his ankle injury.

      He’s never as lighting quick as Theo or Titi, but he seemed to be a bit quicker than he is right now in my memory.

      • vibe4arsenal

        January 10, 2010 at 15:21

        Love the new profile pic, Andez. ;-)

        • Andez

          January 10, 2010 at 15:53

          don’t know why I can’t see the change myself. On my own page it’s still my old RP7 pic..

          • vibe4arsenal

            January 10, 2010 at 16:15

            I see one happy pitcher of Arsenal Kool-Aid, my man. Have you opened and closed your browser?

      • vibe4arsenal

        January 10, 2010 at 16:21

        There’s nothing about his game right now that doesn’t appear to be a shadow of prior to the injury. I wouldn’t say it’s your imagination, but he looks slower in a way that seems to be about more than just pace.

  40. HighburyterraceSteve

    January 10, 2010 at 12:40

    DAG, excellent match review…And whatever inside info you’ve got about when we play our make-up match, injuries, etc. is much appreciated. Great work. I was up a little early and watching (parts) of our match on replay when I posted the following at the bottom of the last thread….

    Glad to see people here searching for positives or solutions to the problems on obvious display yesterday. I like to highlight the amusing divisions between the “optimists” and the “realists” but I know we’re all supporters and that we’re all trying to get a grip on the frustrations of watching the obvious frailties of our talented but fledgling team.

    I guess we’ve got to start at the back where Almunia needs to disappear. (Losing the blonde hair isn’t enough!) Although I think Fabianski couldn’t be worse and might be a whole lot better, I can see why AW doesn’t make the move as (unlike us) he has to manage his players’ confidence and there would be no way back for poor Manny. Unsettled in that position, however, means that we will need luck to accomplish anything this season.

    And, make no mistake, we were lucky yesterday. Given that our teen-aged MF and tiny front line were bossed and pushed off the ball. We were fortunate to get the two deflected goals and the single point.

    And we’ve really got not much to pin additional hopes on. Cesc is now our talisman and we need him healthy, but we can’t count on a goal every half hour from him.

    We have no replacement for Song. Denilson is clearly unfit and too slight even at his best. Diaby and Ramsey, for all their attacking flair, lack the field sense and passing eyes to protect our back four. And all of these options are simply woeful in the air. In fact, given that Traore was doing his best to make us happy to welcome Clichy back, we might have preferred Silvestre in the line-up yesterday, esp. at set pieces.

    So where’s the optimism?…Hopefully we’ve got a full week off (possible make up match with Bolton on Weds?) to try and get Cesc and Bendtner and Denilson back to fitness. We could also use the week to try and BUY SOME HELP, with a CB/DM seeming most necessary. (Vela to me is starting to look useful up front, Dudu not so much….) In this regard it’s probably good we got yesterday’s match in. Still, when a dyed-in-the-(red and white) wool, starry-eyed, stinking hippy like myself is thinking that the most positive thing going is that WE DON’T HAVE TO PLAY FOR A WHILE….well, it’s just a bit sad….

  41. live_dont_exist

    January 10, 2010 at 12:12

    Thats some nice insight there Mazza from the previous thread. The reason why a big target man with no other skill wont work for Arsenal is because of the type of players we have.

    A thought though – Even if you have the midfield passing sideways say near the 30 yard line of the opposition it’d be doing what the commentators call “pass the ball into the net” which has its own frustrations.

    Barring RVP who is a sort of a dream hugely mobile target man(this season anyway) all of our midfielders are more in the movement category. Rosicky, Nasri, Arshavin, Dudu even and even Bendtner to an extent are all pass, move, pass, move players. Cesc is a bit of a genius while Denilson and Song also drift around a fair bit. Diaby is probably the only direct attacking player. And that is actually the reason we are still scoring despite no strikers .. well Dudu has just come back.

    That’s why its the playmaking midfielder which is always paramount to Arsenal .. not the striker, CB or even the goalie. Yes there’s games we’ll miss them but its the attacking midfielders that are most important in the system. Because if they have stinkers , our defense isn’t great enough to bail them out consistently. That is also why AW keeps bringing in multi faceted , versatile .. drift in playmakers. Its the heart for this system – not DM or CB.

    • Andez

      January 10, 2010 at 12:33

      that’s why its the playmaking midfielder which is always paramount to Arsenal
      ———————
      Good point LDE. I never thought of that before.

      I can’t say I’m 100% agree with u. But it does make good sense this theory of you.

      Frankly I grew up watching GG’s Arsenal, so I was kinda like brainwashed by George, beliving – DEFENSE WINS GAME.

      Yes, I would charge Stag for copyright here ;) Cos this cliche was first brought up by me at AA way back during our 2004 season, when Stag was still our Mr. Positive!

      Therefore I am not entirely happy that AW has been paying way too much attention on attack than defend.

      But then I can’t say I’ve any complain of watching attacking football.

      Life’s bi*ch, nobody can having it all. So I’ll live with that! :)

      • stag133

        January 10, 2010 at 16:03

        damned straight Andez, you said it, I listened, and watched how we played, and I started supporting at the end of Gramam’s tenure… he left a back 4 and keeper that were integral in us WINNING everything Wenger’s Arsenal won.
        You don’t win without solid defense.
        If you watched yesterday’s match… not sure how you can think we’ll win anything without at least tweaking something soon.
        But the defense has been of secondary concern to Wenger for YEARS, which is why we haven’t won shit since 2004.

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 12:47

      I also think this is an excellent point and why we look so poor without Cesc AND Song on the pitch.

      Cesc is on the cusp of World Dominance (perhaps a bold statement…), as AW has groomed him and given him a platform. Whatever we accomplish this season (and I still have hope) will need to come through Cesc. Hopefully Spain will do likewise at the WC and Cesc will be healthy and available for both teams.

      And, while we think of Song as our big, lumbering DM, he’s been on the leading end of A LOT of our best “team goals” and has the second best eye for the killer pass that can undo a defense. We missed that yesterday quite a bit.

  42. nipuna

    January 10, 2010 at 11:52

    DAG, do you know if our Bolton home game will be played this mid week?

    • OziKenyan

      January 10, 2010 at 22:08

      Nope.. Unscheduled as of just now

  43. Andez

    January 10, 2010 at 10:49

    Mazza,

    To reply to your comment on previous thread. I do still insist we need a strong targetman up front. But I agree your point of movement off the ball. We do seem to lack of that lately.

    I always feel “pass” and “move” are linked and related. Without “movement”, you can’t get the passing game going to a good effect, especially when comes to penetration pass. Also, there’s no point if there’s only ONE player who’s making the runs. We need players to make more decoy runs.

    Having a dribbler will help. As he would suck the defenders to him and open up space for his teammates.

    But ideally, a strong targetman would allow us to play different “tempo” games up front.

    Without a targetman, if we wanna breakdown a bus parking defense, we have to up the tempo and pass the ball quickly. If the opposition manage to slow us down, things would get tougher.

    With a targetman, we can afford to play a patient passing game up front. As we would have a foothold up front where we could keep the ball and launch an attack.

    I think David Moyes employed a smart defensive tactic against us. He knew our attacking was all about going through the middle. And our wide players are crap on making crosses, plus the fact we don’t have a tall striker up front. So he just packed the middle and show us to the flanks.

    • HighburyterraceSteve

      January 10, 2010 at 12:35

      Andy….love the new avatar…

      And, of course, we have both a dribbler (Cesc) AND a target man (Bendtner) coming back soon….AND THAT’S WHY WE DON’T NEED ANY NEW SIGNINGS!!! ;-)

      • stag133

        January 10, 2010 at 16:00

        what makes you think Bendtner is coming back soon?
        The commentator on yesterday’s match said he was OUT… long-term.

  44. DaAdminGooner

    January 10, 2010 at 10:25

    One thing I neglected to mention is that we got runover in the midfield. Denilson is not a holding midfielder – if he is – he is a poor substitute for Song. Ramsey and Nasri haveboth played that well for their nation and for other clubs – I’d rather see them there than Denilson.

    Given his injury that could happen. Also, I’ve seen rumors that the injury is quite possibly a broken rib. If it’s not then it likely could be a hernia – either way I think Denilson is gone until March.

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