Word from the Arsenal camp this morning is that Theo
Word from the Arsenal camp this morning is that Theo
Match of the Day has rarely been so pleasant, not least in the last few months.
It was almost pleasant to see us so late on in the bill, no frills, nothing unexpected and they couldn’t find anything to pick on.
In actual fact our midfield performed well, defensively and offensively. Rambo, Song and Arteta all tidy in possession, creative offensively with all three responsible for some great through balls. Ramsey grabbed two assists and Song a nice goal for his efforts.
Ramsey is beginning to show his obvious quality more and more now and it’s great to see that he has recovered fully.
Our defence played well to the last man and it was pleasant to see Ol’ Mert have a tidy game with some leggy clearances. Koscielny got another crack on the head and did well throughout.
Rather understated, barely mentioned was RvP’s cracking first goal. MoTD highlighted the second. But the first an excellent piece of work in creating space and then hitting a low, powerful rocket beating the always impressive Jaaskelainen at his near post. It relieved the pressure and took off the hand-brake that always keeps being mentioned.
In summary, it was a good performance that has relieved a bit of pressure with the forthcoming Champs League game. I was pleased with our attacking flair and the amount of times we tested Jaaskelainen and how little we need to look at the goalkeeping position at Arsenal now. He certainly is a ‘keeper and we need to keep him.
We just need another good performance midweek and then it’s the totteringham mugs next weekend.
Come on you Gooners, follow King Robin to greatness once again.
‘It is the fastest thing to lose and the slowest to get back’ – Arsene Wenger on the subject of confidence.
Never has a statement ever summed up Arsenal Football Club so succinctly. Reeling from poor performances in the league against our peers, yet showing excellence in the cup competitions, it is an odd start to the season. Not a pleasant start at all.
I think we all knew if we lost the bright sparks of Cesc and Nasri we would struggle initially as the team found a new identity. As the transfers of the above players were completed the media licked its ink-stained lips in anticipation. How could we take that? Cesc was like a son of Wenger at the club and we are in a period of mourning and denial.
We became an easy target and the haggard, tired looking Arsene became the hunted, the target for all loose tag lines and daft comments made by ex-professional footballers who should know better. In some cases the ‘professional’ tag hangs loose on those that hide behind it.
At Shrewsbury we saw the beta version of Arsenal 3.0. The Ox bursting through the middle with the likes of Coquelin and Frimpong tidying up and feeding him. With current first-team this would break down into Song, Wilshire and Ramsey with the former players swapping in and out. We’ve seen Rambo play on the wing before and he was effective for Arteta’s goal with a great run and cut-back.
I think we have a more fluid, mobile midfield now. We have more players for each position with the promotions and purchases and we have real quality in each position.
Sometimes the tree can take its time to bear its first fruit. We might not yet see the best of Arsenal 3.0 until Xmas, so we might not be at the top of the pile, but we will be fighting and that, surely, is all we can ask from our club? Players that play with passion and desire for the club?
That’s all I want, players who care as much as I do. The new generation of players do.
So what of formations? On tuesday Arsene brought back the 4-4-2 and with success I feel. Much has been made of this with Arsene who swiftly rebuffed it as a permanent change, suggesting it was merely a vehicle to incorporate his playing talent for the game. Personally I think it was an experiment to see how effective the Ox is at breaking inside from the wing.
What I can imagine is RvP and Theo up front, with the Ox taking up the right wing slot. Leaving Wilshire and Song in the middle for games where we don’t need to be so tight, where we take the game to the opposition. In the games against top opposition we can put three in the middle and revert back to 4-2-1-2-1 and play a tighter, midfield battle.
Today I just want a good result against the Trotters. We need to get our confidence, our va va voom, our Arsenal.
It’s been a crazy summer, add to that an indifferent Arsenal side that played with passion but lacked the cutting edge that had been its trademark for so long.
Patience being the virtue that it is was stretched, plucked and pulled en-route to Transfer Deadline Day. The Arsenal blogosphere screamed for signings to replace the departing players. Money had to be spent and the transfers of Gervinho and Oxlade-Chamberlain, did little to settle the furore.
In the 48 hours approaching the deadline more players departed, Bendtner, Traore and Lansbury all leaving for clubs temporary and permanent. The squad looked thinner than ever before and it seemed that for all of the promises we were in big trouble.
Step up Arsene and Park Chu Young, a South Korean Captain and Striker from Monaco. He was halfway through a medical with Lille when he was spirited to London Colney for a medical and eventual transfer to Arsenal.
The Blogosphere was naturally unimpressed, it seemed again as if Arsene had made a signing in the wrong area. He’d just sold a left-back, what was he thinking?
He was thinking Andre Santos, Brazilian left-back, Copa America winner and holder of over 20 caps for Brazil and a goals per game ratio that would make an attacking midfielder look amazing (5 in 15 games).
Santos was confirmed on the morning of deadline day. Still the Fans weren’t satisfied. Arsene was in France (spilled by Gilles Grimandi) negotiating a transfer and we needed more strength in the spine.
Almost as an afterthought, Per Mertesacker was announced on Arsenal.com – on a 4 year deal.
So, that’s a striker, a well-needed left-back and a massively experienced, massively proportioned no-nonsense Centre-back. All for a suspected 18million pounds. Excellent business.
But not enough, our lack of cover in central midfield and out wide, offensively and experience-wise was a big concern.
Then a broadside hit us like a rampaging rhino. Arteta and Benayoun. Both signed at the death of the transfer deadline. Both seasoned professional Premier League players and both creative and proven players.
I think Thursday 1st September 2011 will stick in my mind forever as probably the most relieved I have ever been at the end of a transfer window. Some excellent business completed.
I can’t wait for the international break to be over. Arsenal FC is back. Bring on Swansea.