Double Dutch – RvP & Amsterdam

The Amsterdam Tournament kicks off tonight, the final two games of the pre-season and arguably the most important on two counts. Firstly, it represents the last opportunity to tune up for the coming campaign in a vaguely competitive environment. Training is all well and good, enhancing the fitness levels but it is the matches that prepare best for the Premiership. Secondly, and closely linked in, is the fact that one of the two matches ought to contain Arsene’s starting line-up for the Fulham match, injuries and paperwork permitting.

There are two good teams to play in Lazio and Ajax, with differing styles to accommodate. I am glad that Lazio are the opposition instead of Atletico as it presents two chances to take on well-disciplined defences, something that will be the norm again this season at The Emirates. Arsenal in recent seasons have struggled to break down Dutch teams so it is good to be opposing them to see if this current incarnation of the squad can improve, even if it is a friendly.

Encouraging news in that Arsene expects Tomas Rosicky to play a part this weekend, presumably his tight hamstring has responded well to treatment. No news on Adebayor and Walcott which presumably means they will not be participating although by the time you read this, no doubt the Club will have issued a statement saying they are in the squad and will play in both games.

Whilst the fitness levels improve, partnerships need to build as well, particularly in the front line where through the injury situation last year, little or no understanding could be built between RvP and, well, anyone else. Interesting words from the Dutchman yesterday about being more interested in playing good football than an unattractive style but win things,

There are only a few teams in Europe who play the way Arsenal play. I will always play for a team where I earn less money but play fantastic football rather than a team where you can earn lots of money and win every week 1-0, 2-0 and play the defensive style

Well, somewhere between the two is the ground that Arsenal need to occupy, adopting a tighter defensive strategy such as that which brought a clean sheet at Old Trafford, transferring that to the lower placed teams in the Premiership and to The Emirates as well; achieve that and it is highly likely that the pundits who write the team off will be eating large servings of Humble Pie.

With da Silva learning his fate today, already the speculation is starting about who Arsene’s Plan B is; the UK media is obsessed with Nicolas Anelka whilst reports are coming through of a supposed interest in Frederic Kanoute at Sevilla. The silly season still has four weeks to run so brace yourself if it all goes pear-shaped at the Home Office today.

’til Tomorrow.

37 thoughts on “Double Dutch – RvP & Amsterdam

  1. Hi YW,

    Just on the eduardo point: while I have been saying it is impossible to predict transfers/second guess AW, I am not suprised that no movement has been made before today’s W/P hearing. The Reyes/Ljungberg deals and the issue of the W/P were all barriers to bringing in new players; I believe the result today will seriously affect AW’s plans, although he insisted at the weekend it wouldnt.

    If Eduardo gets the W/P, which I fully expect, then he can put all his engergies into getting a player to compliment what we already have, most say a winger. If Eduardo fails, the priority will, of course, be a new stiker. I fully believe AW has players lined up for these eventualities, but transfers take time: if we need a new striker, we could miss out elsewhere.

    I am deliberately not throwing names into the hat: its a pointless exercise and almost certainly a devalued art form….

  2. Agree with all of the above. Hoping this permit does get resolved and Eduardo gets jetted over to play a part today. Interesting line up tonight, it would probably be the case that the boss will name a slightly weaker side tonight. Would expect Bendtner to get a good amount of minutes. Maybe less so with Rvp having played the full 90 on Sunday, with a game against his countrymen to come! Am not so certain Wenger has any transfers lined up. It may be his belief that he has all that is required and he simply needs to work on the balances and combinations within the squad. I would prefer a winger to come but what is more poignant are Van Persie’s indications that these young players want to run for each other. The old team ethic of hunting the ball in packs, led by wired front men seemed to have faded. Well now Henry has gone, Van Persie may just be underlining the ethos that will bring us back to life. Eduardo could play a massive part with his energy and hunger, freeing up for room for the Rosicky’s and making runs for Fab. Here’s to that work permit and a re-invigorated Arsenal.

  3. I thought the Eduardo WP situation only applied to him playing in the UK. And therefore he was allowed to participate in the Amsterdam Tournament? Can anyone confirm?

  4. I have a hunch that Eduardo IS the left winger we all want and if the WP thing goes belly up then another left winger will be bought. clearly he can also play up front but its that adaptability that wenger likes. I feel sure that Ade and RVP are wengers first choice strikers.
    Myles on ANR thinks we have something in the pipeline but he is often wrong. it also may depend on todays turn of events. I hope we get an older more experienced player who still has a bit of pace about him as well as strength. All of our attacking players are 25 or younger and we have so many kids coming through (Gibbs, barazite etc), so I dont really want another 23 year old coming in and blocking their path forward. (though clearly I wont complain if its a class player).
    I am looking forward to seeing Walcott and Ade playing later.

  5. dear fans,
    Arsenal 0-l salzbug. HEADLINES… ARSENAL’S CRSIS, ONGOING.
    Manu 2-3 Inter Milan HEADLINES…. ?????

    it goes to show that the media and everyone does not want the best for us.
    i suggest it best for us to give a full back to the team in all situations we find ourselves the coming season

  6. Dudu should play today as a work permit is required only if he plays in the UK. So it will be good to see him in action.

    BTW it was good to see ManU loose to the team we whipped last weekend… hehe…

  7. It was good to hear about man u’s defensive problems. I happen to think Man U got a bit lucky last season. they had virtually no important injuries until the very final run in when it was already won. in that difficult Jan-March period they got a few big (lucky) wins. Meanwhile chelsea had lost Cech and Terry for a hige chunk of the season. reverse those situations and chelsea would have strolled it.
    I dont think chelsea particular impress anyone with their dour attacking play but defensively they are so good that they only need to nick a goal and they usually win. they have so many brutish players that they can normally bundle a goal in at some point. not my cup of tea, but they will be the ones to beat this season.
    I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Arsenal have the most talented attacking players in the league. BUT can we mix up the tactics and use width better than we did last season and can we get through a game without conceding a stupid goal. the latter of these will determine how we do.

  8. Today the media was after RVP… talking and asking about when he plans to leave… stories of Cesc leaving are still cropping up even after he has said so many times he wanted to leave… they are still after Titi asking him why he left!!!

    They were after Kolo sometime back even when he and his brother said they would not like to play together… and even after Kolo said he is in Arsenal now for life.

    This summer the media has run a sustained campaign to put Arsenal down and spread a feeling of gloom around… I think they are feeling very insecure :o))))

  9. Correction * stories of Cesc leaving are still cropping up even after he has said so many times he NEVER wanted to leave*

  10. i did write a long post about chelsea and man u and how we are better than them in attack but it seems to have disappeared into cyber-ether.
    the gist was that I feel our attack is more talented than anyone in the league but the defence is probably where chelsea are very much stronger than anyone else. If wenger gets the tactics right going forward then maybe we can outscore everyone and not worry about the sloppy goals we always let in.
    I dont know whether the days of you score 2 we’ll score 3 have gone now because there’s always the chance we wont score 3 in every game. I mean I dont even know whether the invincibles team would win the league this year. we had 90 points that year, a total that would not have been enough to win the title in 2005 or 2006. can anyone win the league with a leaky defence?

  11. Gazzap- the answer is no.

    You will never be fluent in every game. That is when you need to grind out the 1-0s. You cannot do that with dodgy defending.

    Defending is part of the team ethic that will hopefully improve this season.

    I hope that various teams will be more competitive this season so that fewer points will be needed to win the league.

    English football badly needs that to happen.

    Ther may be a few surprises.

  12. Thanks YW

    I love your articles. They seem to be well researched and written well. Regarding our team, I was surprised to find that Manure was beaten by Inter we beat. I struggled to find anything about that as it was overshadowed by praises of Ronaldo and Rooney.

    Wonder if we had lost any game in Emirates cup it would’nt have been a big Headline. well, lets continue running against wind.


  13. I cant beleive people think we have a small squad. 23 great first team players there. I include Ade but not Song in that 23!
    shame as I really want to see Ade develop but he has got all season to show what he can do.

  14. just looked into last seasons appearances of the top clubs and Arsenal had 22 players who made 10 or more premiership appearances more than any of the other top 4 clubs. Chelsea was 21, Man U 19 and Liverpool 18. the small squad argument does not make sense.

  15. Just watched the Arsenal v Lazio game,

    Not a bad performance although a couple of the guys seemed happy to stroll through.

    Bendtner started up front with Eduardo and both got on the Score sheet which is good for the confidence, although Eduardo was at fault for their goal, he was trying to be clever and fluffed it.

    I dont like to put an Arsenal player down unless deserved, but how on earth does Song get paid to play football, he is like a bloke we have at work, keen as mustard with great energy but when he does his thing at work it is a shambles. Song was like that AGAIN tonight, he would find space get the pass and then either pass it to the opposition, put it out or give a 50/50 ball, I know he is still young but you see potential in a lot of Arsenal’s kids but I just cant see it coming in him, he is a liability.

    Its another win though and 2-1 to the Arsenal is becoming the norm. I still think we need to get in two more players and i seem to keep making excuses for Arsene for not doing it, firstly it was because he was waiting for Reyes to go, then it was as he was waiting for Dudu’s WP, now its because we are in a mini tourney. Maybe next week 🙂

    Maybe he does not want to rock the cart now that we are building confidence, fingers crossed though that at least one more will come in, LW please Santa

    Quaresma or Di Maria please, i say Di Maria as I am not sure if he went to Benfica after all, I can find reference to the other player in the deal Diaz but no mention of Di Maria

  16. Di Maria is young; let’s have someone established(ish) so as not to block the emergence of youngsters such as Nacer Barazite, who could well end up on the wing.

    I watched the match on TV and was very impressed with Eduardo. His movement, awareness and touch are magnificent and he looks a true predator. Another positive was Senderos’ attitude; although the defence was a complete shambles, he, especially towards the end of the game, took the team’s entirely defensive responsibility on his own shoulders and did his best to shut out forward balls all by himself.

    Bendtner was decent, and I like him, but his passing is sloppy and he needs to realise that effort needs to go into every aspect of a football match, not just the moment you pull the trigger.

    Rosicky was very, very poor in his 45 minutes. Although it’s only a friendly, on this evidence he’ll be slipping quickly behind Hleb in the free-role-creative-central-attacking-midfielder-playing-out-of-position stakes.

    I don’t understand why Clichy is playing in front of Traore when Traore still patently requires serious work on the defensive side of his game. Furthermore Clichy is far from a master of his position and needs to keep playing at left-back rather than distract himself with another position.

    Eboue was petulant; one particularly ridiculous dive infuriated me. Premiership referees will not stand it for long.

    Fabregas was quiet again; I have a horrible feeling he may have a very poor season. Flamini looked very average, and after an alright start Song fell back to his former bad habits. Ship him out.

    The defence as a unit was shambolic and there is nothing more important to the squad right now than signing a defensive coach.

  17. crafty bison, Rosicky didn’t really get into the game, but given his recent injury he is clearly rusty as he is behind others in regaining fitness and match sharpness.

    Song was okay in midfield and does not deserve to be picked out anymore than others who also did some good things and some not so good things as you would expect at this stage in pre-season.

    I have to agree with your concern re Cesc. He really hasn’t got going yet. He looks like he’s filled out a bit and he’s still adjusting to his new body. Hopefully he will quickly shake off whatever his malaise is because we need the Cesc we know and love back to his best.

    Clichy is probably playing in front of Traore because the latter needs to practice his defensive play, whilst the former needs to practice his final ball. Seems like a sensible way to do it. Both are coming on in leaps and bounds.

    The second string defence were clearly suffering from lack of experience as individuals and as a unit, however, that is the beauty of pre-season friendlies you can try things out. The good thing is that they got better as the game wore on and for all Lazio’s clever runs they never got more out of the game.

  18. I thought Djourou just about held the defence together, but the others didn’t seem to have a clue. I agree that Traore looks some player going forward and i’d prefer to have clichy at the back. those two need swapping round in time but Traore probably needs a bit more experience yet before being thrown into midfield.
    Eboue is a strange player, one minute looks a world beater the next misplacing passes and diving.
    Eduardo looks the business. so so glad he got the w/p, he will have a great season I have no doubt. when ade comes back I feel we will see a little step up in level from the attack.
    central midfield was a mess tonight. Song… errrr, sorry this guy is not a footballer. he is not even defensive. more often than not he was IN FRONT of Fabregas. so much for the invisible wall – he was totally invisible because he wasn’t there!
    Fabregas still looks tired and slow but is still class.
    flamini does his usual running about. Only Diaby has really impressed me in the middle so I hope to see him tomorrow.
    Toure in the defensive midfield role actually worked for me. more of that please wenger but it wont happen. he will back in defense. but i’d like Djourou and Gallas at the back and Toure taking gilberto’s position – no one messes with King Kolo.
    Rosicky looked like it was his first training session after months off, and I guess it almost was since his injury.

    Otherwise the match was predictable. lots of good build up play, missed chances and sloppy defending. at least we held on and Eduardo got his goal.

  19. Sorry Song was shocking unless continuously giving the ball away is now considered okay… own opinion of course. push comes to shove he will probably go down as a Gus Ceasar rather than Patrick Vieira, I would bet money that he will never become a regular starting Arsenal player and if he does, then we are seriously in the poo.

    Agreed with Rosicky, I think we will see more of him on Saturday, Eboue’s dive was awful and it is a shame the idiots at Fifa are blocking Scotlands plans to give yellow and red cards following a game, its not a full proof idea but at least these cheats will be publicly named and shamed.

    Cesc will pick it up, maybe Madrid is still on his mind in the same way Barca was on Henry’s this time last year, If it is I hope he shakes it as he is key this year

    MOM for me was Eduardo and he looked like his sharpness is coming, next was Van Persie and even though he was a Sub, every time he gets the ball you feel the crowd almost holding their breath to see what he will do and it was decent that the Ajax fans did not boo him when he came on

  20. Oh and thank god this is only Tribal Football rubbish

    Sevilla striker Fredi Kanoute admits he’d listen to an offer from Arsenal if it materialised.
    French sources say Kanoute’s entourage have been contacted by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger in recent days and when asked about the reports, the former Tottenham man said: “For the moment, it’s just talk, speculation.

    “If my agent tells me they’re serious, then I will listen to what they have to say.”


  21. Concerning our game.

    Defensively poor.

    Played too high up.

    Edu was great.

    We won with a 2nd string.

    Good workout.

    Nothing to cry about.

  22. A point worth mentioning, this was the first real physical preseason game the team has had.

    It was interesting to note that Lazio are a very big team. It seems to me every one of there out field player was over 6 foot. And the play a certain pattern that will catch most teams out.
    And they used the long ball effectively. The linesmen were really poor. They should have been flagged offside a lot more.

    Personally I love the challenge Lazio offered and I am also glad to see that it remains a pre-season to Wenger. With the aim to get players match fit. He knew the team was not functioning, but left at that to let the players find the solution.

    One key ingredient we’ve lacked in the last two to three seasons is character. The team lead by Henry was psychologically a weak one. Henry was neither a leader nor a fighter, a key requirement to being a captain in England. I see Wenger addressing it now by identifying leaders. Gallas, Kolo, Gilberto, Senderos and Lehman.
    The captainship of the club would only be given to people committed to the course. And Gallas recent comments say it all; the boss must have had a quiet word.

  23. Song is 18 years old – he had a bad game at Fulham last season (but so did most of the Arsenal team) and no one will let him live it down. It is far too soon to write him off. Cesc making it to the first team at the age of 16 has raised the bar to such an extent that all teenagers at Arsenal are expected to make an instant impact. That’s ridiculous as Cesc was the exception not the norm. I’ve heard people saying Walcott is sh*t and Bendtner is lazy etc etc. I can’t believe how judgemental people are. They are young, they are learning. RVP looks like he could take off this season, but remember he’s been here a few years and made plenty of mistakes along the way to where he is now. Thankfully Arsene will give youngsters a proper chance before dropping them (unless they choose to leave). If he took the attitude of some fans RVP may not still be with us!

  24. Gaazap you are so riight defense was terible if we played like this against Blackburn we would get anihilatedl Djouru was the only bright spot. Song should be sold or loaned out. The team clicked on sunday as a unit, tonight was the opposite it stems from having a lousy defense.

    When Ebuoe and RVP play 90 minutes and with the rest of the regular defense it will be better,but I dont think this game showed that our squad has real depth. Senderos and Hoyte made glaring mistakes.

    Bentner is strong but not ready for starting a game, I was most upset with Theo he seems to have regressed in the last week

  25. not kanoute please!! we dont want that yid. players who do well in spain dont do well in the prem like forlorn n morientes & torres we hope!! i cant remember him prducing the goods for them yids either!! they weren’t sad to see him go

    has anybody got used to the white dickie yet!!

    thought not!!

    it’s wrong!!! plain wrong!!

  26. solgooner

    I fail to see how you would say we lack depth. I really do.

    Can you compare our squads

    RVP, Adebayor, Dudu, Bendtner

    Hleb, Rosicky, Diaby, Cesc, Gilberto, Denielson, Wolcott, Song

    Clichy, Gallas, Kolo, Senderos, Djorou, Sagna, Hoyte Eboue

    Lehman, Almunia, Fabianski

    That is a first team squad of 23, where is the lack of depth?

    Compare this to Chelsea’s and you’ll be plesantly supprissed that we are not far apart.

  27. Why are people getting worked up on stupid internet rumours?

    If Wenger is buying a player it will not be in the press until it is more or less done. He buys players to fill specific requirements. Kanoute does not offer anything over and above what Adebayor can offer. And Adebayor is younger.

  28. William

    I did say thank god its Tribal Football Rubbish, hardly getting worked up fella, I was meerly pointing out one of the most ridiculous rumours of the Summer. Trust me the last Website I would trust on a story is Tribal Football

    Passenal are you related to Song, I know he is only 18 but with younger players, you know if they are potential superstars or even just solid players, I just cant see either with him, I am not being judgemental, it is just my opinion.

    end of the day Wenger saw something otherwise he wouldn’t of paid money for him and got the Exceptional Talent Visa…..and I do not class him as a potential talent let alone an exceptional one, and it was not just the Fulham game, everytime he touches the ball I shudder. I dont compare him with Cesc, but I do compare him with Diaby and Denilson and he is miles behind in talent and quality.

  29. Patthegooner:
    Song is an interesting one, I have seen a lot about him. And everytime Wenger rates a player most people do not rate I out of habit try and see what Wenger sees in him.

    What Song lacks at the moment is confidence. And has never been in a settled team.
    Everytime he’s played it has been in an experimental team and his mistakes are amplified more.

    He has potential that is for sure, if it will be realised at Arsenal remains to be seen. At the moment there are a lot of players ahead of him.

    He has a lot going for him, he has a very good touch and is an early passer. This may not be evident at the moment, but as the sixth choice midfielder it should not trouble fans.

  30. OK, so Song needs time to develop; fine. Do it in the reserves.

    Although I love Djourou I forgot to mention earlier that I thought he had a nightmare today.

  31. Well said Passenal & William.

    This was a scratch side tonight & so it looked.

    We looked shaky at the back but considering only 2/3 of the team are likely to start against Fulham it was encouraging to still deservedly win the game.

    Dudu was the big plus but with Cesc & most of the team struggling for touch our best player in the 1st half was actually Song. He covered a huge amount of ground constantly won the ball, made himself available & generally retained possession quite well.

    The kid is 19 & there is enough there to say he could be quite a player in 2/3 years. He may or may not be good enough for us then but he will certainly be a decent player.

    I wonder what we might have thought about Kolo at his age?

    There seems to be a habit in condeming certain players, particularly youngsters, that ought to stop.

  32. I cannot understand why some of you pick on Song all the time. When Toure came on in midfield he was awful with his passing, and Song was no worse and is still young. You seem to watch a different game to me.

  33. in a way i feel sorry for song because that fulham game will be remembered by all, he knows that aswell and it probably got stuck in his mind and it may have affected his game……………….. or he might just be shit!!!!

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