It Was A Point Not The End Of The World Nor Is The Season Over

The first goalless game since our last visit to the South Coast, conceding top spot to Manchester United by a point. It was nowhere near a vintage performance but nowhere near as bad as some believe. Arsene’s frustration with the manner of Portsmouth’s performance masks the Arsenal shortcomings last night, the key one being the inability to break down stubborn resistance by your opponent.

It might have been different had not the shortest of the midfield quintet been the furthest forward as Eboue fizzed a cross into the Portsmouth box with less than a minute played. Unbeknownst to us at the time, that cameo summed up Fabregas’ evening; good positional play but the final touch was not there. Later in the half, a superbly timed run would be met with a poorly timed finish.

To purely lay the blame at the Arsenal door for a below par performance ignores the fact that Sol Campbell marshalled the Portsmouth troops superbly, not quite rolling back the years but a reminder as to why he was recently recalled to the England squad.

The pressing game that the hosts employed reminded me of an interview post one of the European clashes earlier in the season with Tony Adams. The tactics utilised last night were exactly how Adams declared teams ought to play against Arsenal; close down the spaces, work hard and you will be rewarded. It also highlights why Portsmouth do not score many at home, the midfield pushing on waiting for the counter-attack opportunity is catenaccio-esque in a match where you should be pushing on, putting opponents on the back foot.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and perhaps Bendtner should have been introduced at an earlier stage. However, we need to bear in mind the number of goals scored in the late stages of games by the players on the pitch, the sum of which colours Arsene’s thinking when changing formations. Over-reaction to a goalless draw will not alter his plans; a point at Fratton Park is not a bad result in the context of others performances there this season, Liverpool and Manchester United have failed to take the spoils already.

There has been criticism of Adebayor but I would disagree to a certain extent. He gave a typical performance, a mix of good and poor touches as any other player yet the Togolese forward polarises opinions. Perhaps too much is expected of him? He is not going to be a typical leading striker, a battering ram to break down defences but he is a good striker to have in a 4-5-1 formation with his work rate and capabilities. Where the formation falls down is if the midfield do not support him properly and convert chances created by his movement.

Rosicky had two good chances, bringing a decent save from James in the first half, shooting just wide with time fast running out having been setup nicely by Bendtner. William Gallas shot over under the close and somewhat illegal attentions of Campbell. At the other end, Almunia proved up to the sporadic attentions of the Portsmouth attack, saving well from Kranjcar and Benjani in the first half, rushing out quickly to force the same player into a heavy touch which Clichy mopped up.

Let us not forget though that we are in December, not April. There is time to recover the point deficit for United will drop some between now and the end of the season. This and Everton were noted as a tough Christmas. It is proving to be so but some perspective needs to be retained. Arsene’s Modus Operandi is to make changes when games come thick and fast; This side has now played two in five days with another three away. Perhaps Everton will face a 4-4-2 with RvP or Bendtner accompanying Adebayor. Probably not for one goalless draw will not panic the manager into changes.

‘til Tomorrow.

51 thoughts on “It Was A Point Not The End Of The World Nor Is The Season Over

  1. Did anyone see the Wenger interview after the game on Sky? He was asked if RVP would be back for the Everton game to which he snapped “No. Don’t know when he’ll be back.” Maybe he’s more injured than we think…godamnit.

  2. ok..do you guys still believe you can win the title this season with a team:

    1. that can not work out defense minded teams
    2. that can not put a single long ball into the box when the midfield is strongly defending
    3. that is so inconsistent in away performances

    Frankly i belive u guys are wasting the talents of Hleb/ Rosicky by playing them as wingers..come on the reds

  3. To be fair itsUnited I think there’s not much between you and us. You had a lean spell at the start of the season we’ve just gone through ours. Key players injured or just returning from injury will always cause a problem. It’s very nicely poised for the new year and I for one am looking forward to it.

  4. Hence the reason for getting Anelka back !
    (or someone good like him.. ! the lone striker professional .
    sorry arsene purists haven’t got 3 years to train one up
    WE NEED IT NOW!!! )
    Im sorry ade lovers but if you think the boys on fire , well we are watching a different striker !

    Bentner has more than pushed his claims and with theo returning soon ,dudu looking good recently… Its time too move over ade! (jens was burned for less !!) , It was purely our fire power up front , or lack of it ! that lost us 2 points …
    Thankfully almunia held strong and didn’t make us look worse !

    The midfield is looking solid although flat, hleb being the stand out with rosicky !(well done lads!)
    eboue too minus the praying !
    Yogi
    If you look at the possession % its not like we lost possession !or were forced to play a different game (not to say certain team members of Portsmouth do save there best for arsenal ! ) it was like 63% in our favor ! , the problem was we didn’t do anything with the 1/2 chances created !

  5. itsUnited – don’t forget you also drew with Portsmouth, so a point there is not the end of the world. As for our ‘inconsistency’ in away games, we have just one point less than you guys from our travels this season, so if we are inconsistent then so be it.

  6. Yogi .. I disagree with your analysis
    we are bleeding points away from home, creating zilt chances in btw
    Ade manged 0 shot yday, 1 against Spurs (goal), none against CFC, zero at Borough, 1 against Newcastle (goal) .. thats 5 games with 2 shots..admittingly 2 goals, but his general play has been poor at same time, no decisive runs, passes and so on..
    now either the system is wrong or he needs a break
    also why does Cesc pop up as a left winger??
    he is playing too far up the pitch..he is better when he comes from deep positions as Spurs goaa will show
    CFC and Spurs games, we were lucky to get 6 points .. we could have escaped with 1 only ..
    our general level of play has dropped since Prague game
    of injured trio, only Flam is up for it
    Hleb reverts back to last year’s travails
    me thinks we should put him on the left in a 4-4-2
    Rosicky was admittingly better yday, but dreadful against Spurs
    just one thing, we are kidding ourselves if we think that we are gonna beat AC with this level of performances
    if we dont win at Everton, we will have squandered a great lead
    our goal diff is now -6 to ManU’s
    maybe time (as A Fray suggested) to mix things up as our 4-5-1 (bar Reading where it took us 45 mins) is making us very very predictable
    if our first 11 is not creative, stir things up
    bring Nick in, play a different format
    why do we have to be so stale in our organisation??

  7. Ethan I could not disagree with you more.

    If I were to blame anything yesterday it would be the formation alone. Admittedly I only caught highlights.

  8. Yogi, you are right it is not the end of the world and the result doesn’t particularly bother me, but what does is

    1) The formation. we simply dont create enough playing that way. I understood it against the Spuds, VP was injured and Eduardo and Nic had played over 100 mins against Blackburn and I can understand it in the tougher fixtures. But last night we should have reverted to 4-4-2. Christmas is a busy period and you need to rotate to keep fresh and in my mind Everton is the more tricky of the two games so I would of preferred Eduardo and Bendtner last night and brought back Ade for Everton.

    2) The reluctance to start either Bendtner or Eduardo in the Premiership. This really worries me as if either Ade or VP are injured we have no fallback as he wont start them. Surely we should just be keeping the same formation and replacing like for like. It is like only having 2 strikers in the squad and for me if that is the case we either need to start playing the 2 aformentioned from the start or we need to buy someone in.

    But we are 2nd and if you had given me that Pre-season I would have bitten your hand off. I still dont think we can win it, for me Man Ure have too much depth and class, but I guess with a few injuries you never know. Pre-season I thought it would be another 4th if we were lucky but the huge imrovement of Hleb, the emergence of Flamini in midfield, the final defensive piece of the jigsaw in the impressive Sagna and the goal contribution of the midfield has shown me that 2nd is definately achievable, but more importantly I would like to think that the final points difference will be in single figures. And I still think that we need a Left Winger and a Striker.

  9. Our defense played well; did not concede and never looked like conceding. Offensively we lacked the cutting edge to break down a Pompey team that for great periods in the second half played with 10-men behind the ball. The middle of the park seemed like a wall of blue shirts. However I was reminded of “Wenger’s dilemma” when his 1st sub was Diaby rather than Bendtner. The boss obviously felt Diaby offered something different from Bendtner without resorting to a classic 4-4-2. This time it didn’t work, due in the main to Pompey’s excellent tactics. It will be interesting to see how we solve this dilemma vs Everton who are bound to adopt the same game plan.

  10. I think the current squad’s poor away record simply sum up our lightweight poser issue.
    Why aren’t we the same when playing at home? This is simple; there is a fear factor influancing our away performance. AW needs to relaye more on some of our reserve hungry to prove themselve (Bentner for Hleb, Denilson or Traore for Rosicky on left wing).
    Why can’t we show at the start of the game what we showed in the last ten minutes? This is another example that some players play with a break in their hand. They start putting some performances in the last 10 or 20′ only to confuse the fans.
    We need some physically strong and skillful players to reshap this squad’s lack of balance.
    If we don’t do this, the like of Adebayor, Gallas, Sagna, Clichy, Flamini, Fabregas and Toure can’t keep burning energy games after games, only to be denied the result by lightweight posers within the team.
    We can’t be be champion if we don’t play like Champion (some of our players look too scare when playing away; this is a real issue ).

  11. Hi itsUnited; Not sure where you are coming from. You want to come on this forum and shout about your 1 point lead, achieved with a team whose expenditure just this summer exceeds the whole Arsenal squad. If I was a Man Utd supporter I would be asking why, with an outlay of about a billion pounds over the last 20 years, why only 1 champions league trophy has been returned; especially when you were outplayed by Bayern Munich on that night anyway, and you were extremely lucky. It’s pretty clear to us that you have a cheque book manager, who has reverted to type after the beckham, Scholes, Giggs, Keane era.

  12. Bentner has shown his class everytime we have used him. Isn’t it time to give the boy some more minutes in the PL? He is calm on the ball and makes incisive passes, to say nothing of his size and heading ability. Its time to let him run for a while and see if he can play a whole game like he does in his short bursts, especially if RVP is gone for a longer period. Go gunners.

  13. Let’s be honest, it was a disappointing, flat performance last night against an ordinary, albeit hardworking, team. We didn’t look like champions elect and the key was that Hleb (who has been a revelation this season) and Fabregas – our two main creators, were both below par as, indeed, they both were against the Spuds.

    At times this season Hleb has played with a swagger and confidence that has been a delight to watch. Fabregas has been consistently brilliant. They are both entitled to an occasional off day. Let’s hope they both rediscover their full talents soon!

    Everton will be sterner test and better guide to what the season may hold for us.

    It is not surprising that Adebayor divides opinion. He only has two modes – lethal and dreadful! I hope that the ratio shifts in his favour. I would keep him in the side on the strength of his ability to run at defenders with the ball – defenders do not enjoy this! All the same, it is difficult to envisage that Ferguson would persist with a striker who spurns quite as many chances as Ade.

  14. Bendtner. One word.

    We need to play Bendtner. Adebayor is not the type of player who can hold up the ball. He is a victim of his own ststure. He wants to run in behind but this 451 exposes all of his weaknesses.

    Touch, holding the ball up and heading.

    He can score goals. bendtner can hold the ball up.

    If it is 451. It is Bendtner!

  15. Well said Yogi. A little more edge would do us a lot of good though. That which stamps sheer fear in any opponents heart. AW just needs to do a little tweaking to achieve this.

    It’s clear we need RvP healthy, Fab & Hleb scoring & @ their creative+physical best, Theo raring to go, EDS acclimated, Gilberto resurrected, Diaby more consistent, Diarra+Denilson+Traore+Gibbs further blooded, Big Phil brimming with confidence, Hoyte & Djoure reinstated, Mad Jens excommunicated, Carlos Vela in the #18 shirt assimilated, and (for ethan) Anelka re-enlisted!
    We should be Champs if all these conditions are met, don’t u think?

    In Arsene we trust whether we like it or not.

  16. Aman, I would have it would take a lot less than that to be champions! Phew.

    Anelkha isnt coming, period, why do we keep bringing him up? It simply wont happen, lets just move on. Its about as likely as David Villa coming. Besides, I think we have excellent striking options – just not at this point in time. In months, not years, Bendtner and Eduardo will be potent weapons for us. Walcott’s role will be increasingly important as well.

    To bring in a striker, especially a personality like Anelka, would hamper the development of our existing strikers, and may cause one or two to question their role in the squad. I would much rather suffer in the short term than have immediate gratification at the cost of losing someone like, say, Bendtner.

  17. Z I agree with you to a point but are we not hampering the development of our Strikers by continuing this 4-5-1 formation even though the picked striker is not on form, and not picking them for games like this where they could have made the difference.

    I mentioned earlier that if we were willing to start Eduardo and Nic in Premiership games (I think they are more than ready), I would be happy with our players in that position, but the reluctance to do just that leads me to think we need to strengthen that area with another Striker.

    You are right Anelka wont come, but It would be good if he did. I think his Personality has improved too and remember a lot of what happened back then was down to mis-management by his sponging brothers.

  18. I agree with Kelsey apart from his last para.

    We did no worse than Liverpool & Man Utd at Fratton Park. With the further absence of RVP we needed Cesc or Hleb to be sharp enough to open up a strong team defending deep on their own ground.

    We may do better at Everton because they are full of confidence & may actually come at us, which would mean a more open game. Of course defeat would also be a stronger possibility. We are not going to win every game but neither are Man Utd, Chelsea or Liverpool.

    Ade can be brilliant & awful in the same game like many other players. He had no service last night because there was no space to run in to. I would have liked Bentner on for longer but I suspect he may get more time in the next couple of games & the coming months.

  19. Great post YW. I’m still supremely happy that we are in second at this stage of the season but am worried at what I’ve seen in the last few weeks. The mettle seems to have gone out of the lads save the Blackburn game, which was hardly our first choice team. Perhaps it is just the grind of the Christmas season but something is amiss and the last five league games have been different. Injuries have exposed how ineffective our Plan B 4-5-1 is. On the plus side no one would be able to cope with the injuries we’ve had and retain maximum points and we’re still the best return on value in the EPL. The question here is have we overachieved to date or are we still on track? Either way I don’t see AW buying anyone in the transfer window. I think he is happy with the squad as it stands.

    The reluctance to give Bendtner a start in the EPL is mystifying. His performances have been getting better and better. If RvP is injured I agree with others that Ade and Bendtner up front could be quite a revelation. It’s clear we need some sort of spark if Fabregas and Hleb are going to continue their uninspiring run of form.

    Still, only 1 point adrift from ManUre at this stage is great and we’ve still made a profit from transfers!

  20. I’m getting tired of Arsene’s favouritism towards players like Adebayor, Eboue and Senderos. Those players can continue to play shit and yet get a game.

  21. Now that Gallas is doubtful, Arsene may bring in one of the players he favour, Senderos even though Song has now proved that he’s better. With Sendeos at CB at Goodison; I don’t know what the result will be and Arsene will persist him, an arbatross who will never go away.

  22. Ok so here goes my list of suggestions:
    1. Adebayor alone upfront is crap…Nick shud accompany him in 4-4-2.
    2. Need to sign a left winger. Hleb as left winger doesn’t wrk.
    3. Players need to adopt tough attitude while playing away games.
    4. Football is not only about passing, it requires movement and individual technique also. Training shud emphasize this. Especially against defensive minded teams, lot of movement is reqd in midfield so fresher younger players shud be tried for subs.

  23. Agree Yogi. With you and Kelsey Skirton.

    A point away against top 10 teams is acceptable. Whether these particular dropped points were the ones that caused ManU to overtake us is irrelevant – the only result we’ve had to date that was truly bad was the loss against Boro.

    But, we did play rather listless. Teams have found out how to play against our 4-5-1 to great effect – by pressing it high up the pitch. So it’s time to modify the formation, giving us more of an outlet higher up the pitch – Perhaps this involves Bentner or Walcott or Diaby, if VP is not ready yet.

    As much as I like Bentner, I think Diaby as an off-striker makes the most sense. He can switch roles between being a striker and midfielder, depending on how the opposition plays. If they press high, he joins Ade. If they sit back, he joins the midfield….

    Regardless Fabregas and Hleb, our best two attackers, must step up and shoulder responsability. It is they who got us here….

  24. btw gunner4ever,

    Your suggestions are, if i may be polite, silly.

    – “Hleb as left winger does not work”? He’s been man of the season out there.

    – “Players need to adopt tough attitude while playing away games”? Good one – I on the other hand suggest they all play like pansies away from home – maybe even wear skirts.

    – “Training should Stress movement and technique”? Have you SEEN them train? Movement is ALL they do…

  25. bottom line is we dont create enough chances as we dont get any shots away
    maybe its Ade, maybe the system, but the results tell the story
    so why be stale?
    why never change?
    it’s funny that our 1st teamers would never have scored 3 goals against Blackburn away
    surely this tells the story that the balance, at least offensively in the 4-5-1, is not right
    RVP is missing, but that still leaves us with a couple of other guys
    and if thats not enough, then please go and buy
    we need more penetration
    on a different note, just hope that Hleb/Cesc will recover from form dip
    but then again, is this new system not pushing Cesc up too far where he is unable to organize the game.. looks like its more and more Flam who is running the show there, but without the creative edge
    otherwise we might well have been the overachievers of the 07/08 season

  26. Admittedly, we are all armchair generals here but at least our opinions must make sense. A majority say play 4-4-2 with Bendtner partnering Ade at the expense of Eboue. There are several variations on the same theme. This shape does not solve Wenger’s defensive dilemna. In such a formation Fabregas has to play deeper, alonside Flamini, to provide proper defensive shape. Did you guys notice yesterday how often he was forced into our defensive half? Yet he is least effective in this position. Are you saying Hleb and Rosicky can provide a sufficiently creative edge while playing on the flanks? Remeber you cannot have it both ways.

  27. i think wenger might be suffering from paranoia!!
    i remember him saying earlier in the season that he didnt want us to keep chasing the game so he is obviously playing 4-5-1 so we dont concede first. he is thinking it’s better to be 0-0 at half time then 1-0 down.last season was a joke the amount of times we done the old alamo just to get suckerpunched. cautiousness wont win shite though.

    up the arse!!

  28. duke goonem

    Chelsea has been playing cautious for years and still managed to win the title back to back. So cautiousness can still win as Liverpool did in the CL and against Chelsea and us on numerous occassions.

  29. pat

    how do you know anelka’s personality has improved?

    have you been on a jolly boys outing with him!! he is a moody sulker. leopards and spots. plus bendtner has already had a little moan up so if we did get le sulk then bendtner would probably leave after a while. i really cant believe that people are clamouring for the return of le sulk, this club has more dignity then that. anyway we have our own anelka in theo, im sure if he had a run of games upfront he will do the bizz!!!!

  30. howard

    that must of been the shortest argument on record, your right chelsea are a bunch of cautious c****. so yeah you can win shite with cautiousness.

    but not us though!!!!!

  31. Duke, How do you it hasn’t. I make my judgement over the fact that despite being in a Relegation threatened team there is no Le Sulk speaking out in the media as he did when trying to leave us. again it is not leopards and spots, his Brothers were the cause of his early career tantrums (Remember he was a teen at the time).

    Fact is Anelka is banging them in in a very ordinary Bolton team, we are running on 2 strikers due a reluctance to play either Bendtner, Eduardo or Theo (in a striker role) and if that continues we need one and IN MY OPINION Nic Anelka would fill the gap.

    Oh and if Wenger would play the lads then I would not be clamouring for Nic to return.

  32. pat

    i see the logic. i mean your right i havn’t heard him having a moan lately but i just think that you cant go back. good point about he was only a teenager. seems im losing all arguments today, i might aswell get my coat!!!

  33. I just hope Eduardo and Nic get their starting chance soon.

    Also although the Everton game is more difficult on paper, I would imagine they will be a bit more attacking than Pompey were so it may suit our game more. I would still go with 4-4-2 with Bendtner and Ade up front, eboue out with Hleb back on the right.

    Just heard on Sky that Gallas is very doubtful, I hope that is short term. I was banking on Gallas and Djorou for Jan. I know Song played a blinder last week but I still need convincing he will cut it at this level.

  34. All,

    We are all in agreeent that something needs tweeking. Even the most ardent see-no-evil- in- arsenal supporter will see that we are having problems beating teams who crowd us in midfield and defence.

    Apart from proposing buying in Jan, (LW, Striker, CB, RB) I will think AW shifts to a 4-4-2 for most matches. We did not do enough at Fraton Park to deserve a win and I daresay in our last five matches.

    AW could have helped by bringing in his subs on time. That is where JM and AF are ahead of him tactically. With Hlebs game yesterday, I would have brought in Diaby for him, and Bendtner for Ebue at 60 mins

  35. ***Excellent Yogi*** This is exactly how I feel. Don’t write off Adebayor just because he’s not scoring goals as much as “you” want him to, sometimes the team or medfield playes bad and your strikers will suffer from that.

    Also it is still way early to decide who is going to make it to the title. Man Ure can start getting the bad form at the end of the season when it’s crucial.

    ———————-
    Nando, I never said Hleb doesn’t work on the left. I don’t want people to confuse me with “gunner4ever” with low caps. 🙂
    ———————–

    G4E

  36. Well, if you have the same nick then confusion will happen, or it’s highly likely to.

    The main question at this moment is: will Arsène rotate for the next matches considering both the heavy fixture list and the not so good performances of late to try new things and rest some legs? It could be interesting.

  37. Nacho, I think he should rotate but not based on Adebayor as a bad player but mostly as you said he may need to rest, refresh and re-group.

    I think Bendtner should get a chance to start an EPL game, it would be even better if RVP is back because he is like the common denominator that fits with all the strikers we have.

  38. I think, Gunner4Ever, that either you or your namesake (ie gunner4ever) should change his username.

    Toss a coin, battle it out.

    As for our strikers – the biggest problem is not whether to play ade or bentner, but rather that RVP is our best striker, and he does not appear to be very sturdy. Hard to build a team around him, if he only plays 1/2 the games. Without him, we need to find SOMEONE, among other things, capable of scoring from dead ball situations.

  39. Nando,

    You know, I just realized without RVP we don’t really have someone who can blast the ball in the back of the net from a free kick! Good point mate. With our style of play we get a lot of those….TH14 used to bang them, so does RVP.

    Well, the problem is Wenger is not going to go high-wire with his credit card and buy a player just because RVP is out.

  40. Did you guys see anything in Bendtner and Eduardo that made them not worthy of a starting place, despite an away game? I think they’re ready but apparently Arsene had rather have 1 more midfielder (Eboue presumably) there over a striker. You guys know more about football than I do. Can you try to explain that to me (apart from Howard, who’s said clearly enough in his opinion it’s Arsene’s favouritism)?

  41. Z, sorry u couldn’t make out I was being sarcastic.
    Everton sadly might be another draw if the right tinkering is not done.
    i hope not though but clearly AW has to make some clear- cut decisions

    we wait & we wonder

  42. Yes good question on the dead balls. Cesc’s been doing most of them. Sometimes when we need a left foot, Clichy does it but he’s not strong there. And I also think Kolo’s shooting isn’t good enough (he scored once from a free kick this season) so let’s give that to Cesc and RvP.

    On a more positive note, I actually think Rosicky shouldn’t be a bad choice as he could handle corners reasonably well with his right foot. Free kicks should be ok, yeah?

    Does anyone know if Eduardo’s good at that? His shooting/finishing is strong after all.

  43. Louisa, Gunner4Ever,

    The fact is, other than kolo with 1 goal, nobody other than RVP has even come close to scoring from free kicks. I’m not sure anyone on the team practices them other than RVP and Kolo. And Kolo only practices blasting them.

    You’re right…given our style of play, we get many free kicks. we need a threat from them. Cesc almost always passes them into the box.

    Lousia, what I’ve seen of Eduardo is that he has not yet adapted to the speed of the game. Clinical he may be, but he needs others to create clear cut chances for him. Bentner I can’t say, other than Wenger has stated in the past that he feels Bentner is more a replacement to Adebayor than a good foil for him….

  44. Hi all

    I think for all these difficult away games starting at 4-5-1 is OK. The idea like some of you have pointed out is not to let in an early goal. But when we are stiffled and need to change we need to change formation earlier than the last 20 minutes. Maybe as early as the 60th minutes. We can not expect substitutes to always score with their first touch and then we run out of time despite creating more chances playing 4 4 2 the last 15 minutes when opposition being are tired out chasing our passing game.

    This Ade argument comes with the way we play ie one touch speed passing and as Ade is always marked more tightly as he is the lone striker , he will inevitably lose the ball more frequently then lets say Hleb or Cecs as they have more space because they have more support.

    Whne Cecs gets up field the same will happen to him as evident in the last 10 minutes of the Portsmouth game.

    As said it is not the end of the world at 1 point behind and if RVP comes back or Hleb/Cecs regains some sharpness we should be OK

    Up the Arse!

  45. Bendtner and Eds have created some understanding and it works perfectly to have Bendtner roaming and Eduardo as an out and out striker, which is what he was before he came to Arsenal and Le Boss thought he could play him wide.Throw a guy into a tough league in a role he’s not accustomed to and it will ruin most guys.Eds was brought to score goals and from the amount of goals to shots he’s had he must have the best strike rate in the club, although not in the prem yet.Ade robbed eds of a certain goal a while back but I seem to remember Eds setting him up for a couple against Derby, leading me to now believe Bendtner is the true team player and a good foil for Eds, results over personal glory.
    Ade out for me and the Carling Cup duo to get a start.Less fluff and more goals.

  46. Ade was bad. I’ve seen him play all the games this season and he is a very one dimensional player. Don’t tell me we are playing 4-5-1 and therefore there is nothing much he could do. Some have said his movement off the ball is good, dragging defenders out of their positions. But think about it: Which strikers don’t drag defenders off the ball? The thing is this: He can’t dribble past players; can’t make incisive passes; the occasional “clever pass/touch” is more a result of luck than real skill. He isn’t really that strong in the air. Just look at the timings of his jumps for balls and you will know. His goals are mostly a result of luck more than anything else. And he is often caught off side. I really hate to say this but being an Arsenal fan for most of my life and seeing us having a striker of this quality hurts. Even Bendtner is a much better player than him. I would rather have Bendtner as the sole striker upfront than him, simply because he can offer so much more than what Ade does. And another thing I realised: Ade looks like he is getting too much ahead of himself in recent games. He used to be so full of running and always tracks back to harrass for the balls but I don’t see him doing this anymore.

  47. gackt13

    Those are valid criticism in terms of laziness. He use to be full of running but may fatigue is getting to him. Need stats to back that up. If that is the case Bendtner and EDS may be the solution.

    AW is basically conservative in his approach in that he plays his most trusted team in this difficult period and if we get to the New Year with only 1 point behind MANURE, I think he will be plsed. AS Manure will also drop points eventually.

  48. Adebayor……….to maybe prove a point that it’s not “always” Ade’s fault. If you see his goal against the T*tts, it was the Medfield of Febregas>Rosicky>Fabregas>Ade scores through the eye of needle…Why? because the midfield created a sublime chance to score. If you watch the first few games arsenal played, we were cutting defenses at will through out the game.

    We have to accept at some point of the journey we will drop in form and fitness, the question is when do we get that back…the sooner the better.
    ———-
    Nando, perfect on Eduardo. He no doubt has the technical ability, but not the speed of the premier league, that comes with games and time though and so far his chances of coming on during these heated battles to keep competing is a gamble that can go either way.

    Imagine if Wenger plays Eduardo for the next 10 games, and he doesn’t score and we lost points…the crowd will kill him off immediately and blame him. Some may say it’s favoritism to play certain players, but also protection in the case of Eduardo…it’s part of building up that player not just push him in, if he doesn’t make it this year we will sell him the next.

    ——–

    Louisa,

    I’m surprised to that Wenger who promotes attacking, scoring football, is still playing a 5 man Medfield. If he wants to challenge for the title he needs to press opponents with 4-4-2. Unless he still not trusting a 4 man Medfield to control the game both ways defense + attack. Eboue provide better coverage to Bakary who goes forward a lot, but in the attacking sense I’m not really sure.

    I guess if you take the chances when you have two strikers, you may have double the chances to score.

    Everton game importance now is sky high for us because if we lose more points, we are not out of the race but it can change our course. I have a feeling we will win though.

    G4E

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