The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Everton 1 – 4 Arsenal

1 – 0 Cahill (19)
1 – 1 Eduardo (47)
1 – 2 Eduardo (58)
1 – 3 Adebayor (78)
1 – 4 Rosicky (90)

Bendtner sent off (74)
Arteta sent off (86)

An excellent result and good performance. Yes, good performance. Before the derision of the spectacles having too much rose in colour this morning, bear with me. It was good but not from the technical perspective, not when considered against the benchmark that has been set this season with passing and movement because frankly we were awful in the first half. It was good in that yesterday showed that this squad and the manager have learnt the lessons from the past.

Plan A went out of the window when Arsene elected to use 4-4-2 rather than the usual 4-5-1. Plan B was wiped from the map by a very good Everton first half performance. In the past that would have been the end of the matter, another defeat in the North West. Plan C knocked Everton out of kilter because put simply, they did not expect it. Long balls from the back is something that Arsenal have been criticised in the past for not being able to deal with nor bring into play. They can now and very effectively as well.

Everton deserve considerable credit for their first half performance. They hassled and harried to knock Arsenal out of their stride, by fair means and foul. Yet when they had possession, they attacked and were effective in that. Toure and Yakubu had an almost epic battle which swung one way and then the other in the first forty five although the longer the half went on, the more on top of the situation the Ivorian became.

In midfield it was a different matter. Arsenal passed and moved yet the missing player was noticeable. Too often the outlet, apparent with a five man midfield, was not there. Adjusting to a new formation ought to be relatively straightforward for such technically accomplished players but 4-5-1 has been utilised home and away for a large portion of the past two months, the mentality which that imbues is not so easily shaken.

The Everton goal was something that irks. Sloppy to concede and messy to score. Well, I do not mind the latter when Arsenal do the scoring but sloppiness in conceding seems such an anathema to those of us brought up on raised arms appealing for offside. Bendtner’s contribution to squirt the ball up to Yakubu and Cahill summed up his afternoon; a tough baptism of fire.

The second half displayed the mental characteristics of a title challenge; the result going against the team and something had to be changed. The simple thing to do would have been to change the personnel; Arsene admitted afterwards that he had been tempted to do so. He did not for which he will be extremely grateful this morning, for I suspect that both Bendtner and Eduardo may have made way. Not so much that former being missed but we would have been denied a masterclass in the art of goalscoring.

Let the sceptics deride the goals as being route one but in both required the Croat to finish. He did so very coolly indeed, slotting home deftly when faced by Howard for the first; the second required use of his hand to bring the ball under control but the cut back inside and calmness in front of goal were superb. Remember a masterclass includes the ‘dark arts’ as well as the good. It is still too early to say whether he has fully adjusted to the English game but if he is going to score regularly then at the moment, it seems to be an adaptation that can happen on the pitch from the start as far as I am concerned.

I have to say that I feel somewhat let down by Adebayor though. Having worked hard to create the error, he capitalised but the match scenario demanded that he stop the ball on line, laid on the floor and headed the ball over the line.

The fourth was a taste of the norm from Arsenal. Adebayor picked the ball up in the centre of the pitch and headed toward the touchline, the two accompanying defenders assuming that it was a jog to the corner flag. Reversing the ball inside to Diaby, he did indeed head to the corner flag before receiving the return pass, cutting inside to Diaby again was unexpected and full marks to Diaby for continuing his run as well. Once the ball was then shifted to Rosicky, the Czech worked the opening for a glorious curling shot into the top right corner of the goal as everyone expected. Rosicky promptly shot low to the left side of the goal, Howard stranded.

One of the reasons for the lateness of the post today was due to watching MotD this morning. I never particularly liked Alan Shearer as a player; as a pundit he is faring little better in my estimation. Cutting edge analysis that Arsenal reverted to the long ball game because they had a front two made me wonder if he had watched the game. If that is what ‘Big Al’ brings to the table, Newcastle would be well served by having an extended bargepole to hand when ‘Big Sam’ gets the push and shoving it firmly into Shearer’s chest.

It’s a straight arm, he’s not gone to throw it in his face” spouted Shearer. Exactly as the videotape runs and shows Arteta doing exactly that. The comments are nowhere near as stupid as those of Moyes afterwards. Displaying a healthy dose of the famed Scouse wit, his perfectly valid point regarding Bendtner’s dismissal was lost with the pathetic attempt to insinuate that Fabregas over-reacted to Arteta’s flailing limb. In doing so, Moyes explodes the myth that the players are solely guilty for the spate of red cards. The Everton manager has publicly condoned his player’s actions instead of chastising him for raising his arm, over an opponents shoulder. When that happens, there is a very strong chance that the landing place will be the face.

Bendtner meanwhile, ‘got lucky’ in receiving a second yellow. His tackle on Johnson was a straight red. Whilst he may have had one foot firmly rooted on the ground, the ‘tackling’ foot was over the top of the ball, down into Johnson’s shin. There can be no defence for such a tackle; it is not a ‘forward’s challenge’ as Shearer so crassly decided to describe it. Put simply, it is a lack of technical ability to execute a tackle. There may well have been no intent, no maliciousness intended but it was serious foul play and reckless, deserving of red card its own. If the referee has made a technical error – his description in his report of the incident will determine this – Bendtner may yet find his suspension increased to three games.

It was a harsh lesson to learn but I suspect he will do exactly that. If it makes people more appreciative of the hard work that Adebayor brings to the team rather than derision then perhaps it will be of a wider benefit.

‘til Tomorrow.

67 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

  1. Agree with everything there, except the issue of the alleged handball for the 2nd goal.

    No replay was clear on that & there was no protest from any Everton player on that issue. 1 of them was pathetically claiming something else but there were no handball gestures. QED I think.

    I wonder if Moyes, who is a great manager, will get pilloried like AW gets for his comments?

  2. Spot on analysis Yogi. It was a good performance and it’s interesting how some people are criticising the team for not playing flowing football. This team is showing resilience and willingness to do what it takes to win. If the opposition will not let you play you have to find another way.

    I certainly hope to see more of Eduardo, he is absolutely lethal in front of goal.

  3. sometimes i wonder why,as arsenal fans,we bother to respond or get riled up by the so-called pundits. unless you were born yesterday you should know by now that through a combination of deep-seated bigotory and a sheer lack of intelligence, we are always going to be criticised one way or the other. and even when we are being paid compliments, it is always back-handed. fellow gooners i urge you to just enjoy the moment,which is made all the sweeter knowing that we are confounding the critics

  4. I think we were all thinking that when Adebayor was clear through he would drop to all fours. That was the most awkward free-reign blast to the corner I have seen for some time.

  5. Also, even speaking as a devout Gooner, if Arteta’s sloppy elbow was worth a straight red, Bendtner’s second yellow was for sure one. We will be licky to have Bendtner out for only one game. I thought Johnson’s leg was gonna break in two.

  6. Well Bendtner did start and except for his assist to Eduardo(for the second) did not do much to help the team…but like you mentioned, the midfield was used to 4-5-1 for too long to change. And you will agree that Goodison APrk is a tough place to get your first start of the season 🙂
    Eduardo with Adebayor might be a good combination. Adebayor had a good game, no doubt about it.
    I thought eduardo’s second had a slight hint of Bergkamp…turning Jagielka inside out with a deft touch…ok maybe just 5% Bergkamp
    Just a brief mention of Arteta…he dived, tried to trip Clichy and then the elbow…he is one nasty player.

  7. “I have to say that I feel somewhat let down by Adebayor though. Having worked hard to create the error, he capitalised but the match scenario demanded that he stop the ball on line, laid on the floor and headed the ball over the line.”

    EXACTLY! I was a little disappointed with that, especially when he ungracefully got tangled in the net afterwards. Get on all fours and shove it in with either your head or your arse, son!

    Did anyone notice Rosicky’s bizarre goal celebration? Ran around in a circle flapping his arms and his head, and sort of jumped into Adebayor’s arse. Very strange indeed.

  8. You can see from the replay Cesc got it hard from Arteta, yet the Everton players actually has the audacity to rush up to Cesc and accuse him of play-acting. No wonder Toure and others got riled up. Arteta is a skilful player no doubt but he should just cut out all the little cheap tricks to get the other team’s players cautioned. You could see Cliche was really pissed out with marking the little devil.

    And I totally have to give our team the praise for daring to play the game in the second half through long balls. That is the only way to just bypass our opponents who always pack the midfield and try to press us in the middle of the park. That way in the future other teams will have to be cautious to just commit their players in the middle of the park. Great performance overall.

  9. Good read YW.

    I am absolutely delirious today. What a smashing win. You are absolutely right in that as we can not win by flowing football then route one will do and we have the personnel to do the job. So long especially last few seasons we have been more often then not one dimensional ie flowing football or nada. I love all the Ian Wright like goals now as I loved it then.

    Whats more the last 3 weeks our title challenge have been written off by the so call pundits. Their biaseness were appalling. I watched the Manures game against West Ham earlier in our night, lets say they were lucky to be one up at half time and not 3 – 1 down if Carlton Cole et al were better at the final third. Manures players were giving the ball away consistently. Certainly not invincible at the pundits would have us believe.

    We are back on top and deservedly so. All of us who think we can do the job better than AW , plse do not lose your day job.

    Up The Arse!!!!

    PS EDS- form is temporary , class is permanent. What a finisher, we have another Wrighty, or better still the Great Gerd Muller maybe I will just take our Alan Smith of the 80s

  10. “It was a harsh lesson to learn but I suspect he will do exactly that. If it makes people more appreciative of the hard work that Adebayor brings to the team rather than derision then perhaps it will be of a wider benefit.” – what a bizaare comment. You are glad he got sent off for the sake of Adebayor?? How’s that going to help?

  11. I have to say that I feel somewhat let down by Adebayor though. Having worked hard to create the error, he capitalised but the match scenario demanded that he stop the ball on line, laid on the floor and headed the ball over the line.

    I thought I was the only one thining that.

  12. I have to say that I feel somewhat let down by Adebayor though. Having worked hard to create the error, he capitalised but the match scenario demanded that he stop the ball on line, laid on the floor and headed the ball over the line.

    I thought I was the only one thinkng that.

  13. Fair analysis, however from my perspective Eduardo’s so called handball was ball to hand, at no point did he move his hand towards the ball, which means it was unintentional. On the other hand, Arteta’s blatant hand in Cesc’s face deserved the straight red it got. It was good that Bendtner got his start , hopefully he will learn from his many mistakes. Equally for those of us who call for his inclusion in the starting lineup in place of Ade, as per normal Arsene knows. As a substitute Ade looked very effective, it just shows what fresh legs can do. As for the media comments, when Manure lose, they will definitely bounce back, when the Arsenal lose ‘our fragile bubble is burst’ . To me, it appears as if the Arsenal are being judged by a separate criterion level.

  14. Seriously though, it was a good win. Two thing that stuck in my mind yesterday.

    1) Arteta is a ropey bastard, always involved in some nasty little tricks, especially targeting Clichy that Cesc went down like a shot quail was not nice to see, but Arteta was surely asking for it.

    2) Ade always get a lot of stick from Arsenal fans, I don’t really get that. Yesterday’s goal highlighted the difference between Ade and Bendtner. Ade is a hard and tireless worker who makes an effort every time. Bendtner would have not gone after that ball.

  15. Spot on Yogi, spot on. I must say I never saw it coming; not the 4-4-2 itself but the personnel we utilized in the system. Those of you who bother to read my views know I feared the worst so you must know how I felt through the 1st half. Maybe yesterday will convince more of the fans that this system doesn’t suit the the type of players we have and the current demands of the EPL, i.e. to score and not be scored against. Now it gets even more difficult because Eduardo has proven he is a deadly finisher and both he and the fans will justly say a performance like that demands more playing time. But Eduardo is no Adebayor; he cannot lead the line. When Ade leads the line our defending begins with him because he keeps the two centre halves occupied with or without the ball. (No single center-half in this league can hold Ade quiet for any extended period because of his physical presence and speed.) But it is a dilemma that Wenger is paid to solve. For now he would have shut up his critics by not only having a Plan B but a Plan C as well. But like Adebayor, that is never enough, as you so humorously and sarcastically suggested. In Wenger’s case when he wins he should do a Mourinho and declare himself the “Perfect One” up Alan Shearer’s microphone.

  16. An excellent result against Everton, and it’s nice to be back on top of the table again.

    We’ve played much better games over the last few seasons which we’ve ended up losing, so I have no truck whatsoever with those who argue that we didn’t win playing the “Arsenal way”.

    Eduardo is just deadly in front of goal – a professional Hitman…if Chow Yun Fat could play football, this is who he’d be like!

    There is still all to play for with 19 or so league games gone, so the season continues to hold plenty of promise.

    In terms of transfers during the forthcoming window, I would pay attention to what Arsene does, rather than what he says, as he is a master at throwing the watching world off his tracks whilst completing deals under the radar.

  17. Good point Z about Rosicky’s celebration, very odd. A great article, as usual. I actually now watch the games on Sky with the volume muted because I can’t stand the commentary, even Setanta seem to have been infected with it so I generally play a CD. The ‘Route 1’comments were ridiculous, you can clearly se Clichy spotting Eduardo & passing up to him for his two goals.

    I’d like to see Eduardo start with Adebayor; RVP is obviously our for a few more weeks & Bendtner is not ready for a start yet so Eduardo could really make a name for himself in the coming weeks.

    Happy New Year to everyone by the way!

  18. Ade was like a man against boys when he came on.

    He terrorised the Everton defence. For the first time I realise just how good the Togoese really is.

    He and Eduardo are the perfect plan B for our away games.

  19. “It was a harsh lesson to learn but I suspect he will do exactly that. If it makes people more appreciative of the hard work that Adebayor brings to the team rather than derision then perhaps it will be of a wider benefit.”

    Spot on. The work rate that Ade puts in on top of the goals that he contributed deserves more appreciation than being derided in order to promote support for Bendtner. His goal can be attributed to his work ethic to chase lost causes, his long legs, his speed, and his ingenious wall pass against Howard. Pele used to be known for having done wall passes with dumbfounded opponents. Ade did it last night.

    Bendtner has the potential, but last night showed that he still has to show more in order to start games and finish them.

  20. Yw

    I knew you’ll eventually attack Nik again when you picked him once more at the last paragraph. Why you always choose to use Nik against Ade is strange. See nothing wrong with Ade but quick to attack a player just 19 beginning to learn his trade against player with enough experience to be up there.

    Nik was wrong, it was a mistimed and unwarranted tackle. But to go on and on about it other than rejoice about this victory is uncalled for. I’m certain that in the long run, Nik will be better than Ade.

    Its a crucial win and we should all rejoice. At the end of this season, this win and the one against Chelsea and Spurs will count as the turning point.

  21. Had anyone heard David Moyes comments about the ‘the best team lost’. Yes tell us about it for most of the last season and quite a lot of the season before that. He should be reminded( like the whole football world had told us) of the simple truth in football – you need to score more than your opponents to win the game.

    Up The Arse!!!!

  22. Howard

    This time I will agree with you. It is time to celebrate our victory than to put down specific players but you know YW has not gone over board and will go over board on any criticisms of players. Bendtner has time on his side he will come even better( I personnaly think for a 19 year old he is already very well ahead of the curve)

    Now is the time to bask in the excellent first half of the campaign and long may it continue.

    Lets win this one, it is there for the taking

  23. Eduardo had two chances and scored two goals. You can’t really find fault with that, can you. Even if he does nothing else all game, I’d be inclined to play him (also, given that RvP is showing a little frailty) with Ade, using Nik as the super-sub.

  24. Last night’s second half was pure, unbelievable pleasure coming after a woeful first half and being a goal down.

    I don’t think too many of us expected what we got.

    For me, I have to say that seeing the look on Moyes’ face as the second half unfolded was particularly gratifying which is perhaps unworthy as Moyes is one the least objectionable Premiership managers in my view and seems to be doing a good job at Everton.

    Whilst referees remain human and do not possess x-ray or 360 degree vision, isn’t there always the possibility that when a player is genuinely fouled, there will be a temptation to “ham” it up, just to make sure it is noticed and dealt with appropriately? That is my explanation for Cesc’s theatrics. Granted, in this age of “divers” (eg Phil Neville who initially fooled me, but not the ref, thankfully) it is a dangerous policy, but an understandable one.

  25. Howard et al I think you’re missing the point of Yogi’s comments about Bendtner. He is not ‘slating’ him but just stating the obvious that some expectations of him were too high and he showed his youth and inexperience in his performance yesterday. This should demonstrate to those clamouring for his involvement at the expense of Ade, that he is not quite there yet and that Ade brings a lot to the Arsenal team that should not be underestimated.

  26. Howard,

    Yesterday I admired your willingness to hold your hands up and accept that you had been mistaken with regards to your constant barracking of Adebayor and calling for Bendtner to be elevated above him in the pecking order. Maybe you went over board with the “love in”, but hey, we were back on top.

    I also noted that Ethan turned up and attempted to twist everything. Such humility that you displayed was lost on the lad but alas as always she still made me laugh.

    But it is you guys that have created the Ade Versus Bendtner debate. Don’t blame it on Yogi. We are the ones, who have held firm confident in our depth and that obviously includes the young Dane. Faith in Wenger, has as always prevailed. He will near-on always be proved right, he knows his players. Bloody hell, he knows everyone elses too.

    A great result yesterday. If we can hold firm through our most despied period of physical football on cut up pitches, we’re surely grow in confidence and start to fly come the resumption of our Champions League ambitions. The fortress that is Manchester United are showing cracks. I never!

  27. Plan B, ie the 4-4-2 played in the North West on a soaked pitch surrounded by a bunch of drunken scousers must be implemented for more than 45 minutes to be judged on its effectiveness- luckily AW stayed faithful to the changes he brought to the team and off we went to collect an unlikely win after the 1st half
    this game would have been lost with our 4-5-1 side playing for 90 minutes
    we definitely struggled to get anything out of our midfield, though I would say that Flam was outstanding ..its Cesc/Hleb that are having a bit of a hangover
    Dudu needs to play as he’s the one to break deadlocks since we cannot be expected to play teams off the pitch for 70 games in a season
    Bendtner is still more of an impact player, but beyong the personnel in question, its the change to 4-4-2 that saved us
    I also thought that Diaby did well
    away from Ade’s merits or not, he should not play automatically every game especially if RVP comes back
    being flexible, mixing things up will make us less predictable .. thats what happened to us the last 2 seasons when we solely relied on TH14 .. especially since we dont have a player of his status any longer
    Yogi – you mentioned that the Everton centre halfs were running scared of Ade when he came on, surely had Dudu continued, they would have felt a slight apprehension as well

  28. Exactly. People are not slating Bendtner, who is going to be great, but he is still learning. Remember RVP’s stupid sending off 2-3 years ago against ..Southampton?.. Bendtner is a great sub and will be a great starter, but Adebayor is the beter package at the moment. Lets be happy at a great reult, winning ugly.. how many times have we prayed for this sort of performance the past 2 3 years when we would have lost a game like this. Lets hope the pundits now stop this talk about Arsenal not being able to handle the northern teams away.

  29. Those two Eduardo goals will be deemed the turning point in our championship run. They were the moment when Arsenal figured out how to deal with the pressure of a 5 man midfield and a high line being deployed against us, ever since the Villa match.

    When we had Henry, nobody dared a high line – it is time they feared it again – if they want to leave our two strikers against 2 defenders – we should lob it to them until they change.

    Three other notes:

    Eduardo – His reaction after the first goal was classic. I’ve never seen a man less suprised to score. I almost expected him to shrug.

    Adebayor – Had he torn an ACL running into that net, I don’t anyone would have blinked. He seemed suprised it was there.

    Bentdner – I rem Van Persie describing a match 3 years ago, where he, cocky and immature, got sent off for a second yellow, risking the match. The look on Wenger’s face said it all. Van Persie has said that was the match he decided to dedicate himself to the game, and to stop copping attitude. I hope the same might come of this match.

  30. Excellent review Yogi, now that the dust has settled and i have digested that very odd game yesterday, the overwhelming fact that springs to mind is that our opponents are now going to be completely baffled to the way we are now going to play against them.
    At home i can see us playing our normal pass and move game but what a great Plan B we have now which is going to frighten the daylights out of teams who will be very worried about where the danger is going to come from.
    When you see how yesterday’s match unfolded you have to take your hat off to Arsene’s tactics and realise how lucky we are to have the great man. He is the master and you dont have to look very hard to know why he is regarded around the world as one of the best coaches on the planet.
    I know the club rue the day when they have to replace him, lets hope thats not for a very very long time.
    Top of the table again, its a great feeling isnt it!

  31. Anyone know the news on van persie? I may get criticised for this comment but i really think that adebayor lacks consistency. He truely has talent but if he can provide Arsenal with that talent week in, week out then he could turn out to be one of the best strikers in the premier league

  32. Bendtner’s tackle in my opinion is just down to lack of experience and nothing else. Like you said, no maliciousness, no intent, just stupidity in a way.

    We’ve seen it before with Denilson earlier this season, and Fabregas a couple of years ago. These are young players who will benefit from these experiences and lessons I hope.

  33. Usual old bollocks from MOTD. Criticise Cesc, rightlly, as he did over react, but where was the criticism for Neville’s outrageous dive. Diving, cheating Englishman. As the ref took no action, why can’t this be reviewed by the anonymous panel that judge events not mentined in ref’s report.

    Slightly, off topic. If anyone still wants to know why England have an Italian manager and MOTD talk bollocks, read Richard Dunne’s interview in todays Times. He’s learnt and devloped more in last six months with Sven than under Keegan, Pearce and Royle in six years. Revealing, interesting and depressing. Reminds me of the interview of our England youth players who can’t wait to get back to Arsene.

    Finally, before anyone accuses me of racism, I was born in City of London. Just find it difficult to tolerate stupdity and descrimination form fellow countryman

  34. Howard

    The final para was a dig at those who were unappreciative of Adebayor’s efforts. Yesterday was the clearest indication that anyone could need about how much work he puts in when he is the sole striker.

    As for digging at Bendtner; yep, guilty as charged for his sending off was stupid. Impetuosity of youth it might be but it unneccesarily put the three points at risk.

    Had Everton equalised, it is not beyond the realms of belief that they could have won. That they did not is testament to the other players efforts.

    As I said yesterday, I believe he has a very strong chance to be the lead striker at the club for a long time. Not yet though and perhaps people will now appreciate the effort that Adebayor puts in given the hard time Bendtner had on the pitch.


  35. At the risk of starting up the Ade vs BBB debate again, is it not possible that Bendtner starting reminded Ade that his place is not guaranteed? I am a fan of Ade but I have felt that in the last couple of games he has not worked quite as hard and seemed to have been taking on a Henry-esque attitude. This was particularly apparent in the Portsmouth match where nothing seemed to come off for him but he didn’t do his normal chasing and harrying which usually compensates for his occasionally frustrating play. I think his performance today showed him back to the Ade we can appreciate i.e. a hard-working striker with moments of brilliance and unpredictability sprinkled in. Now that he is mindful of the other striking options in the squad I hope this will push him on to work harder and achieve even greater things.

  36. I’m wondering of the Adebayor Vs Bendtner debate is missing the point. We’ve got Eduardo and Van Persie. These two players could go on to become legends. The real questions are – will Eduardo emerge as a world renowned striker such as Batistuta, Muller, Raul, Romario ? Will Van Persie emerge as a world class support striker in the Bergkamp, Stoichkov, Ronaldiniho, Baggio mould ? Bendtner and Adebayor are very very good players, but Eduardo and Van Persie could emerge as greats.

  37. it’s also nice to see how our ex-players have chipped in when necessary to advance the cause of The Arsenal. from all reports mark noble and matt upson had a blinder

  38. Izi-

    Bentner started because Ade was being rested for West Ham, as was Rosicky. This last month has been a tremendous, if not pretty, effort from the lads.

    At the beginning of the month, I for one certainly did not really expect us to still be leading the table, at the end of it.

    BB- we didn’t play 4-5-1 so we don’t know how that may have worked. I reckon AW saw that Ade, Eboue & Thomas needed the break, so it may have been a matter of best fitting the available personnel, particularly with Denilson still suspended. I don’t think Nick is physically ready as a lone striker yet, so 4-4-2 it was.

    Going back to Moyes having a go at Cesc, is my memory faulty in thinking Cahill ‘gilded the lily’, when Cesc was sent off last season?

    I think Moyes is an outstanding manager but have to say that he was the worst manager for having a go at the ref., at the Emirates, so far. I sit behind the away team dugout. Black was white & visa verse, throughout the match.

  39. Good post Phil,

    The Ade Bendtner debate may rage the loudest, but that is simply because Ade clearly and strangely in my eyes divides opinions.

    Van Persie is absolutely a legend in the making. He has that air of world class about him. He weights passes like the greats, finishes like a demon, I always liked Wenger’s cobra analogy and to top all that he seems to have the ball glued to the inside or outside of the boot in a way that is not dissimilar to the great Zidane.

    I don’t buy he is injury prone, but maybe I just don’t want to buy it. Simply feel he has been a bit unlucky. Hopefully he will return shortly and influence big games with big goals and assists. The Milan game could be a chance to announce himself to Europe as a top three player in the world. If it happens for him, he can be the best in the World.

    Eduardo is a big talent, but while Wrighty held a place in Wenger’s side, it is clear the boss wants more than a goalscorer in the side, Eduardo may have to work on his all round contribution. He is clearly lethal and is composure personified in the box. He is on target to gain more game time in the second half of the season. With more game time, he’ll undoubtedly get goals.

    If one more fool says we need to buy a striker, I’m going to have to……well.

    We have unbelieveable depth in the Striking department. Yorke, Cole, Ole and Sheringham won a treble.

    Ade, Van Persie, Eduardo, Bendtner and Theo could fire us to something special, if this year is not one too soon for them and their understanding of each others games.

    No room for Anelka I’m afraid!

  40. Flint, I’m ‘surprised’ (not) at the amount of flak Cesc has been getting. He did not simulate the contact it actually happened and it was not the first time in the match. The normally unflappable Clichy even fouled Arteta and got a yellow card for his trouble after the umpteenth unpunished foul or dive by the latter. Arteta got what was coming to him.

  41. hey lets not all jump on bendtners back. he made a few immature challenges yes but otherwise did OK in the game. in the matches before this he was coming on and changing games. the boy has a real ability and he is young still.
    I see a lot of RVP’s attitude in him and wenger managed to kerb RVP and channel the energy positively. that nasty edge can actually be very helpful to any forward.
    This is a minor set back for him but I dont see him in a bad light and I have high hopes for him.

    But yes Ade and EDS surely must make a good partnership. I have been saying that for months and just because they had a couple of games together where they didn’t score goals, wenger has not been considering them as a pair for ages now. But sometimes strikers dont score goals, that doesn’t mean they dont work well together. I would like to see more of them together with a 4-4-2 formation.

  42. Wow, a week ago Eds couldn’t get on the bench in most of the supporters minds.One half of football certainly shouldn’t immediately make him the new saviour.I seem to recall it was all ‘Bendtner must start’ last week.I’m delighted with Eds and he will be a great goalscorer but I don’t expect him to be starting every match all of a sudden.
    He still needs alot of work on his general play.
    Remember the winning goal Nick scored only one week ago and he was a hero? My concern is that Eds has a shocker next week and he’s crap in peoples eyes again.Just relax on all judgements until the season closes out, then we analyse and destroy.

  43. I honestly believe this game will eventually turn to be a positive game for Bendtner in the long run for two reasons.

    1 – There is no doubt he will learn from his mistake in terms of rash challenges.

    2 – It will take him down to earth a notch or two. Seeing Eduardo score 2 in limited touches and Ade scoring so many this season and proving that he should start instead of Bendtner will make him try harder. I was worried all the attention from fans would be going to his head, this will be a good reminder for him.

    I hope both points will be proven correct and that he becomes a better player because of that. Im sure he already is regretting what happened. Doing that in his first opportunity as a starter will be a good reminder for him.

  44. And I’m not convinced of an Ade/Eds pairing.He could have left Eds on at that stage and had Ade playing the deeper holding role but didn’t.He has paired Eds and Bendtner for a reason I feel.Like I thought last week, Bendtner offers Eds more opportunity.Ade starved Eds of the ball the only times they played, Nick is less selfish and always looking to move it on quickly around the box which is ideal for Eds to get into those one on one situations.Ade just fluffs around beating guys and dragging them around but not too many balls end up in the box with a player with space because the defence has normally had time to get back and cover.I like Ade but I don’t know about Ade and Eds.Just look at the goals eds scored yesterday and think about putting Ade in there, there wouldn’t have even been long balls if he was there.Totally different styles of players.

  45. richard, I personally rate Ade alot mroe than Bendtner, but I do agree with you in Bendtner offering more opportunities.

    Bendtner / Eduardo could work if we look at statistics. Eduardo is our best finisher, Bendtner is our best provider from the strikers (check my blog for details).

    Adebayor is still our main man though, especially if we have to play 4-5-1, which has worked very well for us historically regardless of what fans say and demand.

  46. It was obvious that Ade had to do something else with THAT ball, specially for somebody who scored a couple of spectacular goals this season.

    Eduardo, what can I say, I think this guy likes the hard away games…….You can not get any cooler than this in the 18 yards box…can you? With his goal/game ration…I think he’s setting himself nicely at Arsenal.

    Z, I also noticed Rosickly side spider-jump on Ade’s back after he scored. I think it really was funny but I like it.

    I think the one player maybe was not mentioned at all was Flamini. He is one of the very few that performed good in the entire 90 minutes. I also think Clichy should be credited for the two long balls to Eduardo.
    Bendtner helped on the second, but I don’t think that was a good game for him. May be physically he was not there after the 1st half.

    It shows that rushing a player to play can have a negative effect. I just hope this doesn’t effect his confidence so much to be ready for the CC game.

    Am I the only one here who watches the game more than 3 times?


  47. Danny

    I am not sure if Wrighty was younger he would not have kept hid place in AW’s side for a long time. A proven striker is worth their weigh in gold eg Van Nilsteroy. As a manager I would like to believe that the more options I have the better. As some had said in other forums ,I would be happy to have EDS sit in the corner flag all match and pop in occassionally to score our goals. That of course is an exaggeration to prove a point. Now that EDS has been introduce to the EPL properly I am sure he will pull one or two defenders away and allow our midfield more chances to score. If not he will punish them.
    We are very blessed to have a myraid of strikers of different abilities and that will keep opponents guessing as to how to play us.

    In Bendtner we have a tall strong point man with a very good touch. And excellent header of the ball. Perfect for aerial bombarments when that tactic is required.

    In RVP we have a skillfull ball player and a demon of a left foot. He has the ability to create space where lesser players would have found none.

    In EDS we have a finisher supreme, the fox in the box that we have been clamouring for the last 5 years. He reminds me of Romario more than Muller. Either way just get the ball to him in the box.

    In Ade we have a strong and yes skillful and very fast striker that is hardworking( I believe with compeition and rest we will see the old Ade back) that strecthes defenses till they tire out hence our excellent strike rate the last 15 minutes of games.

    What I am trying sayis it is always good to have different options and with it players of different types of strengths and with it also different type of weaknesses.
    So I think it is rather pointless to compare and tout different strikers. We need them all for different games and due to injuries we may not have them all available at all times.

    Anyway, we are top of the pile and long may it continue.

    Up The Arse!!!!

  48. Don’t know what to say about this weird, weird game. Could any of you see it coming in the 1st half? We were awful. What a turnaround!

    1. Just wanted to point out that while Cesc’s theatrics were embarrassing to watch, nobody in the media mentioned a word about the several dives of Arteta, Yakubu and Phil Neville. Did the MotD guys only watch their own edited MotD highlights and not the whole game?

    Having said all that, if Cesc could cut out that part from his game, and Bendtner learn how to tackle, they have a really bright future ahead. I honestly wouldn’t complain if Bendtner got a straight red. Hope he’ll learn from it like RvP did from that Southampton game you guys mentioned. Although Neville and some of the Everton guys were a bit provoking, Kolo and Flamini should also have kept his cool, especially when Cesc went down. Almunia and to a lesser extent Gallas tried to calm them down and we need that quality in a young and sometimes fiery team.

    2. Regarding celebrations, they’re quite weird too. Eduardo didn’t only look absolutely cool when he finished the chances (were they the only chances presented to him? I feel like that’s the case!), but yeah, he almost looked like he expected to score and it’s nothing special. Whereas Tomas Rosicky’s celebration at the end of the game was funny in a way. When he’s swinging his arms like flapping wings and clinging onto Ade’s back, he looked so lightweight that I felt like he’d start flying/floating around.

    3. When it started raining, 1 goal down, I thought yeah that’s the kind of cold night up north where we say “it’s probably not our day” or “it’s one of those games again.” I could see that 1-0 scoreline stay the same – until Eduardo’s 1st goal just came out of nowhere. How wonderful it was for the guys to make a breakthrough.

    4. Arsenal winning with long balls, everyone’s saying. David Moyes, respectable managed I agree, said they’re the team who passed the ball and we scored from long balls, as if it’s a sin. I can tell he’s just very annoyed with that unpleasant surprise he got from us. Yes it’d make us much less predictable.

    5. In fact the 4-4-2 itself was already a bit of a surprise considering the opponents’ approach to the game.

    6. I’d also like to give credit to Gael Clichy, who was brave enough to resort to a long ball and it was his good vision in the game that spotted Eduardo and gave him the assist for the 1st goal. He also did very well considering his opponent was Arteta, no less, facing a midfield of 5 men in a physical battle and all that. I feel Sagna’s much stronger in sending crosses/passes into the box. Clichy’s improving, which is a really good sign.

    7. In the 1st half, I was wondering when Arsene would make his changes. I was really worried that he’d again make late substitutions which leave no time for the impact players like Ade and Rosicky to make anything happen. He was spot on – actually wanted to sub Bendtner earlier but he wanted to wait until we finish defending that corner against us. Then the kid got himself into that bad challenge on AJ. All his subs were perfect in a sense, Ade to replace the 2 strikers to switch to 4-4-1 after Bendtner’s sending-off, Diarra to help protect the lead, Rosicky to add experience to calm things down and protect Cesc from doing anything stupid and getting a 2nd yellow card in the heat of things.

    8. skantius – I was wondering about the same thing too. Not only did Mark Noble and Matthew Upson have a cracking game against ManU. Other Arsenal old boys like Seb Larsson scored for Birmingham, David Bentley for Blackburn. Too bad the Portsmouth guys couldn’t end their goal drought – Kanu came close of scoring one.

    Really weird day it was. Sorry for the long post, couldn’t help it. I’m sure you guys will have a very Happy New Year!

    ONce again, Arsene knows. We’re the most fortunate group of football fans who can put our full trust in our manager, aren’t we?

  49. Oh, and I don’t mean to keep having a dig at Mad Jens. But did you guys see the entirely, utterly disinterested look on his face when he had to come off the bench and warm up when Almunia had a knock or something, only to go back to the bench a minute later? Sorry, he’s once our Invincible Keeper and all that, but I just felt it’s funny (both in a hilarious and not so nice way). He simply has to leave now, he can’t stay with the team with that kind of attitude.

  50. Sorry, I just wanted to share with you one more point, especially those who think Ade’s not good enough or Eduardo’s not ready yet or whatever. Just look at our top scorers’ goal/game ratios (in that order). They’re impressive and worthy of winning something if this is to continue:

    RvP – 7 goals in 12+1 games in all competitons
    Cesc – 11 in 21+1
    Eduardo – 9 in 12+6
    (a goal every 2 appearances is really not bad considering he often came on as a sub)
    Ade – 11 in 20+3
    Rosicky – 6 in 16+5
    Hleb – 4 in 20
    Bendtner – 4 in 7+13
    (same rate as Hleb, but he’s mostly a sub, decent start for a youngster)
    Diaby – 3 in 10+5
    Gallas – 3 in 18
    Theo, Denilson and Flamini – 2 each
    Kolo and Senderos – 1 each

    (1) These goals came in patches, e.g. Cesc hasn’t scored for what seems like weeks, but as long as the guys take turns to score, that’s not an issue. It’s impossible for these guys to keep scoring like a robot, they’re no Thierry (or Inzaghi, strangely) or Torres or Berbatov. And who knows what Eduardo can do if given a run of games? Imagine if he only repeats half of his Croatian league record for us, that’d be fantastic return already.
    (2) Some of the goals were scored against the league minnows or in the demolition of Sparta Prague at home. But I wouldn’t discard those scored in CC as we’ve faced tough opponents in Newcastle and Blackburn.

    Our goals have been contributed by 14 players, much healthier than before. We’re really on the right track. Guys, time to enjoy what we have right now, isn’t it?

  51. On another note, wouldn’t it be great if Senderos & Gilberto stepped up their game. Both quality players lacking a little confidence right now. I for one miss the world class Gilberto Silva that I’ve been accustomed to doing his thing in the red & white. Please rebelive in yourself Big Phil, we need u (Djourou & Hoyte) to hold down the forte in Kolo’s “2month” absence & in case Capt Willy gets injured??? C’mon fellas!!!!!!!

    (Sorry guys, just had to put that out there)

    Arsene knows
    We wait & we wonder
    Happy New Year to u YW & all my fellow bloggers. May we end the season where we’ve ended 2007.

  52. Regarding Arteta’s red card,I think the referee was spot on .Wether the contact was to small or there was no contact Arteta had to go because the intetion was there.I remember Sol Campbell was red carded 3 seasons ago at Highbury for aiming an elbow at Ole Gunner Solskjaer even when there was no contact.The same happened to Patrick Viera when he tried to kick Van horse at Old Trafford.
    On a different note I am now 100% convinced that Arsenal can win the title.If see us collecting red cards and yellow like candy its a big sign that the good times are coming.You can not win titles by being soft.If you look at the Arsenal title winning teams ,there was an element of nastiness in them.The last 2 seasons were we have been topping the fair play table coincides with a period were our results have not been good.So for all you gunners out there let us start celebrating because the title is ours

  53. Eduardo Da Silva is a ruthless bastard whom i will have in my team week in week out.Two chances in the penalty box resulted in two goals.Eduardo like any modern day worker knows his job.His job is to score.A lot of people expect him to run around the pitch ,helping out with defending .tbh that not his job.His job description is to score goals.Its like you are employed as electrian and you have got some knowledge on plumping, if ther is a water pump leak at your work you might want to help to repair it or you might not want at all.People should not have a go at you because you don’t want to because thats not on your job description.

  54. Louisa
    1. Just wanted to point out that while Cesc’s theatrics were embarrassing to watch.

    Why were you embarrassed? Did Cesc get hit by a swinging arm? Did the arm elbow make contact with his face? Where was the ref? (About three feet or less away from where the incident occurred. Yet you are embarrassed?
    When the FA sort out diving, (which Ces did not do) shirt pulling surrounding the ref with imaginary cards to sent opposing players off; then and only then could you even begin to say you are embarrassed. The lad plays with his heart for Arsenal and uses all his fantastic skills for Arsenal yet you are embarrassed? If at the end of the season we end 4 or 5th (and every Arsenal player was pushed bullied out of the games) did not embarrass you would I be happy? Winking Ron and even in this game divers from Everton where all over the pitch and are in every game played in football. It is a sorry state of affairs that it happens but until the FA sort it out, then I am afraid we have to fight fire with fire. We will at times pull shirts and we may overreact in conflicts but that is football. Do I like you bet I don’t but provided the contact is made and we don’t dive, (I can only think of one player in our team who does on an almost regular basis) then we use the rules as laid down. Too many people rush around with comments like handbags etc are they on the receiving end? Then like this blog at times becomes a feeding frenzy, everyone joins in as in the case Ade; dump him and other stupid statements(IMO). The Boss is doing the job right, notice he was the first to pat Ces on the back for a job well done. I prefer his comments to others.

  55. What more is there to say?

    1. When Arsenal play the beautiful game and don’t score/win, they are derided as insignificant.

    2. When they play it and win, they are told it is not enough to win silevrware.

    3. When they switch to the long ball, they are derided for switching.

    I’d say they can’t win this argument, but they can win games!

    4. I am mystified by the remarks on the long ball — Henry always got some, and has there been a game this year when Toure has not sent several long balls Ade’s way? I’m sure Spurs remember one. Maybe what’s different is that it came from Clichy.

    5. Did we win because the rain stopped?

    6. Nick and Cesc are 19, and act like it sometimes.

    7. The only person cooler on the pitch than Eduardo might have been Sagna.

    8. Is it a handball when the defender heads it on to your hand from two feet away in mid-air? That’s the yellow EDS got. He is so cool; on both goals, he paused, and let the continuing flow open space for him, while taking a look at Howard. That is maturity of the highest order in plain view.

    9. The value of Adebayor to this team was never so evident when he was called on to do the work of two strikers, removed at once. Then he showed what makes him special when he careened into the net — he operates at a near top speed pace more than almost anyone else, and is usually in control. If he could pick up Eduardo’s ability to pause in the flow and slow down in the moment, what a world-beater he’d be.


  56. One thing for sure and for myself i don’t know how to deny it – Eduardo has made every single manager in EPL cannot hold their breath when he touch the ball in penalty box.

  57. whats impressed me the most is that were top of the table, and have been most of the season – without RVP!!

    I might sound a little overboard here, but I sincerely belive that in Van Persie we have a truly special player of the highest order, a real world beater with sublime technique on the ball, who scores great goals and a lethal free-kick

    if he had been playing most of our games..we would have been ten points clear by now; if we have him fit for the second half of the season, the league is ours for the taking i reckon…will somebody please take the RVP voodoo doll away from Fergie ?

    and yes adc…i hope someone crocks ronaldo pretty good and lets see how good manure’s oft vaunted ‘strength in depth actually is’…i reckon nowhere near as good as ours

  58. i tell u guys 1 thing whether u accept or not…ppl who r talking tht bendtner wudnt ve showed the same enthu as ade in his position…ade shows his enthu only when our team is winning…i ask u a simple ques…how can u call a guy a striker when he can’t take the ball past a single defender on his own..and when somehow he does he finishes it poorly…atleast eduardo has showed he has one armor to take the ball past defenders..tht cute flick over the head..real genius!!

  59. Old Timer, Cesc was hit in the face, right. I also said in the Arsenal Vital Football site that he just fell to the ground naturally because he was caught in the middle of the momentum of himself and Arteta both running. No play-acting there. But after that, he rolled around on the floor for just a bit too long. We don’t know how much pain it caused him. But it’s not like he got punched or something. He could have just stood up or lied there without rolling around during the entire mini-melee. THAT, after doing the same thing against Chelsea (it was admittedly worse then), was what I felt was embarrassing.

    It’s not to say Arteta didn’t deserve the red card though. Arm/hand in someone’s face = red card, simple as that. Cesc was even right in saying that Arteta deserved a red card.

    I also find it annoying that the media’s painting it almost like a “Spanish version of Rooney-Ronaldo incident” between 2 good pals and stuff. That’s even more disgraceful IMHO.

    The way the media did not mention a word about the several dives of Arteta, Yakubu and Neville was another example of the media’s double standard too. I also pointed that out in Vital, to a lesser extent here above.

    To add all that “Cesc’s been giving us all that great service and you’re embarrassed?” comment is wide off the mark. I love the kid to death – he’s my favourite Arsenal player these 2 years. That doesn’t mean I think he’s perfect. That little bit of bad habit he should cut out from his game. Please do not jump to conclusion or put words into my mouth.

  60. Louisa,
    you’re right Cesc has this little bit of Xtra he shoud take out of his list of things to do. I think it’s in every “very” talented player, look at Ronaldo, who I don’t like by the way but it doesn’t mean he’s not talented, he also has this bit of Xtra he should cut out. Even TH14 also did the same when he was 22, Fabregas is only 20. It will go away by age though.

    You gotta love the kid, he’s just Fab.


  61. Every one loves Adebayor, and Almunia. I love them, love them, love them and can’t live without them.

    So ppl who are trying to put the man down will just have to Shotta.

  62. 1. Just wanted to point out that while Cesc’s theatrics were embarrassing to watch, nobody in the media mentioned a word about the several dives of Arteta, Yakubu and Phil Neville. Did the MotD guys only watch their own edited MotD highlights and not the whole game?

    After doing the same thing against Chelsea (it was admittedly worse then), was what I felt was embarrassing.

    Forgive an old fool but in the first part do you mention Chelsea?? Only in your reply about me putting words into your mouth do you mention Chelsea.
    Where do I ever but comment about you except to make comment on your statement in 1.’Just wanted to point out that while Ces’s theatrics were embarrassing to watch etc”. Your words not mine.

    Suggest you read what I write; I am just putting an opposing view point to your words.
    I just get fed up to the teeth with the continued attack on our players, one comment from one fan about their player and standby for a feeding frenzy. I don’t feel embarrassed at all, (it’s the way the game is played), in this particular case he did nothing wrong, and your opinion as to what he was feeling is that just your opinion; which is the converse of mine. Final comment is what reaction must a player show if he is hurt? A broken jaw, okay you can roll around, a punch in the face by an elbow no not hard enough; what crap. IMO you’re calling him a cheat, a liar a play actor; sorry IMO I don’t agree.

Comments are closed.