Hull City Revisited

Top o’ the morning to you all this St Patrick’s Day as those of us with Irish heritage enhance the family myths, forget our Englishness, using them as a feeble excuse to drink the day away although if anyone puts a shamrock in my Guinness’ (or should the plural of that be Guinni?), I cannot be held responsible for my actions.

Hull arrive at The Emirates, seemingly a world away from their previous visit in the late summer of 2008. In the Premier League, it would be a pity if their sojourn were to be a brief season and I wish them well in their fight for survival. As far as the FA Cup goes, sorry chaps, the bonhomie does not extend. It’s a dog eat dog world in a knockout tournament and I want Arsenal to have the baddest bite in the kennel. In a nice, knocking the ball around, playing everyone off the park, fluffy kind of way but if it has to be ugly, so be it as long as the mini-big ears ends up in the Arsenal trophy room.

There will be changes from Saturday, some enforced, some the usual cup rota. Surprisingly though, Arsene will not be using Aaron Ramsey. Gibbs in for Clichy is not an unexpected change, the youngster looking the most developed of the ‘youth’ reserves at the moment, certainly further along the road to the first team than Gavin Hoyte. Gibbs’ performances in the first team vindicate Arsene’s policy of loaning the youngsters and it is good to know that were anything to happen to Clichy for any length of time, there is an apparent replacement waiting in the wings.

Almunia will be replaced by Fabianski as is normal but it would have happened in any case, the Spaniard apparently more affected by Diouf’s assault than originally appeared to be the case. Watching the incident again, my flabber was well and truly gasted that the Blackburn player stayed on the pitch. Even more so that he stayed on his feet when Almunia put his head into Diouf’s head at a corner.

Other than those two, I would be surprised if there were any other changes in defence. Sagna did not appear to be having any ill-effects following his exertions in Rome whilst Toure and Djourou looked as formidable a barrier in the centre as Arsenal have mustered all season. Indeed, the pairs performance on Saturday has been largely unpraised in the media focus on Walcott and Arshavin. They handled Rovers forward line – for what it was worth – pretty well on the day although had they seen the efforts of the Blackburn players on Soccer AM’s Crossbar Challenge, they would not have been at all worried. Maybe they did and realised they were in for a relatively easy afternoon.

Midfield will probably see changes. Nasri will possibly make way for Vela on the left, especially given the Mexican’s cup form this season. A pairing of Song and Diaby would be no surprise either. Denilson must be tired after the last two games and personally, I would rather see him have a night off and be raring to take the Barcodes apart on Saturday, especially since Diaby is a more than capable replacement.

Up front, someone, somewhere is going to suffer for Bendtner’s profligacy on Saturday and what better way than tonight? Arshavin’s prompting will be missed but I am sure van Persie will be able to provide the basis of a strong performance from the Dane. To Bendtner’s credit, he may have been hugely disappointed not to have scored but with every miss, he picked himself up, dusted himself down and put himself back into the positions to score every time. As long as he does not lose that aspect of his game, the goals will come once more.

I would expect the team to be:

Fabianski; Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Gibbs; Walcott, Diaby, Song, Vela; van Persie, Bendtner

A win would set up a record equalling semi-final appearance and the chance to inflict more damage upon Chelsea’s season. Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

437 thoughts on “Hull City Revisited

  1. Steve says:

    Very well put G4E. Although I doubt even Cbob could answer the egg question.

  2. shotta-gunna says:

    Joe, IMO, you are a moaner and a whinger, plain and simple. Your hypocrisy is transparent.
    Starting with your double-speak “For the record I should be upfront – I am the most ardent of Wengers fans,” but…..
    The defence is horrible: The same defence which has ground out 14 games without defeat most of them either 1-0 wins or 1-1 daws. What games have you been watching?
    How lacking we are with players who are prepared to bleed for this club: This is the same players who survived a damaging injury spell to 5 or 6 of its best players and kept the faith despite the most negative assessments by gits like who boo them at their own home games and denigrate and belittle their talents in the press and on-line. This is the same team with the highest number of goals and wins in the last 15 minutes of games in the EPL. Take young Denilson, who at 20, has started almost every EPL game for us, in the top of the EPL stats in pass-completion and successful tackles, yet this being his first full season, a moniumental acheivement in my opinion. You have the gall to seize on Van Persie who, despite douts about his durability, has led the line for most of the season, almost single-handedly keeping us in the top 5.
    You sir are either blinkered or a xenophobe given your harping back to Keown, Tony Adams and even more disrespectful to a Gooner, your reference to Roy Keane of Man Utd. You sir are living in the past, of English bleeding grit. Those days are gone. Wenger is building a new golden generation and has no need for bleeding hypocrites like you.

  3. Steve says:

    Joe I can understand what you say. Do you know that RVP is not committed? Contracts need more than 1 party to sign.

    As for the Bendtner point, many fans have moaned about his performances in the last year as well (not me I might add).

    Diaby has been in and out of the team so it is hard to get any form that way. Time in the team will only help him in the end.

  4. Gunner4Ever says:

    I doubt CBob can answer the egg question Steve, but it doesn’t hurt to throw it out there for him to try…he might surprise us. 🙂

    ==

    “In short Steve – I want players at this club who give a shit. I want players at this club who love this club and respect this manager as much as I do.”

    You don’t think players respect Wenger Joe? I think this is unsubstantiated comment, and I don’t see how can say that and be absolutely certain?

    I don’t think our players want to collect a check and win no trophies or to warm the bench. In fact, our players work harder than any other team because we have a smaller squad, and we had many injuries.

    What kind of commitment you mean, signing to Arsenal for life? Or commit in games like putting their foot in and getting it broken by stupid English giants?

  5. Joe says:

    Shotta Gun,

    I receive, understand and respect your point. In response may I clarify:

    The defence is terrible. Truth is we’ve been absolutely poxed to come through many of those games. Going forward in our prime – we’re good enough to beat any team in the world. But the main reason we have not won any silverware over the past 4 years has been our defence. Kolo has been a shadow of himself. Clichy has had an abismal season. Gallas has only really found form since Christmas and Sagna God bless him has been our only beacon of consistency.

    I have never ever booed this club. Please don’t put words in my mouth. Nor have I ever denigrated or belittled their talents. I happen to think Denilson is the most promising midfielder in the world at the moment. I have never said a bad word about him.
    RVP is capable of beingthe best front player in the world. But he had yet to reach that point. Thats my gripe – one of shortfall on his own ability.

    Your accusation that Im living in the past of “English Grit” – well I’m not english, Roy Keane is Irish, Kolo Ivorian, Makelele french – all players I deeply admire and respect.

    And while I share your enthusiasm that Wenger is indeed building a supreme team – I do have concerns in how he’s achieving that balance, especially in defense.

  6. Joe says:

    G4E,

    No I do think players respect Wenger. At least I think that most of them do – especially the important ones like Fab. I don’t think Flam respected either the Manager or the club when he said he would stay and then left. Nor do I think Hleb respected the Manager or the club when he went walkabout in Milan before we played the CL fixture last year. Nor do I think cashley respected the Manager or the Club meeting Mourinho behind his back.

    You would have alot to do to prove to me that RVP cared so much for this club on the back of some of his recent performances. Indeed given all that the club has done for him over the past 5 years in standing by him during his injuries – I would feel somewhat cheated by his departure in the summer.

    The English game should protect players that play beautiful football. And so long as it doesn’t, its national team and ambitions will continue to suffer.

  7. Luke says:

    So sorry Mr Brown. It was an offside goal, your players didn’t waste time, and Hull deserve a replay.

    So what if I agreed with you? 😀 😀 😀

  8. Gunner4Ever says:

    Well, the question is actually for you to answer Joe, what do you want Van Persie to do to prove he cares for the club? I don’t understand what did he do wrong this year? He is playing when the manager asks him, he’s scoring whenever he can, and basically played more than any other striker this season, I understand because he is not injured this season and the other strikers are….so where is the problem with Van Persie?

    I just don’t see how I can blame the injury on the player himself when he got the injury playing for the club? I also don’t think most of the players want to get injured and not play. Even if the player got injured playing for his country not the club, it’s not his fault he is obligated to perform his national duty.

    That leaves the contract issue which in most cases gets prolonged by the club itself because they don’t want to pay over the odds on wages and it’s a fair game between the employer and the employee.

    I’ve been with the same company for 11 years, I’m loyal to them, but if the chance come to renegotiate my contract, I will make sure I get the best deal I can.

    Not a fair attack on RVP or questioning his effort.

  9. gunner_expat says:

    Hello all,
    Been following this blog for a while, and only recently started reading the comments section. First up, great blog, probably the best out there, and second, most of the people here seem quite reasonable.

    I thought the problem in the first half was the disconnect between the two men in the center and the 4 attacking players. Diaby seemed insanely indecisive, and wasn’t adding much to the play going forward, and RvP for all the magic he is capable off, was quite ordinary today.

    Too me this game just underscores how good Nasri is (and/or what a great job Denilson has been doing). In the center Nasri is dynamite. He plays with such poise. I don’t think he is given enough credit.

    AIC, I think everyone agrees that arsenal could have played better. specially in the first few minutes, and largely the first half. BUT once nasri and bendtner came on we did play better. (If not much much better)

    What people are complaining about, is that you were being a downer (big time). and for no good reason in the end, since arsenal recovered their ways and WON! (remember the point is too win over 90 minutes…basics basics..tut tut) and whats even more infuriating is that instead of acknowledging your whininess, you are sticking to an obsolete point and hiding behind ‘opinion’.

    All Good! We Won We Won! and I agree it always felt like we would do it!

  10. Gunner4Ever says:

    Well said Gunner_Expat.

    Not sure if Diaby/Song played together much before, but maybe it was not the best of ideas playing them against 5 man midfield. Maybe in the first half we were surprised by the fluke goal they scored, and the time wasting tactic they used from early stages in the game, while the referee didn’t do anything about it at all.

    I’m waiting to see the second half again.

  11. ZimPaul says:

    It’s always so interesting reading ACLF posts in the morning after a game. Much better than any match report. It has the nuances of the match.

    Pz said
    It would be a shame if that goal was legitimate. The offside added salt to the victory.

    Ha ha ha … My sentiments entirely.

    Joe said the defence is shite. On the balance of the whole season might have been a fair criticism (see goals conceded column in PL). But it is a bit old, and now wrong. You simply cannot have an unbeaten run of 18/19 games with shite defence. Our defence overall has been outstanding since December, including set-pieces. We do not concede set piece goals any more than other clubs, statistically.

    I think some folks, maybe AIC, miss the point.
    There is so much spirit and will to win in this side, it’s so f**cking obvious. I thought Diaby was a bit shaky and Hull were energetic for 25 mins but otherwise it was a hard fought win, coming from behind, against cyncical, physical tactics (a plucky team with an inferiority complex) and we won all the battles – possession, midfield, creating chances through the parked bus, goals, defence, fighting spirit, effort – RASERS what more do you want?

    Good win this one!!! Well done boys.

  12. Frank's biggest fan says:

    Well, the second goal was coming. Nasri, and Bendtner were terrific introduction by Arsene. We could have scored 3rd and 4th goals, and made it look even more convincing.

  13. ZimPaul says:

    Yep, on another day could easily have 4-1 … chances cleared off the line, good chances blocked, Song just went wide, Diaby missed by inches, RvP hit the bar, I thought Theo might have been given a penalty early on, the defender did not get the ball, inches, inches all of them.

  14. Frank says:

    …excellent result…tough game against a resilient side with very creepy management staff…..Phil Borwon spent the first half in the stand communicating with a thug of an assistant who was clearly on a mission to destablilise AW……they seemed to be intent on causing trouble from the start…..Hull must go down after this….no class at all…

    …really enjoyed the game….RvP captained brilliantly and really got the crowd going Arsenal through and through…superb performance by him….AA is the dogs…..and…so is Kieran Gibbs….and to the Chelski supporters who attacked my son and nephew on their way home from the game…..and got arrested for it…….we are coming to get you scumbags….do they have TVs in prison?

  15. Frank says:

    …anyone that claims that Arsenal did not deserve to win the game by a country mile on performance…knows nothing whatsoever about football…..off you go McManamiinninin, Fartson and Chewwood….you are no longer required…no credentials….

  16. Frank says:

    Joe, AIC, you seem to have written reams and reams last night and made almost no points at all…it all seems to be about yourselves…..feeling a bit embarassed this morning are we?…..you should be….

  17. Frank's biggest fan says:

    Rest of England wanted Hull so badly I suppose..They would have fallen for Chelsea, and let the c**ts in media and elsewhere have their dream final of Chelski vs Utd? People are mouthing off as if the result was undeserved. Haha..

    COYG~!

  18. Muppet says:

    Joe,

    Your post has no perspective. If our defence is so terrible, how do we find ourselves in the quarter finals of the CL (top 8 teams in Europe), semi finals of the FA Cup (top 4 teams in the UK), and 4th in the premiership (obviously 4th top team in England).

    Criticism is fine, when it’s accurate. Our problem has been lack of creativity in front on goal. Not defence. Not since the middle of last November. You can’t come on here and start bemoaning the defence anymore. We haven’t conceded stupid goals since the Manchester City defeat.

    Now that some of the creative players are back, and more are coming back, we’ll see what happens.

    The other thing that you should remember Joe, is that the in the last 12 years, Arsenal haven’t always been great in europe, nor in the FA cup. I remember struggling to qualify for the 2nd phase and then being beaten by the likes of Bayern Munich and Eindhoven. Likewise, in the FA cup, we have struggled, not least last year, when a suicidal team stepped on to the pitch at old Trafford.

    The other point, is why do you feel it’s time to deliver an essay after we’ve won, and put up a terrific battling performance against a team employing the dirtiest of tactics. It’s absolutely deflating when most supporters want to celebrate the win.

  19. Passenal says:

    “…anyone that claims that Arsenal did not deserve to win the game by a country mile on performance…knows nothing whatsoever about football…..”

    Because it took us until the 74th minute to score our first goal, they were starting to salivate about the possibility of the ‘honest’ yeomen of Hull getting one over the dirty spitting foreigners – well they can all go swivel on a pointy stick for all I care.

  20. Luke says:

    The more controversial the winner, the more I enjoy it. We deserve one like that to balance all the bad luck we had.

  21. Luke says:

    On the spitting. If there is no video evidence, Brown can forget about making his wild allegations stick. Unless he scooped some up for DNA testing at the scene of the crime.

  22. Consolsbob says:

    Even when we were one down I thought we would finish 3-1 winners. They let me down there. I have no fear now watching this Arsenal side. AA has added a great dollop of positive and aggressive play to the side. I always think he is going to make something happen. He is one of those players.

    As for the Brown jobbie, well, nothing extra to add really. What did we expect from a man who learnt all he knows from Big Fat Sam? I hear that he took advice from the walrus on how to beat Arsenal. I suspect it was not tactics they talked about but how to ‘wind up Wenger’. It seemed clear from the outset that they had set that dinosaur of an asst. manager on Arsene’s case from the start. An innovative tactic from these forward thinkers of football. Watch out for more of the same in the matches ahead.

    The media, of course, jump on it. Another brick to beat our club with. The others having proved sadly not upto the job. What did we expect?

    The after match spat is laughable. Part of the same wind up Wenger and disrespect the club tactic. If Arsene had behaved like that after a defeat we would never hear the end on the matter. Sour grapes. What did we expect?

    Which brings us to G4E’s question. The chicken or the egg? Well, the answer is that is doesn’t matter. We need one for the other. What is an opinion without a counterview? An Arsenal fan without a spuds fan? A game of football without an opponent to crush?

    Funny thing eggs though. Had one more egg yesterday than we should have. Seems one bird layed twice in the day. Very unusual. Had a very colourful breakfast this morning, a nice rich brown Moran egg and a Cream legbar egg, which is blue.

  23. Arse Baggins says:

    Just so you know-

    The egg came before the chicken. The chicken is a hybrid descendent of the grey junglefowl and red junglefowl. Since genetic mutation can only take place before birth then in the evolutionary terms the egg came first.

  24. Consolsbob says:

    How have I upset the ‘moderation parameters’ this morning Yogi?

    As you know, I am moderate in all things apart from my love for consolslel and Arsenal.

  25. Consolsbob says:

    Well, I don’t know AB. The change took place inside the chicken that layed the egg didn’t it?

  26. Luke says:

    Cesc is ready to play… His passion shows, and we should be glad for it. Screw Brown’s Hull.

  27. Alex Ice Cream says:

    No Frank I’m not embarrassed at all.

    I already conceded that frustration crept into some of my posts during the game but the performance was poor pure and simple.

    We were playing an average team (at best) at home and needed an offside goal to beat them. We only really looked dangerous when the subs came on. In the end it doesn’t matter as we are thorugh.

  28. ZimPaul says:

    Passenal says …

    they were starting to salivate about the possibility of the ‘honest’ yeomen of Hull getting one over the dirty spitting foreigners – well they can all go swivel on a pointy stick

    Brilliant!!! Brilliant!

  29. mingus says:

    I think AIC was commenting during the game….with the handbrake off.

  30. Consolsbob says:

    By the way Marc, he is doing very well. Thanks for asking.

    As it happens, the event has brought something important to light. Consolslel brought back the usual pictures of ” …the best looking baby that I have ever seen”, (since the last one anyway), all dressed up in the togs that consolslel had knitted.

    Herein lies the issue. They were all blue!. Now, we know this is traditional but it must be a poor start to a boy’s life to have to turn out in blue every day, surely?

    I can just see it now. All those people looking into the pushchair and saying, “Ah, isn’t he lovely”, and then as they walk away, turning to their partner ad saying, “Shame he looks like a chav”, or something similar.

    What an appalling thing to happen to a young man. It’s a wonder any of us recover from the trauma.

    There would seem to be no answer. Try explaining this to consolslel and get her to knit baby clothes in Red and White! No, it is beyond the ability of this poor man.

  31. Frank says:

    …well it would be nice if he didn’t comment with the brake off…it is very unpleasant….

  32. Luke says:

    Arseblogger’s handbrake and footbrake have both failed simultaneously:

    “Arsene didn’t shake your hand? Fuck you. Cesc spat at your assistant? Fuck you. Offside winning goal? Fuck you.

    Arsenal 2-1 Hull, FUCK. YOU.”

  33. Frank says:

    …what colour do prison inmates wear in England?….the Chavs should wear that colour…make it easier for their fans…

  34. Luke says:

    … I agree with Frank who agrees with Arseblogger…

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