Arsenal 1 -0 Wigan, a step forward…

So, Djourou recovered from his minor injury to be restored into the starting line up and it was a matter of fielding the best of what we had considering our injuries. The line up was:

Almunia
Sagna – Toure – Djourou – Clichy
Denilson – Song - Cesc – Nasri
Adebayor – Van Persie

From the highlights, it looked like a decent game. A good tempo, Ade looked interested , Van Persie was on his game – but both striker’s finishing was little awry.  Reading the BBC match report, they reported us as sluggish and lacking fight, but of course I couldn’t see any of this as it wasn’t in the highlights!

Our goal came through a corner and a prod back into the box by Cesc, Song kind of helping it on and Ade sliding past Kirland. Adebayor was just inches away from doubling the advantage Kirkland pushed it shot onto the post. Van Persie can close under pressure from a few defenders.

The second half had 8 minutes of highlights, and the first half only 3, so by this I have to presume it was a better second half than first. One of the talking points of the game was the injury to Nasri. Palacios came through the back of the player and it looks like he is out for about 2-3 weeks. With Walcott and Rosicky injured, it really is an unwelcomed injury at this time of the season. We have been struck down by injuries and we are the most fouled team in the league, something has to be done to sort it out.

A comment from Fabrez! summed up the plight:

Wilson Palacios’ tackle was more or less disgusting… should have seen red. It was not nice to see how much Nasri’s ankle was strained under Palacios’ weight. I’m starting to wonder if we need to buy a winger seein that we have these injuries (Rosicky, Theo, now Nasri…)

What can we do about it? With Nasri out for a while, and important games coming up (Porto, Liverpool), we have no wingers left to play. I’d hate to see four central midfielders deployed across the middle, Song, Ramsey, Cesc and Denilson. Vela could be a good shout for the left wing and Eboue (if he gets his confidence back) for the right wing.

Another talking point of the game was the woeful form of Eboue. I did think he had a decent half hour, but his second half hour was totally regressive. In this day and age, at the level of which is required to play premier league football, how can we see what we see with players like Eboue unable to control the ball. Sometimes you think that Arsene believes that he’ll turn a corner one day, but ultimately the Eboue and Bendtner experiments are the two that have definitely failed – they’re simply not as good as Arsene thinks! Eboue lasted 59 minutes and after coming on for Nasri was subbed himself.

Eboue has lost the confidence of the fans no doubt. The fans who play good money to see players play. And when Eboue went mad in the final 10 minutes of the game, he was subjected to boos. Right or wrong? I don’t know. I’m not a fan of the Ivorian, but booing a player just doesn’t help them or the rest of the team. But then you have to think, how to the fans make a point to the manager that a player isn’t highly regarded.

Arsene wasn’t happy with the booing and said:

“Eboue played for longer than I wanted him to. His concentration dropped a little bit and when the crowd got on his back that was difficult to see and accept.

“He has to come off as he had lost a lot of confidence – he would have been even more unhappy had he stayed on, given the ball away and cost us a goal.”

We’ll see how Arsene reacts, it does put him in an interesting position as he has to play the Ivorian. He knows he may not play well, but his hands are tied. Eboue does have talent – and maybe the booing will help him to remain focused in future games.

On the game itself, Arsene said:

“I feel it was a nervy game. We didn’t finish the game off because of our recent history and I felt that we played a little bit with a handbrake. On the other hand I praise the team for being focused and determined to win even when they are playing a little bit less well.

“Sometimes I sit here and you say ‘you played well but you didn’t win’ but today you say ‘you didn’t play well’. We will soon try to combine both.

“We beat Man United and after we lose at home to Aston Villa and at Man City. We beat Chelsea last week so we knew that today was a bigger game because we needed to win another game on top of that.”

Interesting comments from Arsene in regards to playing well and winning and not playing well and winning and winning and playing well and not playing well and…

Anyway, more tomorrow… Til then…

———————————–

Arsenal:Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Djourou, Clichy, Denilson, Fabregas, Song Billong, Nasri (Eboue 32), Van Persie, Adebayor, Eboue (Silvestre 90).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Vela, Ramsey, Wilshere, Bendtner.

Booked:Van Persie.

Goals:Adebayor 16.

Wigan:Kirkland, Taylor, Boyce (Kilbane 63), Bramble, Figueroa, Valencia, Palacios, Cattermole (Koumas 77), Melchiot, Heskey, Camara (Zaki 66).
Subs Not Used: Kingson, Brown, De Ridder, Kapo.

Booked:Palacios, Figueroa.

Att: 59,317

Ref: Steve Bennett (Kent).]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[I'm watching the Everton Villa game. Everton player has just hashed a back pass and Villa scored. Terrible mistake. Who booed? No one.

    They've cheered him every time he gets the ball - because footballers make mistakes and fans don't punish them for it.

    In terms of the next few games - I think Denilson and Ramsey have proved that they aren't wingers. Brilliant footballers, but not wingers. That said Denilson played bloody well yesterday and his long range shots are getting closer to the goal!]]>

  • Pissed off

    We need to figure out our creativity worries as soon as possible.

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    Yeah I know what you mean – it’s almost like winning the game didn’t matter. Although last week you were moaning because we weren’t winning. You can’t win every game 10-0. We hit the post twice and had two or three good saves….

  • Debs

    at least we kept a clean sheet, although if Wigan had better quality, it wouldn’t have been so, but yeah, a clean sheet is still a clean sheet! Hopefully we’ll soon start scoring goals with ease.

  • zaheer

    the victory would have tasted A LOT sweeter if at least one of the other top 4 teams lost!

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[I think it comes down to luck. Liverpools first goal trickled in and they got better as a result. Without that luck, 0-0. Man United looked woeful against Sunderland and won the game with yet another injury time winner. If Vidic hadn't been there, 0-0.

    Arsenal outplayed Wigan, with the except of a nervy final 10 minutes.... if the two shots that hit the post had been an inch further in we'd have had the best result of the day.]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[we'r having some serious problems on the wings. assuming the worst for nasri - maybe 2 weeks recovery time - to get an idea of what the team would look like without him.
    (hopefully its nothing serious and its less than that)

    we've got only one so called winger - eboue. and wat hapnd last time on th pitch shattered his confidence. even if he's fully fit in his next game, he'll still be only a fraction of himself until he gets his confidence back.
    and the fans need to help him get his confidence back. i'm sure if they support him he'll be fine in a matter of minutes.

    but who else do we play out wide ? denilson ? maybe th reason he stayed on at rightsmid against wigan was bcuz he was better than eboue at rightmid ?
    otherwise why play a guy who's not even fully fit in th wrong place ?

    denilson's been doing a decent job. i'm sure he could've played just as well at leftmid as he does at rightmid. so maybe next time we'll see eboue at RM and denilson at LM. or maybe denilson gets a breather and wilshere or ramsey come on. we've already qualified and the carling cup is over. its a chance to give them some matches. that way denilson'll stay fresh for boro next week away.

    eduardo is still a week or two away. if his first game is on the 16th in the reserves against porstmouth, maybe he'll get one game before christmas - against liverpool at home on the 21st. hopefully he's fit enough by then for it to be not too tough a match for him to start with.
    or he plays against aston villa away on the 26th. we gota teach them a lesson or two btw !

    when he does get back though, where do we play him ?
    maybe him and ade up front and vanpersie on the rightwing, his best position imo. with denilson on the leftwing. or nasri when he gets back.

    it gets more interesting]]>

  • ny

    I am thinking more about how we can get Cattermole in Arsenal team.

  • gary

    < ![CDATA[I really felt for Emmanuel Eboue yesterday. I know his performance was shocking but the cheering from Gooners when he was substituted was in my opinion was harsh.

    Gooners pay plenty of money to watch Arsenal and maybe feel that they earn the right to behave how they want at games. I agree to a certain extent but I think it is harsh to single out one player.

    Eboue will never be a crowd favourite and he can infuriate me with his play-acting but you could see how much the crowd's reaction hurt him.

    He was close to tears and nobody likes to see a grown man cry. To see him so distraught wasn't a nice sight.

    Wenger says that Eboue is a sensitive boy who wants to do well. I hope we see a positive reaction from him in the next game he plays but I think after yesterday his confidence is shot.

    He is an immensely popular lad in the dressing room and I don't think he is as bad as some people make him out to be. In my eyes he is a very good right back but Sagna is better.

    Let's hope it was just an off day for Eboue and he comes back stronger from this. A little more effort from him would be a start!

    I understand that we Gooners are going through a difficult period at the moment and it is frustrating but please lets not start getting on the backs on individual players.

    I think we are looking for a scapegoat and Eboue is an easy target. I know he was shit yesterday but haven't you had a really really bad day at work before? I know I have and it seems once one thing goes wrong the rest of the day seems to follow suit.

    It's easy to get on the back of Eboue but lets try not to. After all, he does play for Arsenal.

    A little question is at the back of my mind. Would the Gooners who "turned" on Eboue have done the same if it was Cesc Fabregas having the worst game of his life?

    I think not.]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[I don't expect Eduardo to play a full game in the PL anytime soon, but he may come on as a sub with abt 20mins to go or so, but definitely not against Liverpool, cos I think that'll be too big a game for him to start.

    I'm guess having options in midfield and up front is a good problem to have, as long as Wenger gets it right, and when Rosicky gets back, it gets even better! I wish we had better competition in defence, though...]]>

  • Dan

    < ![CDATA[The reaction to Eboue's lacklustre performance was out of order and ultimately counter-productive. It isn't going to make Eboue play any better, because he would have lost a certain amount of love for the club that game. All of the players will have lost a degree of respect for the fans as well, and rightfully so. Utterly pointless - and it pissed me off.

    We, as fans, have almost as much an influence on the game as Arsene Wenger himself! Why its not used to our advantage i don't know, but too often our 12th man is one of the worst performers in the stadium - fact!

    Just as the players appear to be under motivated for the smaller games, our fans sing quieter in these games.

    Debs saying - "I don’t expect Eduardo to play a full game in the PL anytime soon, but he may come on as a sub with abt 20mins to go or so, but definitely not against Liverpool, cos I think that’ll be too big a game for him to start." i think proves this attitude. Ok so you can kind of say that its a 6 pointer, but really to us its worth 3 points like every other game.

    We don't give it our all against smaller teams, but still believe we have the right to criticise the players for doing the same thing. I just wish we would utilise our huge stadium and give the players an electric atmosphere every game. Its the fans that make the ground a fortress - not the players!]]>

  • JDD

    < ![CDATA[ROSICKY NOT BACK UNTIL MARCH
    NASRI OUT FOR 2-3 WEEKS
    WALCOTT OUT FOR 2 MORE MONTHS
    WILSHERE AND MERIDA SHOULD START AGAINST MIDDLESBOROUGH
    WE NEED TO BUY 2 WINGERS IN JANUARY RIBERY 20MIL + BENDTNER AND AFFELAY 15MIL]]>

  • Debs

    i know what you mean Dan, but I’m not in any way saying that a game against Liverpool is more important than a game against anyone else- it’s still 3 points, but the point I was making is that games against a club like Liverpool, like it or not, is a BIG game cos obviously it’s 2 of the big four squaring it. There’ll be a lot of spotlight on the players on the day, and I don’t expect a player coming back after such a long injury should play under that type of intensity, and I’m sure you’d agree that despite the fact that all games in the PL should be trated the same way, some of them do come with a bit extra pressure, and I wouldn’t want Eduardo starting again under such intense pressure, simple as.

  • Debs

    It’s not so much the nature of the opposition, but the atmosphere the match is played in.

  • JDD

    WE WILL BRUSH LIVERPOOL ASIDE WITH EASE I DONT SEE THEM AS GENUINE TITLE CONTENDERS I THINK US AND MAN UTD ARE GONNA FIGHT IT OUT FOR FIRST PLACE CHELSEA AND LIVERPOOL DONT LOOK THAT SPECIAL

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[good commenting JDD

    i'm assuming you've handed arsenal fc the check for 35 mil then

    for ribery and affelay
    no ?]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net/blog kierandelaney.net/blog

    < ![CDATA[Debs/Dan - I think a better way of phrasing it is a mathematically more difficult 3 points.

    JDD, Pissed Off wants his crack pipe back.]]>

  • McClone

    Sp*rs are winning – come on West Ham!