Arsenal 1 – 0 Pompey, Arsene sneaks a win as Tony Adams returns…

Yesterday saw our thin squad take on Tony Adam's side, Pompey in a 2pm kick off. The line up and formation was very strange to be honest and it looked very weird to see where the players started positionally on the pitch. For most of the first half, the line up looked like this:

Almunia
Sagna – Gallas – Silvestre – Clichy
Diaby – Denilson – Bendtner
Nasri
Eboue – Adebayor

Now, my friends, that was a very strange line up. Denilson and Nasri seemed to be playing in a diamond with Nasri behind the two strikers. It was very strange to see Bendtner deployed on the left wing and Eboue up front, but Arsene had a plan to his madness. Eboue did slot into the right hand side now and again, but ultimately that was the formation that most of the first half saw.

And it really was a first half to forget. The highlights being a Crouch header against the bar and Adebayor rounding the keeper but failing to score into an empty net. I’ve been to a lot of Arsenal games, heck, 100′s of games, but this one was so frustrating. Frustrating because an average Portsmouth side, who also played on Friday looked much better than us and could pass the ball better than us. Looked quicker than us but somehow we managed to win the game.

The second half was much of the first, although, it looked like Eboue was playing right side and Nasri was up front supporting Ade. Ade was particularly woeful yesterday too, and I really thought he wouldn’t last the whole game. The introduction of Vela on the left wing (meaning Bendtner went right) and Aaron Ramsey seemed to invigorate the team and with Vela we had a fast, skillful player who really got the side excited. Why the boy doesn’t start all the games, I don’t know.

The goal came through some bad goalkeeping from David James when Gallas got their first and nodded in. With 9 minutes to go, the sense of relief was overwhelming!

Arsene had this to say:

“We were lacking a bit of zip because we gave a lot at Aston Villa in our last match.  It was important that we were intelligent and patient. Portsmouth played very well and they were well organised and defended very deep.  My team is maturing quite well, and quickly. We will fight for the title and we believe we have a chance.”

Indeed, Arsene talks about the ability to win the title. Sometimes I think he forgets we are 10 points off the top! Remember, we hadn’t won a game in 3 games previous to this one, so how we will win the title, I just can’t fathom!

————————————————————

Arsenal:Almunia, Sagna, Gallas, Silvestre, Clichy, Eboue (Vela 66), Denilson, Diaby (Ramsey 75), Nasri, Adebayor, Bendtner.
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Toure, Van Persie, Wilshere, Gibbs.

Goals:Gallas 81.

Portsmouth:James, Wilson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Nugent (Defoe 88), Diop (Pamarot 90), Davis, Hughes (Mvuemba 50), Kranjcar, Crouch.
Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Hreidarsson, Little, Kanu.

Booked: Hughes.

Att: 60,092

Ref:Alan Wiley (Staffordshire).]]>

  • Debs

    < ![CDATA[It wasn't a stellar performance, no doubt, but no one will remember that in a few months (hopefully!), except that we took all three points...

    I read something interesting on Eurosport today, apparently something Wenger said:

    “I want a creative midfielder,” he told Canal+. “That is to say a second midfielder, because my team is right in terms of manpower and experience.

    “I can’t spend money I don’t have. The [global financial] crisis is upon us and we feel it at the club.”

    The last paragraph is really interesting, if Wenger actually said it, because it suggests that maybe the reason why all this while, Wenger hasn’t bought someone was because there wasn’t really any money to spend, and he’s just been trying to protect the club? Remember how Wenger likes to keep house matters in-house… (I think someone did raise this possibility a few days/weeks ago, but now Wenger seems to be ‘backing’ this up? The board’s been harping on that there’s money to spend if Wenger wants to, but then, why bother to state that there is money to spend, if not because you’re trying to make ppl think there’s money? I don’t know…
    Maybe in reality, the reason why Wenger’s not been able to spend that much money is not so much because he doesn’t want any players, but because we don’t have that much money to spend, and now that we do need at least one more player, he may not be able to afford who he wants?
    I really hope this is not the case, I really do, but I smell a rat! lol! I guess we’ll see come January…]]>

  • Fabrez!

    < ![CDATA[It's 3 points no matter how we got it! Interesting quote Debs...hmm...I don't see Arsene as the one to lie... bcuz himself & the board have always given us the impression that there was money to spend...I guess it's a matter of how much. He may be thinkin about Arshavin...but definitely won't be fond of splashing out £20M on him. If he buys sum1 that expensive, that may be his only signing. But i think he may just go for relatively cheap players (under £10M each) who have some talent and can back up what we've already got... And when he said "2nd midfielder", he meant after a DM rite? Cuz Arsene knows he's gotta get himself a DM!

    And what do y'all think bout the Distin link to Arsenal? I think Distin tackeld Ade yesterday (after he beat James) as if to say, "I'm the 1 u want Arsene!!" lol And then a link with a triple raid on Newcastle...hmm...Given being 1 of the players...i don't think we r in dire need of a keeper but his game v Liverpool yest was class...he is good...]]>

  • gary

    < ![CDATA[You bunch of sycophantic, bleating idiots! Get a clue. Wenger is doing what top managers all do when things are tough...he is placing all the pressure on HIMSELF and making himself the target of all the predictable abuse and brain dead, partisan, demagogues that pass for punditry in this quaint little region.

    Sir Alex does it, Jose did it, and Wenger has always done it as well. Do you think he does not know the media's rather overt, niggling questions and how things will be spun? The man may be many things, but thick he is not.

    He's very clever and knows exactly how things will play in the press and among the chattering, knuckle-dragging universe of supporters. He is club first and makes himself the target to take the pressure off the players. But nobody considers that at all. I wonder why? Could it be you fall for it every time like the reactionary, Pavlovian dogs you are?]]>

  • RF

    Point(s) of Relief !! :)

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

    < ![CDATA[Debs, I think it may be more to do with the fact that he won't pay over the odds for a player and/or over commit on wages than there is no money. I think there is money, but just for sensible purchases that will benefit the long term viability of the club. We certainly don't have the cash to splash on players like Robinhio who have vastly inflated transfer costs.

    At least I hope thats it! If there really is no money we could see Arsenal begin to slip down the table. If we don't qualify for the CL then there will be no money next season either and Cesc will go for certain!

    Fabrez!, Distin would be a brilliant player, Portsmouth are soon going to be suffering a fire sale so he'll be on the cheap, and he's French! Its the most realistic rumour and one that makes me excited.

    The only drawback is so far Wenger hasn't made any motions of looking for a defender. I hope he strengthens our back line.]]>

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

    < ![CDATA[More good news!!

    Courtesy of the BBC:

    Arsenal striker Jay Simpson has signed a new long-term deal with the club.

    The 20-year-old is yet to feature for the Gunners in the Premier League but scored twice in his three games for them in this season’s Carling Cup.

    Both goals came in his only first-team start – a 3-0 victory over Wigan – and he has also been an ever-present for the reserves in the current campaign.

    Simpson, who spent last season on loan at Millwall, will join West Brom on loan in the January transfer window.

    The London-born frontman scored eight goals in 46 games for the Lions last term. ]]>

  • Richiebacardi

    < ![CDATA[Merry New Year and Happy Christmas to all!

    Congrats to Debs on Commentator of the year. Well deserved and to the other folks who post up here well done. It's good to pop on and read the blogs and cheers dev too!

    Now I just wanna express how some people amaze me really. I remember not too long ago when pepole were saying that Arsenal were playing the pretty football but not getting results. People were asked what would they would prefer, the points or football that's good on the eyes.Points yes?

    Well we are not in a good position, but we got 3 points against Tony and people now telling me oh it was scrapy and we didn't look good.

    Frankly at the moment I don't give a rat's. I didn't see the game or watch the highlights, but all I know is that we got 3 points, and as far as I know no injuries and that my friends is all i want at the moment.

    I know we aren't anywhere as good as we used to be but three points...and reading about the croud singing 'One - Nil to the Arsenal' sent a shiver down my spine. Also reading how Gallas was congratulated after scoring...great.

    I don't like to bring up comparisons, but look at the red scousers...two seasons ago, Rafa was the scourge of the earth and he didn't have a clue what he was doing.....

    Take care all!!]]>

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

    Richie, spot on.