Arsenal 2 – 0 Man Citeh… Is Ade back…?

It's Monday, the weather is good and I am hungry. It's a bit weird at the moment, I find myself often wearing sunglasses, but then putting on a jumper and a jacket, it's like Summer during the day and Winter at night... Based on the cleverly deduced seasonal observation, I now pronounce April, Suminter or Winmer, or Autspring, or Springtumn... actually, Sprinter... that sounds cool... happy Sprinter people!

Arsenal 2-0 Manchester City

Barclays Premier League, Emirates Stadium
Saturday, April 04, 2009, 15:00

So we’ve continued our little run and made it 6 domestic wins in a row… we’ve got 6 clear points (same number of games played) and a better goal difference than Aston Villa. I’m hopeful of finishing fourth now and really excited about the Champions League. With so many injuries pre-game, it was a God send to see Cesc, Ade and Theo all return on the weekend. The line up on Saturday was:

Almunia

Sagna – Toure – Gallas – Clichy

Denilson – Song

Walcott – Cesc – Arshavin

Adebayor

Slightly different formation than expected but it worked well, and often saw one of Song and Denilson get forward to – it also have Cesc a more attacking role and less defensive duties, which would have suited him on his return to the side.

The Spaniard was involved in both goals. The first came in the 8th minute, when we were awarded a free kick about 5 yards away from the corner flag. A beautifully flighted ball by Cesc evaded all other players and landed directly onto Ade’s head who applied the finish to make it 1 – 0. Early in the second half, another great ball from Cesc – this one from open play, saw Ade received the ball and round the keeper.

Today’s blog is just a quick summary, but there was much more to the game that just that – Arshavin, subdued, maybe to the intensity of Internationals was steady and creative, Theo was threatening and Cesc was his usual creative self. Man City were no pushovers though. Shaun Wright Philips the most dangerous player on their time. Robinho was decent, but a little subdued and Bellamy was in Toure’s pocket all day long.

The first half was more even, and Toure and Gallas were very good as was Denilson who just seemed to be everywhere on Saturday like a man possessed. With United, Liverpool and Chelsea all winning, the title is pretty much out of distance now – but all in all, such a performance will bode well for tomorrow’s game and the end of season FA cup semi and final…

Arsene spoke after the game…

“We had a strongly balanced performance, offensively and defensively against a good Man City side, especially in the first half. In the second half we completely took over and maybe should have scored more goals. Overall I am pleased because there is a lightness back in the team and the way we play. Everybody looks to enjoy, and play without the handbrake or any restriction. That is good to see.”

“It was a good team performance. I think Cesc had Denilson and Song behind him who did a good defensive job for him. That meant he could dedicate more of his energy to the offensive task. 

“He likes to come deep and play the long balls. At the moment he is still in the phase where he gets to know all the aspects of the game – in defence and attack – so I use him a little bit to adjust the balance of the team. Today I felt I had the choice to put Arshavin in behind Adebayor but then I had to move one of the central midfielders wide. I just felt it was more balanced like that.”

Time for focus on the Champions League, Villareal, here we come!

———————————————————————————-

Arsenal: Almunia, Sagna, Toure, Gallas, Clichy, Fabregas (Ramsey 79), Song Billong, Denilson, Walcott (Eboue 70), Adebayor (Bendtner 70), Arshavin. 
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Silvestre, Djourou, Gibbs.

Booked: Toure.

Goals: Adebayor 8, 49.

Man City: Given, Richards, Onuoha, Dunne, Bridge (Fernandes 17), Wright-Phillips, Zabaleta, De Jong, Kompany (Elano 38), Robinho (Sturridge 76), Bellamy. 
Subs Not Used: Hart, Bojinov, Garrido, Mwaruwari.

Booked: Dunne, Zabaleta, De Jong.

Att: 60,097

Ref: Andre Marriner (W Midlands).]]>

  • Gooner Get Ya

    < ![CDATA[I only saw the last 15 mins of the game, at that stage we looked in total control of the game. A good result which puts us 6 points above the Villa.

    Just been looking at both of our fixtures in the prem.

    Arsenal’s Fixtures:

    Wigan - A
    Liverpool - A
    Middlesbrough - H
    Portsmouth - A
    Chelsea - H
    Man Utd - A
    Stoke - H

    Aston Villa’s Fixtures:

    Everton - A
    West Ham - H
    Bolton - A
    Hull - H
    Fulham - A
    Middlesbrough - A
    Newcastle - H

    I think we should be comfortable against Wigan as they seem to be faultering. On the other side Villa have another tough game away against Everton. I think a draw would be the best result for us there!!!]]>

  • unspoken

    < ![CDATA[take note we have man u chelsea and pool. i sure hope our skilll against the ' big four ' still works well. now that pool are on form, they seem to be the most threatening. : /

    and hopefully everton keep up their 4-1 game to villa.]]>

  • Pissed off

    Villa is actually playing at home against Everton.

  • devday

    < ![CDATA[We have 5 away games!
    But then so do Villa!]]>

  • debs

    I think that’s 4 Dev! :P

  • Steve

    < ![CDATA[It's looking really good for the run in, players coming back and the team hitting form. There were times earlier in the season when we completely list the slick fluid passing that makes arsenal fans so proud of the team, but now it's back!

    Looks like RVP is out for tomorrow but Nasri is back in and can cover for Arshavin.

    Imagine we would probably play a similiar set up to Sat, with the 4-2-3-1 looking like a wise option away in Europe. Worked pretty well against City!

    Roll on Tuesday!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Yea I think we might see a similar formation. Wenger'll probably ask us to be slightly more defensive towards the start of the match. With 3 midfielders in the center we should be alright defensively. Nasri and Walcott could attack from the wings and give Ade support.
    Or we might see Eboue playing ahead of Walcott, and Cesc in the center with one of Denilson and Song, with Nasri on the left, in a 4 - 4 - 2. With either Vela or Bendtner partnering Ade up front. But that would probably be more attacking.
    Yeah a 4 - 2 - 3 - 1 is probably better.]]>

  • Pissed off

    < ![CDATA[I never really anticipated we could play with formations in a way that suits us. Playing Song, Denilson and Fab was unimaginable, but it just happened. Reminds me of the good old Wenger days when he played 2 DMFs and an attacking Midfielder/ striker ( Viera, Gilberto and Berkgamp). That sure shows he might just have gotten what he wanted.

    I was asking earlier was there a chance of playing Song, Denilson and Fab in a match and it was shown, sure Zohaib didnt see that happening.

    Lads don't forget that my favourite player is closing on a return (Rosicky) CL and FA here we come.]]>

  • Pissed off

    And where the hell has Kieren gone to. Haven’t heard from him for ages or has he gone for Easter break?

  • AJ

    < ![CDATA[:O Where has kieran gone?

    Anyway I agree this is definatively a formation that could be used again tomorrow, it was pretty effective and it allowed Cesc the freedom he had last year as the defensive duties where taken care off by the workhorse Denilson and the tougher tackling enforcer we have in Song, who is not only improving defensively, but offensively. I think Song has been our real revelation of this season, he hasn't been amazing and been man of the match each game, but he is certainly growing and I am pleased when I see him in our starting line up, especially in the big games and I am sure he will play a pivotal part in the final run in, he can become what Flamini was for us last year I reckon and he only seems to be going from strength to strength. Also I am glad Ade got his goals, he isn't in my good books yet, but he's getting there and he may not be back yet, but the man city game was a encouraging sign and hopefully this summer he (if linked anywhere) will refute any stories in the media and pay us back for giving him the oppurtunity and faith that some of the fans, but mainly Wenger showed in him.

    Regarding the FA and the CL, I reckon we can win both, I just feel that something is beginning to click within the team and that we can go all the way, so c'mon you gooners!!]]>

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[Pissed Off - The reason why I never mentioned a trio of Song, Denilson and Cesc earlier was :

    a) because Denilson and Song individually weren't good enough. They still aren't and that's why the two of them together are much better. And they've improved only recently.

    b) because Cesc was out injured for what, 3 months ? or so.

    So obviously if it's not possible, why talk about it. Even then I felt that Song and Denilson weren't good enough to be put alongside Cesc in a 4 - 4 - 2 formation. But having two of them together obviously improves our side defensively. So if the rest of the midfield and attack can accomodate, having 2 DMs is great for us.

    You could also play Song, Diaby and Cesc in a 3 man midfield with Arshavin/Nasri, Walcott and Eduardo/VanPersie etc and that would be even more strong.

    My ideal formation with everybody available, as I've mentioned before, is :

    Almunia
    Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
    Cesc Diaby
    Nasri Arshavin Rosicky
    Eduardo]]>

  • zohaib

    formation and squad*

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[provided Diaby becomes slightly better defensively.

    Ideally I'd get a proper DM for the squad. Someone we don't have at present. Sadly, I doubt we're in the market for one.

    We should really have kept Diarra. We should've decided on Flamini, instead of pleading with him to stay. And told Diarra he's a regular when Flamini leaves. We weren't smart enough and we payed.]]>

  • http://kierandelaney.net kierandelaney.net

    < ![CDATA[Still here ladies, just got bored of the insults being traded and the aggresiveness of some. I still read all your comments though.

    I now pronounce April, Suminter or Winmer
    Maybe we should label it WinMore.

    I think a 4-5-1 will really suit Arsenal. The team had a good shape and whilst we lapsed a bit in defence at times and were lucky not to concede in the first half, the team bossed the game mostly. A bit more composure and discipline from the defensive midfielders and we’re looking very strong.

    It gives us the holding defensive midfield of Song/Denilson/Diaby and gives us an attacking midfield of Cesc/Arshavin and then Vela/Walcott/Eboue perhaps even Bendtner/Diaby.

    Then you have point men in Adebayor, Van Persie, Bendtner and Edaurdo.

    The reason 1 up front works for me is this – Arsenal can still get players forward with an advanced midfield, but it also means there is more competition for the forwards spot.

    Adebayor came back with a point to prove and he proved it. How good it is to see him play with some hunger for a change. Sure he always smiles, but half the time he’s nonchelant and lazy – some urgency improves his game 200%.

    With the competition for places now at healthy levels after or awful injury crisis, I don’t think it’s coincidence that players like Adebayor, Song and Eboue are beggining to put in better performances. They suddenly need to start playing for their places.

    As for Diarra he has already fallen out with the coach at Real Madrid. He left Chelsea under a cloud, wanted out of Arsenal and became disruptive and then openly stated he wanted out of Portsmouth on the day he signed. Fair play to someone who is honest and has a clear idea of his future, but a disruptive influence is not what is required in the dressing room – I don’t think his leaving Arsenal had much to do with his performance on the pitch. Flamini to – he wanted to leave, what is the point in paying a player over the odds to stay – it makes the rest of the squad unhappy and means the player is milking the cash cow instead of concentrating on his football, just look at Robinhio.]]>

  • Pissed off

    So glad to here from you Kieren. At least i get an unbiased view of things between you and Zohaib. Hope your this time around for good.

  • zohaib

    < ![CDATA[You seem sad Kieran. Who hurt your feelings man ? We'll deal with that person. We're brothers here. Don't you worry about that.

    "Sure he always smiles, but half the time he’s nonchelant and lazy - some urgency improves his game 200%." - agreed 100%. Exactly what I meant.

    You're spot on about Diarra too. Maybe he was a bit of a disruptive influence in the dressing room. It seemed so. Which is hardly proof. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, since I'm not involved in the inside workings of the club. And sometimes what you hear in the media is utter bollocks. So making judgements based on statements from the media isn't always correct. But anyways, I was purely talking about what he brought on the pitch.

    Real Madrid is hardly a stable club. It has nothing to do with Diarra. Diarra is probably 1/50th of the issue there. With the kind of criminals they have as presidents (Ramon Calderon - boy have I heard stuff about him, and his fascination and persistence of Ronaldo, Cesc etc) and the dodgy people on their boards and administration. Who knows what really goes on there. You couldn't expect the players not to be unsettled. I'd hardly hold Diarra responsible for not being in the starting 11. I could think so many more reasons. No decent player should ever go to Real Madrid. I've already hear rumors that the dutch players are wanting out. Sneidjer and VanDerVaart.]]>

  • zohaib

    Robinho is such a dissappointment. I don’t think he has much room for improvement. Maybe because it’s his first season, he needs time to adapt but somehow I just have a feeling he’s never going to be in the league of the best players in the world. He just seems to be from the new generation of Brazilian footballers who are more in love with ‘bling’ than they are with football.