Udinese 1 – 2 Arsenal: A New Era Is Born…

In the last couple of weeks, as an Arsenal fan, it’s been bad news after bad news, selling a player and then selling a player and of course, injuries and injuries… so, having only scored one goal so far prior to this game, there was a lot of crisis talk and a lot of negativity surrounding the game…

The boss announced the line up and we saw Jenkinson, Frimpong and Gervinho all start with Arshavin and Rosicky on the bench, youth chosen ahead of experience:


Jenkinson – Djourou – Vermaelen – Sagna

Frimpong – Song

Walcott – Ramsey – Gervinho

Van Persie

The bench was quite thin, with Fabianski, Miquel, Traore, Rosicky, Oxlade, Arshavin, Chamakh

The Goals

Udinese went ahead the very busy and active Di Natale, who was a thorn in our side all night – in between Vermaelen and Djourou, he looped a header into the back of the net over the keeper. The game was 1-0 to Udinese at half time and we knew we needed a BIG second half. Rosicky for Frimpong saw a change in attacking onus and we levelled after Gervinho’s sublime dribbling down the left squared for Van Persie in the middle. And we went ahead when Walcott raced clear of the defence and slotted home from the left, Henryesque… at 2-1 to us, Udinese needed 3 and you couldn’t see them doing that!

And hat’s off to Szcznesy for a sublime penalty save in the 2nd half, something you have to find and watch!

Plus Points

Gervinho was outstanding and showed why Arsene brought him to the club – he is a Nasri replacement, for sure… and he will only get better for us. Theo is looking more like a complete player, dropping deep, playing around the pitch – playing more sensible and ranging his play. Alex Song was very good, giving 100% and dominating the midfield and of course, a shout out to Sagna, who shows if you are good, you can play anywhere on the pitch!

The Manager

The manager spoke after the game:

Yes, of course, because it was a massive game for us. I heard it enough yesterday in the press conferences to be convinced of it. We responded in a very positive way, even after being down 1-0. We had a fantastic second half and created chance after chance. I am very happy because we kept our composure when we were down 1-0. We kept dominating and playing the football we want to play.

And also highlighted the performance of Gervinho:

He was always dangerous. I told you yesterday, and many times, that he will be a big player for us. Sometimes the quality of the player is linked with the transfer amount and it is not always the case

The Draw

The draw will be held later today and we’re in pot one. Each group will consist of a team from each pot… here are the four pots…

Pot one – Manchester United, Barcelona, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Porto, Inter Milan.

Pot two – Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon, Villarreal, AC Milan, Valencia, Marseille, CSKA Moscow, Benfica.

Pot three – Zenit St Petersburg, Man City, Olympiakos, Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen, BATE Borisov, Basle, Lille.

Pot four – Borussia Dortmund, Trabzonspor, Dinamo Zagreb, Napoli, APOEL, Genk, Otelul Galati, Viktoria Plzen.

The hardest group would surely be Arsenal, Milan, Ajax, Dortmund… one thing to remember is that we can’t get Man City as teams from the same country are kept apart…

Til later, my friends…

  • vj

    thank christ we’re through, really positive second half, first mistake defensively of the season I feel, between Djourou and Jenkinson, not to pick up Di Natale, still a great performance. Now that we’re through we need reinforcements. In my opinion a CB, CM/DM, a striker and a winger. 4 quality signings that would mean we become real title challengers. We definitely need a new CAM because if Ramsey gets injured, we would have no back up, and Chamakh and Arshavin are just not good enough

  • olutoni

    I have to say it was a decent performance.. but that does not mean we don’t need to sign at least 3 players. A CB, CAM and out and out Striker…
    One thing that is certain that Walcott is not Winger and he looks more comfortable as a striker or second striker.. I hope Wenger sees that and start playing him in that role. Or still Walcott plays there regardless like he did yesterday and like I always say.. he will get at least 15 goals playing in that position. Gervinho IMO is by far a better Winger and he showed his quality and I hope he gets better and better.
    All in all Wenger needs to sign 3 experienced players and we can then say we will challenge for titles … if not….

  • yemi

    @ vj:
    The maximum you can get from wenger will be two players (and that will be great news.

    We always have a good team, the problem is they are not properly mixed with experience hence when they get in difficult situations, they capitulate.
    All is not yet uhuru, but the future can be brighter if we add some quality.

    By the way, i think TV should have been given the captains arm band, he is more of a captain than RVP, he is always ready to stand up for his players.

    Top top save from szcezney but what was the penalty given for ? i didn’t see the offense.

    Wenger please buy buy buy

  • db10

    To be fair to Arseblog and others, they have only been saying what 1000’s of others have also been thinking ie 1or2 signings of quality and experience would not only beef up what is one of the weakest squads of Wenger’s reign, but would also cheer up a large number of fans and avoided the Arsenal ‘crisis’ media feeding frenzy.
    Unfortunately this has been the same situation for some years now… Or do you actually think playing Sagna all season as a left back is a good idea?

  • devday

    @ vj:
    Agree when you say Chamakh can’t offer us much – Arshavin can – but in his last game he didn’t…

    Never the less, would like to see an addition to CAM and also perhaps more playing time for Lansbury who has been impressive for the England Under 21’s – please don’t sell him!

  • Berth

    You ask for more playing time for Lansbury? well he is the only option for DMF against united.

  • Kodjo

    @ Yemi

    I also think that the max nos of players Wenger will get is 2. He was very non-committal when asked about possible transfers in the the skysports interview. He talked about the return of Diaby & Wilshire…and that it is a compact squad.

    I wonder how long Wenger will persist with Diaby when it is clear to me that he is and will probably not be the same after the series of horrific ankle injuries. We are now sweating on TV5 fitness for Sundays game. Leaving the out of sorts JD, Squilacci (mystery injury) & Miquel as the fit centre backs.

    All in all I hope they squad uses last night’s performance as spring board and build a fortress mentality for the rest of the season.

    A definitely positive result drawing on previously ‘unknown’ resilience and mental strength.

  • db10

    Last nights victory has given us some breathing space but reality will set in on Sunday when Man Utd dissect us and then take us apart. I feel that if we come away from Old Trafford with better than a 5 goal reverse we will have done well. Again Wenger after the match gave the impression he is neither looking for, nor expecting to, sign any new players. Everyone and their dog know we desperately need the likes of Gary Cahill and Leighton Baines, I would also be happy to see someone like Hugo Rodallega joining. Wenger should have brought in these reinforcements early in July so that we could have played them in the CL against Udinese, his failure to do so could have cost us our CL place. Lets not forget it was Wenger poor team selection in the CL last season that led to us finishing second in the group and drawing Barcelona. If Wenger does not strengthen, and he has left it late we will have to pay over the odds now, then he is guilty of dereliction of duty and should be immediately dismissed from his post. I personally believe he has no intention of bringing players in and never did have.

  • Bonathan

    Great result last night. There’s a long hard slog ahead of us now.

    TV looked great again. Chesney was awesome. Jenkinson looks very useful. Frimpong continues to look good. Gervinho did well for the goal and had a decent game overall, lathough he did give the ball away a bit. walcott finally showed he had more to his game than simply hitting and running. He was popping up all over the place and looking threatening, which is how those roles should be played, not just sticking to the wing.

    Djourou still looks a bit slack at times. You do still worry how good our defence would be without TV5.

    but we’re through, that’s the main thing for now. I also cannot see us bringing in any more than 2 players before the end of the transfer deadline, and would not be surprised if it were just 1. it sounds as though some sort of midfielder is his priority, but i would like to think a CB would arrive as well. I think a striker would be nice also if we get rid of bentner but god knows if anything is happening there.

  • yemi

    ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger has made a £6m bid for £17m-rated Bolton’s Gary Cahill, but with the defender’s contract up next summer a deal could well be done. (Daily Mirror)

  • yemi

    Sure that will be rejected !!!

    Is arsene messing around so he can say he tried ?

    I hope this udinese win will not be a curse for us !!! With the way arsene is talking, i doubt he will buy anything concrete

  • db10

    helloo any signings in sights….enter the silence

  • lien

    I do admit that Nasri leaving for lack of signings and ambitions is correct. However, due to the fact that he got his opportunity at Arsenal and developed into a good/great player here, he must have been more respectful to us! If you want respect, you need to show respect! Truegooner is blasting those that are interested in cups only. He has a valid point but to become a more prosperous club, we need more and more fans. We cannot ask fans to ”go and support another club” as many here usually say. The answer to your question is Yes, it is all about winning. But then, do you honestly believe that, out of the blue, Wenger will change his philosophy? Do you think that the board will come and say, ”Well Wenger, you need to leave. ” I cannot see that coming at all. I have been criticising too; for instance, I still hate Djourou as a player. However, you end up realising that active criticism on this platform will only send a negative vibe to other fans.As a matter of fact, it is essential that all gooners rally behind the team. We will win; we will not win the league (being a realist) but we will win something this year. Gooner for ever!

  • redondo

    I do hope we haven’t just bid 6m for cahill. There’s entering the bidding on the low side and there’s insulting people. I wudnt be surprised if cahill decides not to come for feeling insulted.
    18m is far too high, but 6? We might as well have asked for a straight swap with squillaci. 12m shud be enough in my book. If not then maybe look elsewhere

  • yemi

    August 26: Wenger pre-Man United

    ** Rosicky, Djourou, Koscielny should be fit

    ** Vermaelen is “a little doubt” for Sunday

    ** Wenger – Cahill bid amount is not accurate

    ** ‘We are depending on clubs to sell their players’

    ** Wenger – I want to bring new players in

    ** Wenger – Man United are the title favourites

    ** ‘I’d end transfer window when season starts’

  • Gooner Get Ya

    JUST PAY THE FUCKING MONEY FOR CAHILL!!! What is our board doing?? Just because you crumbled over the Cesc price doesn’t mean you should expect everyone else to follow suit….YOU FUCKING TIGHT BASTARDS!! I am so angry with our lack of spending it’s driving me insane.

    In my opinion our board need to up the wage limit to £150,000 p/w and bring in some top talent and while we are at it, get rid of the dead wood and injury prone. Almunia, Diaby, Squicrappy, Denilson, Vela, Bendtner to name a few would cut a substantial amount from our wage bill.

    I would rather have a compact squad of top quality than a larger squad of average players.

  • lien

    @Gooner Get- Im not sure i agree with that comment. What pay Cahill 17mill when he is in the last yr of his contract? I dont some how think so, dont forget he is still at bolton – nonee of the clubs have gone in for him – yet. so be patient.

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ lien:
    Come on, 6m plus extras??? What is the point of that offer, might as well have offered £5 and a free pack of crisps in the players lounge after every game.

    They should at least be in double figures something like 12m would have been more realistic!!

  • Bonathan

    on the bright side, at least it sounds as though we are trying (although maybe that isn’t the right word) to get a CB. Apparentely, if bentner leaves as expected, we are in the market for a striker as well. that is also welcome news.

    so, given that he said our main area of concern is midfield, dare i say we may get 3 players before the end of the transfer window?! hmmm, i’m trying not to get excited only to be let down again.

  • yemi

    @ Gooner Get Ya:
    Why should we pay 12m when we got 7m for clichy who also had a yr left on his contract ?

    Wenger has said the quaoted amount being reported in the media (6m)is wrong. for me i think a maximum of 10m (because he is english and overpriced) should be OK

  • Gooner Get Ya

    @ yemi:
    That is what we were willing to accept for him, whereas Cahill is Boltons best defender and is proven in the Prem and still only 25 years old. How much did we pay for Vermaelen, I’m pretty sure it was 12m. I would say Cahill is as good as Vermaelen.

  • yemi

    Fabregas has won 3 trophies in 10 days. More than he won in 8 yrs at @arsenal. And wat a goal. And wat a goal frm him! 12 trophies for pep in 3 season