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Arsenal vs Kitchee Sports Club, Hong Kong’s Number 1

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In the past 31 days this site has received over 750,000 visits.  Many thanks to everyone who has supported what we are trying to do here.

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Arsenal vs Kitchee Sports Club, Hong Kong’s Number 1
Arsenal face Hong Kong First Division Champions Kitchee Sports Club on Sunday, a team who played in the Barclays Asia Trophy last year, losing four nil to Chelsea and three nil to Blackburn, two days after we were seen losing to Manchester City.
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One word I would use for our performance in the game was unlucky. We lost two nil, thanks to two goals at the end of the first half. The scoreline does not reveal how well our young players coped playing a lot of the first team of the Premier League Champions, and in heat not usual to most of the players, even the first team players.
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The game was a good opportunity for certain players. Santos and Gibbs both started again, two players who will be fighting it out for that left back spot by the start of the season. Santos played on the left wing though, and drifting into the centre was a regular occurrence. Using skill and pace to beat players, he proved what a good player the Brazilian international can be. He should have won a penalty when he span through the centre back and right back, and getting taken out.
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Jenkinson started on the right, and it looks like he will be starting there in the Arsenal defence due to Sagna breaking his leg for the second time late last season against Norwich. He needs to prove himself to Wenger in defence a bit more, but attacking wise, he has a lot of potential. Bursting up the wing and cutting in to shoot twice, with good shots. A bit of work on that and he will score a lot. One point in the game, we were caught on the break and Vermaelen lost Yaya Toure, but Jenkinson came into the centre and blocked him well, a great recovery by the young right back. More of that please.
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Then Wenger started Bartley in defence next to Vermaelen. This was a great opportunity for the young player to prove himself to Wenger and the fans. He did play against Olympiacos in December 2009, but this was a proper test of his abilities.
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He is 21 now and this is his best chance to get into the first team. He has been out on loan for two years, twice at Sheffield United and twice at Rangers, staring fifty-nine times overall for the two teams. At one point in the game, the high line game that Wenger may have been testing out failed, and Yaya Toure went through. Bartley caught up with Yaya, and he is a powerhouse as we know, and I personally thought, ‘Goal, Bartley is too inexperienced to stop a player with the credentials and sheer muscle power’, but how he proved me wrong! He made the best challenge of the game, cutting in front of Yaya, winning the ball and knocking him over! He did it again later on, and Walcott went through and had a great shot from the left, inches away from the bar. Walcott showed a lot of confidence. At half time I was disappointed to see Bartley subbed off. I would really like him to get a few games and not get loaned out, he has amazing potential.
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City had a few shots throughout the game, but Fabinaski dealt with the well, the only time he didn’t was the goals, and the second goal was a moment of luck on Man City’s side and unlucky for Arsenal, and Yaya Toure scrambled the ball into the net. He finally looked like he had confidence.
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Players like Arteta, Gervinho and Song looked fit again, all looking sharp, especially Arteta, giving some great through balls to Gervinho.  How beat a few players with skill and pace, exactly what fans want to see! Arteta was subbed because he may still not be able to last ninety minutes and is a player who we do not need to lose before the start of the season, and Wenger knows.
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The young players looked very sharp in the second half, especially Coquelin, who played at right back for a few games in the season during the great fullback crisis of 2011/12. He did play in the centre, like he did against the Spuds when he lost 2-1.  He had Modric in his pocket, and Wenger may be looking at him for back up in the centre of park, especially when the African Cup of Nations happens.  In fact we may not be so lucky again, as Cameroon failed to qualify so Song stayed with us, which won us a few games, (Everton for example).
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So he may feature in the season in the centre, and if he played like he did against Tottenham oh how I will welcome that! An experienced City team were able to deal with the young players movement and ideas though, and they just need to work on them. They didn’t concede, which can be a morale and confidence boost. They were unlucky not to score.
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So Kitchee Sports Club; 95% of Arsenal fans in England have not heard of this team. They won the Hong Kong First Division for the first time in 47 years in 2010 / 2011, and did it again last season, beating their rivals South China AA by one point, still not as close as our league!
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They don’t possess the best record against English teams. The last time they played an English team, as I said, they lost 4-0 and 3-0 to Chelsea and Blackburn respectively. But what they do hold is the best record against an Italian team in China, beating AC Milan 2-1 then beating Juventus 5-4 on penalties in 2004 and 2005.
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This game should really not be a difficult one for Arsenal what ever team is deployed. I personally think that Eisfled should be given a whole game, he showed his class against Malaysia XI, and then was unused against City; hopefully Wenger allows him to play. I would also like to see Bartley, as he also showed his class, but against City. His interceptions were first rate, and he looked strong and had a lot of vision. Miyaichi also deserves a run, he has shown his quality at Bolton in his twelve Premier League games for them (being man of the match twice, scoring against Millwall and being voted Bolton’s player of the month in February). Hopefully a potential player in our future.
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But again, like against Manchester City, Untold have no clue about the starting line up, it will just be a another mystery, don’t you love being an Arsenal fan?
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By Miles Rackham
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39 comments to Arsenal vs Kitchee Sports Club, Hong Kong’s Number 1

  • Heh

    Um sir?, eisfeld was a used sub in the citeh game, thank you for the rather unattractive preview though.

  • Mohamed

    what about Chuks Aneke? I feel he should at least have a mention in the article. He played quite well over the two games. He impressed me more than Eisfeld and all the other new young newcomers.

  • I agree with your analysis however football is won or lost and on this occasion arsenal lost.And this what seems to happen all the time becos possession do not win games. they were destroyed by the experience of yaya,Tevez and the Kung and that is what is all about they have the KNOWHOW and defended when they have to. And that is how games are won. But sorry that is what arsenal don’t have.

  • jazbo

    Looking forward to he new season, i’d love to see Bartley and Chucks stay with the first team and get a few run outs, Chucks to my mind is a much better player than Frimpong, so as the saying goes, “The future is bright the future is Arsenal”

  • joe

    wat about chuks, he is ready 4 fist eleven. Arsenal still need one experanc holding midfielder incase if any Injuiry 2 arteta or song. Cos u cannot hope on wilshere, rosesky and diaby b,cos of dere injuri record. And we never no wen dey will be fit again

  • bob

    “He [Jenkinson] needs to prove himself to Wenger in defence a bit more, but attacking wise, he has a lot of potential.”
    Miles,
    Can you analyze what happened on the two goals and what were Jenkinson’s and other’s mistakes on those goals?

  • Desmond

    I’m so excited for today. Will be my first time watching Arsenal live!!! Cant wait!! COYG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gerry Lennon

    I thought Eisfeld did come on against City, late on? Afobe was there again, but still looks a little off it. AOC released a couple of piledrives, he will apprecite a better conditions to play in. It was good to see Gibbs play the full 90 minutes. He, like Diaby, found that after a long break the body needs to get adjusted. Full games now will see him sound at left back. I noticed Arteta was on the left of Song, presumably to give Gibbs cover when bombing forwards?
    Ignore the result, and it was a good work out.

  • Miles

    Bob, yes he was caught out as it was a break, but he is still young, and the first goal was caused from the left, and the second one was lucky for city, all of the defenders were at fault, not just Jenkinson

  • Asif

    Hi Untold team…congratulations on reaching the milestone of 750000 hits! As a reader I would like to thank you all for churning out such great reads on an everyday basis…

    To me what matters more than anything else is the unadulterated support in the team and the manager that Untold never fails to show and this site has given me a lot of comfort and belief whenever the chips have been down…Great work folks!

    Players I want to see play for us more regulary in order of preference: Ryo, Afobe, Bartley, Nico, Aneke!!! Let all of them be involved with the first team…

  • Goona Gal

    @ Miles – Jenkinson is proving himself and doing very well at it. In the first match against Malaysia, he played it safe, stayed back and focussed on his defensive duties and closed down players that had got passed Theo. Against Man C he was obviously (to me anyway) asked to work on his link up play and venturing forward. Jenkinson is working hard and developing, which is what you want in preseason. Yennaris did it when he came on during the Malaysian match and it helped change the game. It’s clear to me that Jenks was asked to use the China game to try to inprove this area of his game. I believe he will be an excellent fill in for Sagna when called upon. Coquelin is not as good as either Yennaris or Jenkinson at right back.

    I don’t think Arteta looked sharp at all really, he certainly is recovering well from his injury and the China game was an improvement on the Malaysian game, but I don’t think he looked his best. Neither did Song to be honest either, he’s still blowing cobwebs off. I do agree that Gervinho looked good and it took double teaming from Kompany and Savic on a number of occaisions to bring him down and stop him from playing. Gervinho is concentrating on his direct play, which I am happy about because last year something happened and he just started to focus on providing assists for RVP. It will be good to see more attempts at goal from him this season.

    Arsene Wenger is really using these games to try different things in match conditions, so it wouldn’t matter if Kitcee beat us anyway really. Different tactics take time to bed in, expecially with the various players being swapped in and out.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Jazbo – Why are you directly comparing Frimpong to Aneke? They are very different players. What do you think is comparable apart from them both being midfielders?

  • Alexamdre Hleb

    I tink Mr. Wenger must be using eistfield instead of Ramsey as at next season because the guy is our new jack wilshere…

  • Goona Gal

    Team line up to face Kitchee is I think: Szczesny, Djourou (c), Miquel, Eastmond, Gibbs, Diaby, Coquelin, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Ryo, Chamakh.

    I am guessing Eastmond is going to be RB again, but he can play in midfield as we know. It’s a massive game for these players to show what they can do.

  • Goona Gal

    Dear oh’ dear! Our defence look panicky and sloppy!

  • bjtgooner

    We are a bit disorganised at the back, but the midfield is not helping the defence enough, nor are we pressing Kitchee – are we trying to conserve energy?

  • Goona Gal

    @ Btj – Djourou is captain and the most senior of the back four, he should be able to get them better organised than this.

    Walcott is taking the game on, as is Ryo and Diaby. I am starting to worry about Chamakh though.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Goona Gal, I share your worry I must admit. He got a chance to claim a place with the absence of Giroud, Podolski (and RVP…) and he seems not hungry to really go for it.

  • ak47

    i forgot how frustrating we can be. though espn and the poo stream didnt help. bye bye chamack. stick afobe on the wing and i’ll leave the rest of the judgment for a few weeks into the season.

  • bjtgooner

    @Goona Gal

    I agree about Chamakh, the guy does try but I don’t know if he has a confidence problem or if he is just not a goalscorer. He did however send a nice pass through to Diaby late in the first half.

    Second half we were a lot more positive, but the damage had been done with sloppy defending earlier. Eisfeld again looked good & was in the right place to slot home after good play from Gervinho. Overall a good workout, but we need to put teams like Kitchee away – early and ruthlessly.

  • bob

    Asif,
    Just in case you missed them, I left two comments to your question, starting at:
    http://blog.emiratesstadium.info/archives/23584/comment-page-1#comment-208013

  • Goona Gal

    Sorry, got sidetracked! You could say 2-2 was a fair result in the end, but we could of won it.

    Gervinho – again caught the eye and was the best player on the pitch for me, he’s a starter, full of confidence so no need for me to keep harping on.

    Afobe – I feel for, because he getting into that territory where he needs to score for his confidence and the pressure that mounts up. At least he looks like possibly scoring and just needs to calm down and think.

    Ryo – defended well and showed that he can contribute offensively and defensively. He had to because we kept loosing the ball.

    Walcott – Started brightly and took his chances well.

    Djourou – Wanted to really play the high line, but isn’t quick enough or alert enough to pull it off. He also sat deeper than the rest of the defence, which meant he had the most ground to cover. He was’nt a commanding presence either which led to confusion with Miquel.

    Coquelin – did better defensively in midfield than previously.

    Diaby – did okay, considering he was making more defensive tackles than expected. He looked a bit tired.

    Alex OC – looked like he was running with heavy legs and his passing was slightly off.

    Aneke – played better in the first 20mins without Arteta & Song on the pitch as they hardly passed to him. Nethertheless, his confidence is growing in each game and has done enough this trip to be considered to be one of the young players that makes the step up to the first team squad. I watched the game on Arsenal Player today and Nigel Winterburn rightly called it when he said the third lot of subs after the 1/2 time break slowed the tempo down too far. After Aneke and Gervinho had rightly upped as it put Kitchee under pressure.

    Jenkinson – Worked hard throughout the game, never gave less than 100%, he covered a lot ground quickly and put decent crosses in, shame there was no one to do anything dangerous with them. Has also built up his physique and does’nt look like he will easily be muscled off the ball.

    Yennaris – I have to admit, I didn’t really see him touch the ball because we dominated the second half.

    Eastmond – He did okay, I could see him looking for guidance from the CB’s but none was forthcoming. He’s played both CB & RB and didn’t do too badly in either position. He’s lost a lot of weight though, so would need to build up if he is going to play for the first team.

    Bartley – showed a willingness to go forward, but for the most part, had not much to do in the second half.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter – The thing is, when you see the hunger and determination from players like Yennaris, Aneke, Afobe, Alex OC & Iggy etc, you have to start wondering what is going through Chamakh’s mind. I am begining to wonder if a loan or maybe sale would’nt be the worst thing to happen for him or us based on present form. You can’t say that AW, has’nt given him opportunities to regain form. The player is more than aware that we have bought strikers and on this Asian tour, he should of done better.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Bjt – I agree, Chamakh’s pass for Diaby was nice and showed a glimmer of ability that I think is still there, but it was no where near good enough overall to play for Arsenal based on present form. If Chamakh was running his man ragged or defending well, then I would feel differently, but I did’nt see much of that these past few games.

    The more I see of Eisfeld, I like him. The credit definately has to go to Gervinho, but the very fact that Eisfeld was intelligent enough to pop up in the right place and time should be noted too, as he could of skyed that over the bar, but instead he cooly took the shot. I wonder how AW will use him this season, if at all as he might even go on loan. Though I would love to see him stay with the main squad.

  • WalterBroeckx

    Of course it is easy to go over board with Eisfeld. We must remember he only was on the tour because of Lansbury being injured. But whenever given a chance he took it with both hands or should I say feet.
    Two cool (German-like? oh those platitudes are so easy you know 😉 ) finishes. Others might have gone for blasting the ball with the risk of blowing it over the bar. He just passed it in goal showing that he uses his head. And using your head is very very important in football (and at Arsenal). I think Wenger will be pleased with that fact in particular.
    Afobe should have scored and I think once he starts scoring he could become a sensation in a few years time.
    Aneke very strong and powerful. Sometimes still a bit rushing things but that is normal at his stage in development.

    Gervinho…was sensational and maybe our best player in the tour as far as I’m concerned.
    Just imagine being a seasoned striker in the centre with Gervinho running like that(whoever will play there Giroud, Podolski or why not even RVP) must be waiting impatiently to get on the end of those dazzling runs.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Walter – I hope fans won’t go overboard either way with Eisfeld, Aneke, Afobe, Bartley, Ryo, Jenks or Alex OC! None of them are crap or the finished article either. They are bright young additions to the squad that add real depth and place pressure on the first team starters that they have to deliver or they are out. I feel with these players all starting to mature, we can (hopefully) deal with injuries better and give us a real chance at winning silverware.

  • bob

    Walter,
    Have to agree on Gervinho’s comparative brilliance. He drew all the defense to him with a pacy and mesmerizing run and then, from just behind the back line passes out to Eisfeld who was completely unmarked. Not to put him down, but anyone who missed tapping in that pass from Gervinho would deserve the sack. I think Eisfeld (does it mean ice-field?) is tres cool, but let’s not make anything major out of his not blasting the ball over the goal, when the chance was right there, gaping wide, and anyone could/should have converted.

  • Goona Gal

    As for Lansbury, I was a big supporter of him but I have changed my view. It is definately true to say that Lansbury at 16 was much better than Wilshere, unfortunately injuries and illness stalled his development. In the CC game I watched him play in years ago, he was technically outshone by Ramsey and then when I watched a Watford match a while later, he was outshone by Man U’s Cleverly. That said, what I always liked about him was his endless running and refusal to give up on a seemly dead ball, not his technique. In the 2010 season, for me the mental strength was not good enough within the team and that was what Lansbury, I thought could bring to the team. But somewhere along the way last year between scoring the goal against the Spuds and doing well on loan for Norwich, attention from the press and fans IMO, he became a big time charlie!

    By the time he came back to the team and after his prolonged contract negotiations, where allegedly he wanted first team wages and his performance against Man U, my opinion changed somewhat. I think he still considers himself and Wilshere to be of the same level, but for me the difference is Wilshere kept his head down, worked hard on the training pitch, didn’t act the fool all the time and impressed the manager. He earned himself a new contract through his performances. Lansbury didn’t really do that and I had a feeling he would be loaned out because Arsenal would’nt want to be paying his wages if he wasn’t good enough to play. He chose to got to West Ham where he was never going to develop like he did at Norwich and play under fat Sam’s airball tactics.

    Now I think he should be loaned to ex gunner Brian McDermott’s Reading, or sold even. I really want Brian to do well as dirty ‘arry is lurking and since Reading have a new Russian owner and I don’t think his job is as safe as it was previously. I reckon ‘arry would have the Reading job or the QPR one in a heartbeat, probably already sent in his CV even. If we can help Reading out, I would be happy with that as this is the first respectful ex player to manage in the EPL.

    After the Flamini scenario, Lansbury was never going to be allowed to play in his final year without a new contract – why would AW spend his time developing him so that he could leave on a free? In my opinion Lansbury should of signed on early, put himself in AW’s plans, grabbed the opportunities that came his way and played for a contract improvement. We would never of brought in Benayoun if he had handled the situation differently.

    So the long and short of it for me is that, Lansbury has missed the boat. There are better technically adept players coming up now in midfield and the team is full of mentally strong fighters who are tenacious athletes to boot. That said, I wish him well though and wouldn’t be upset if we kept around a while longer.

  • Gooner1

    I really like your website and your views on Arsenal but your website sucks please change the layout and make things clearer appearance wise. Thanks

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    @Goona Gal,
    I have to agree with your entire post. He was better than Wilshere at 16 and he could easily prosper at a club looking for a Frank Lampard type player but I don’t think Arsenal want to play that way anymore (if we ever did). He’s a much better player than Bentley but looks like he’ll suffer the same fate (aside from the whole Spurs thing).

  • Goona Gal

    @ Woolwich – agreed, there are definately similarities to Bentley. If he had made developing as a footballer a bigger priority over getting paid now, he would of at least made the subs bench for England 2012. Under the tutilage of AW who knows how much further he would of developed. At the start of last season we had lost the Catalan coward, Na$ri, Wilshere, Diaby and Rosicky in midfield, you could even include Henderson as well. Lansbury knew this and decided to strike while the iron was hot concerning wage demands, instead of relishing the chance to play like Frimpong & Coquelin did. I don’t think the lack of loyalty shown has been forgotten either by the club.

  • Goona Gal

    All this ‘I love AFC’ from players is meaningless until tested. Rosicky went out of his way to make sure there was’nt too much speculation and gave an interview to this effect, that he didn’t want a circus in the press and signed very quickly. Vermaelen did the same, as did Kos recently. They are the players I have a lot of time for nowadays.

    Even though Theo might not of ever kissed the badge, or professed his love for the club, I think he has shown a lack of loyalty to the club and fans like me who have stuck by him and defended him. Theo has taken so much flack and had so much misfortune with injuries, but still he had many AFC fans rooting for him and defending him irrespective of what the media was saying. The thing is though, I consider his past performances justification of AW’s continued faith in him, inclusion in the team and current wages earned – not really a reason for a big pay rise!

    Yes Theo ‘the brand’ might be popular amongst youngsters, but we have Jack Wilshere & Alex OC gaining in popularity all the time. Alex OC is also younger, articulate and has a greater media friendly personality to boot also. I doubt Arsenal are offering chicken feed money to Theo and I think around £80-85k a week is a lot of money for a player that still needs to develop his game, £100 – 120k a week should’nt be entertained. If in the next two weeks he still has’nt signed a new contract, we should sell whilst his wages are still relatively affordable by a number of clubs. Besides at this stage of Theo’s development, Arsenal are one of the few teams that could stifle his game. That said I would rather have him in the team than on the opposition.

    I will laugh out loud if he is leaving because he says he is questioning the direction of the club and is leaving to win trophies.If there is any vague truth that Theo is wanted by Liverpool, Southampton & Chelsea for £15m we should consider it. I would say £20m is a more respectable bid, but if we can get a sell on fee and/or an appearance related clause for more money we should let him go. I would rather sell him than let him walk away on a free next year.

  • bjtgooner

    @Goona Gal

    Two good comments above; looks like Lansbury was being given a chance to impress on the Far East tour – but injury prevented that. He will need to show commitment over the next few weeks otherwise his chance with the first team may be gone.

  • Goona Gal

    @ Bjt – more like he would of been in the global shop window!

  • Goona Gal

    I’m watching Team GB play and once again Ramsey is playing well. Daniel Sturridge not so much or some others!

  • Goona Gal

    Alright, Sturridge just scored! Ramsey still the best player on the pitch!

  • bjtgooner

    Yes, Ramsey seems to be getting his form back, team GB look much more effective with Ramsey on the field. He had a very very good game tonight.

  • akasuna

    I feel Ramsey really cover a lot of ground tonight. He’s everywhere!! He always popping up in scoring position..too bad his team mate don’t pass as much as he would like to him in the penalty box..

  • Ed

    i was at the game yesterday and just wanted to say it was amazing! 40,000 seater stadium totally packed! and full of arsenal shirts! i was surprised cos i thought everyone was a man u supporter in these parts of the world?!

    i agree with most of the sentiments above, defence was shakey, second half was much better as we dominated the game, gervinho and walcott were the standout players. you could hear the crowds excitement everytime gervinho got the ball! chamahk was disappointing tho…

    it was brilliant to see andre santos throw his shirt to the crowd at the end as wel. one of my favourite players – i have always defended him against criticism against his defending – and genuinely seems to love the game!

    absolutely brilliant to see them in HK, and hope they come back more – usually we just get the aston villas and chelseas and man utds (i did see an article that man utd had actually priced themselves out of coming to HK – they wanted so much that the event organisers would have to charge too much for tickets for what is a relatively small stadium compared to say in Malaysia or Beijing)