Arsenal 5 Newcastle 0

Kevin Keegan has a tactic.  Not scoring.  As a tactic the squad have learned it well.  They didn’t score against Arsenal.  Or come to that against Arsenal.

Wenger has a tactic too.   Drop a player for the matches at the end of the season, then when he thinks about leaving during the summer hols, tell him he’s a genius and turn him into one.  Voila – the new Flamini.

Keegan said after the second defeat to Arsenal in 4 days his team showed character, the goals were offside, the ref was biased, Newcastle played well and that it was a jolly good idea to bring in that awfully nice Mr Wise, so that’s all right.But still on the genius rating we won 5-0.  Five Arsenal geniuses on the pitch and none of them called Vieira, Henry or Pires. 

The big five last night were Hleb, Flamini, Adebayor, Clichy, Fabregas.  (Come back another day and a different set of names will pop up, which shows the strength we’ve got.)  Newcastle didn’t really have anyone much.

(Actually, I must pause here and mention one moment.  Hleb, near the end of the first half, took the ball into the Newcastle area and went for a dance with it.  OK, it didn’t result in a goal, but it was a stunning, amazing, incredible, exciting moment of pure pureness.  I can’t find a way to link that to the rest of the piece, but it is worth mentioning because no one else will.  If you weren’t there, try and get a recording just to watch that bit.) 

And what of the background to the game?   Those jolly fellows from near the Thames Barrier who write “newspapers” kept saying beforehand that this fellow who has just gone from Middlesbrough to the Tiny Totts (Woodside, Woodgreen or some such name) was actually going to Arsenal.    

It was all tripe of course.  And the fact is, what could we have done with him?  We don’t have a vacancy.   Next week it will be  Ronaldinininioio or some such, and the same problem will arrive.  We can’t have him because there is no room in the team.  Of Vieira, Pires and Henry, only Pires would have been an improvement on the team against Newcastle on Tuesday, and that’s because Diaby isn’t really a wide midfielder – he really should be playing in the middle – except we have Cesc and Flamini.  

Perhaps the best game today is to think of someone who isn’t a genius at this moment and work out what Wenger is going to do to transform the player.  Senderos anyone? 

And just think – Van P is coming back soonish.

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