Editor’s note: Living in the Midlands I tend to set off early for Arsenal games, and don’t get back until after midnight, which means if I leave up the predictions about tonight’s game as the lead story, it is going to look fairly dumb at 10.30pm UK time where I have predicted a 6-1 victory, and we only get five. (I may well also be back even later after the wild and frantic celebrations that will accompany the publication of my article in the match day programme). So the story about tonight is still there (you can flip back a page or read it below) but in the the meanwhile, just before I set off with Mark and Ian on the long and tedious journey south, here’s something else to read.
Why everyone is against Diaby and Arshavin
By Walter Broeckx
The moaning brigade has, in recent weeks chosen two new victims. Diaby and Arshavin.
Useless, not interested, not good enough, should never play, off to Spain … these are the things that we can read on many blogs.
After the game against Spurs it was told once again by some and despite the fact that our arch-rivals were easily beaten, they barely had 1 dangerous shot on goal in 90 minutes and we could have won by much more.
Because it was such a nice game and thanks to modern technology we now have at our disposal, I viewed the game again in a relaxed manner this time. Because we must not forget the way we look to a game live. Especially against the Tiny Totts it is full of tension and nervousness. And that’s usually not a good way to properly review a game. So I looked a bit closer at some “moaning victims”.
“Arshavin, not interested”. Arshavin is a special player with a special body language. When I re-watched the game against Spurs Arshavin really showed how much he was involved in the game. But the problem is that Arshavin wants to do special things and that can go wrong sometimes.
Passing a ball in to the space of a tenth of a millimetre at a certain player, with the outside of the foot. Those are things we should not even dream of but Arshavin does and he tries it. And if that fails a few times in a game then the moaning brigade steps in.
What Arshavin does sometimes is run or stand still with his shoulders hanging down in a pose of “do what you want, I do not play anymore”. It is just a way to deceive the opposition.
If you are an opponent and you see it you could think: “We have eliminated him, he’s finished”. And one could have the tendency to lose him out of sight and that is deadly.
Remember Liverpool last year? The first half hour the game passed him by completely, he just walked with drooping shoulders over the field and nobody noticed him and suddenly he stood there and was unstoppable. Arshavin is the type of player where anything can happen and sometimes there are those days that it works and sometimes it doesn’t. For those who forget easily: Not every ball that Bergkamp played in his days turned in to gold.
Now, how can one see that Arshavin is interested? If an attacker, like him, very regularly runs in to our own defence to help or tracks back with an advancing defender then you know that he is interested. I saw him working hard against the Spurs with moments and it tells us something about his commitment.
“Diaby, not good enough”. Diaby is a player who last season was notable for his regularity. He came back from injury, played an awesome match (the tiles of the roof as we call it over here), then played two decent games and then …. He fell back with a new injury for several weeks and so it went during most of the season.
This season, so far only one minor injury and for the rest always fit. Again great games (e.g. Portsmouth) and some lesser games. In reassessing the game against the Tiny Totts, Diaby played a very unlucky first half.
Misunderstandings, the ball that was not being played at the right speed and so it seemed he was doing really badly. Gradually however, he worked harder and harder and came into the game in the second half and he was really doing well. Of course, the moaners had found enough ammunition in the lesser first half to shoot him down.
Good advice: Review the game again in relaxed conditions and you’ll see things you have not seen the first time.
A very clever man made the comparison between Song last year and Diaby this year. If we could find web pages from last year we would now simply replace the name Song by Diaby. What was said last year of Song they now say of Diaby. However it is now for the first time since joining Arsenal that it appears that Diaby finally is fit enough to play weeks in a row without injuries.
And maybe now it’s his year to develop like Song did last year together with Denilson. And then maybe next year the enormous potential that Wenger sees in him and that we get to see in some games, comes completely out in the open for everyone to see.
If we should believe the moaners on Saturday’s match against the Spurs and that we only played with 9 players and to think we still won so easy 3-0 then that’s just a sign of our power and our strength. We should be happy with the fact that we have played only “moderately” and yet so easily won against a team that “would push us out the top 4”, once again.
Tony’s PS: Please buy my book. Details on www.emiratesstadium.info
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