As the goal attempts total above suggests, it was a stroll in the park. The pro-Wenger ensemble which dominates the crowd at the Ems left no one in any doubt – among those at the matches there is total support for Wenger. “One Arsene Wenger” was heard over and over – and he got the message”.
So, what did we learn?
1: The Ems can be as noisy as anyone wants. It was very noisy yesterday, as it was at, for example, the league game against Manchester IOU. What we are not so good at is making a noise when its an ordinary game and the team are not playing well.
2: Rosicky is alive and well and not just a figment of my imagination – wonderful to see him again at the end, walking around, smiling.
3: Van Persie is as hot as ever – the free kick that hit the bar was exquisite, and the second goal of his was a master piece. Yes, it was a dopey back pass to him, but he still had to act quickly and beat the advancing keeper.
4: Alex Song is a great centre back – maybe even more so that defensive midfield. I suspect the Lord Wenger thinks the same is happening with Djourou and we know that since Gallas lost the captaincy and before his injury he was very solid.
5: There is nothing wrong with the attack. We scored exactly the same number of goals as KGB Fulham, and Manchester IOU. The defence was sorted out at the start of the 21 game unbeaten run. But in defence we don’t have enough cover for the situations in which four of the back five go missing at once. On the other hand Gibbs has been a revelation – I just hope we can hold on to him when Clichy returns.
6: Abou Diaby is an enigma. I turned to my partner in the first half and said, “It’s just Diaby who seems a bit lost – the rest of the team is clicking” and then of course he pops up and scores. But for every good pass or move there seemed to be a misunderstanding or a mistake. If he is still with us next season it will only be because the Lord Wenger knows he can get the errors out of his system.
7: Bendtner is growing into one hell of a player. He had that poor run in mid-season but now he has got all the bits you want, plus more that you don’t expect a tall centre forward to have. His ball control is exquisite and at this rate of progress, but this time next year he’ll be a regular centre forward. Better, he can influence the game playing on the wing or in the centre.
8: Arshavin on the other hand hasn’t got the hang of playing on the wing yet. Playing behind the front runner is a natural for him, but out on the wing he doesn’t seem to get the ball enough. Although maybe that was the fault of the midfield.
9: Eboue is a natural at right back.
10: Mannone as third choice keeper, didn’t have much to do, but what there was he did well – including a could of excellence saves. I wonder how long we’ll be able to hang onto him, what with him playing in the reserves all the time.
As for the rest of the reason, we learned that we have a stunning women’s side – another treble, and good to see them at half time. And of course that we have a youth team of world beaters. More on such matters in forthcoming posts.
(c) Tony Attwood 2009
Thank you to everyone who posted comments yesterday (sunday) – living as I do in the Midlands, we made a bit of a day of it in London, getting back in the early hours. So those posts that were held in moderation (because they contained links or because they were first time posts) only got cleared this morning. My apologies if it appeared I was ignoring you. Far from it.
- Arsenal v Leicester footnote: bad runs and past games
- Arsenal v Leicester; the injuries, the team, recent games, ludicrous predictions
- Arsenal v Leicester: comparing the form, and the goalscorers
- Arsenal v Leicester: how will the ref handle Leicester’s multiple tackling?
- What sort of referee is Darren England? The statistics reveal some odd facts.