Monday, September 22, 2008

Top of the League, the Foul On Clichy, and Sheffield United

Well another win up the shanties of Bolton. I will have to mention that I did predict the score at 3-1 as well. So that win, combined with the rest of the results from Saturday and Sunday, put us top of the league. Liverpool found a way to draw with Stoke, and ManUre and Chelski played out a 1-1 draw, so it was great for us to get all 3 points away from home. It's obviously a good place to be, and we should be happy about it, but we also need to look at it in perspective. Man United have had to play Liverpool and Chelsea in back to back games away from home. In fact, we're the only top 4 team to have not played any of the other three. So there will still be lots of measuring sticks, but I think it is good for the squad to have these "easier" fixtures first. It's giving Denilson and Song time to develop. It's letting RvP and Theo get into their strides. I think when we do play the other big teams, we'll be ready.

The thing that still worries me the most is in central defence. Even when we win they look shaky at the back, and we don't have many options going forward to strengthen that. Djourou could be good partnered with one of Kolo or Gallas, but he would need a lot of games in a row to get used to that. Silvestre is not the answer at center back, and I think we shouldn't expect anything more than cover for all the defensive spots from him. Gallas' performances lately have really bothered me. The goal they scored against us this weekend was again because of a lack of marking on his part. He pretty much just watched the corner and it seems he is afraid to get up in the air and challenge for a ball. The rest of the team at least made an attempt to jump in the air but not Gallas. I'm running out of suggestions for Arsene but it seems that he is determined to stick with this partnership anyway.

Speaking of Johan Djourou, he's signed a new long term contract with the club.

As for Kevin Davies' tackle on Clichy...I honestly didn't think it was the worst thing ever. Yes, it was certainly a foul, but I didn't think instant red card or anything like that. Kevin Davies is definitely a cunt, but he did go in to get the ball and succeded in doing that at very least. The best news out of all of it though is that Clichy isn't injured too badly. That's very important, especially while Traore is out on loan, because he's a huge player for us.

So we look forward to Sheffield United in the Carling Cup tomorrow night, and Arsene may field the youngest side in Arsenal's history. The manager talked about how young the squad will be:

“There is a possibility [it will be the youngest side ever],” said Wenger. “In the first team there are many players around 20. In the Carling Cup we will keep a few in there but the side will be more between 16 and 19. At Arsenal you can say 20 and 21-year-olds are the experienced players.

“You are likely to see Gavin Hoyte, Abu Ogogu, Aaron Ramsey, Mark Randall, Jack Wilshere, Fran Merida and Carlos Vela. Maybe Bendtner will play. Song, Djourou and Lukasz Fabianski will be the experienced players. But you will have players like Emmanuel Frimpong and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas so it will be a very young side.”

So it should definitely be a fun one to watch and I'll be rooting hard for the youngsters because I love watching them progress through this cup and seeing them mature right in front of us. I'll be back tomorrow with a full match preview and some more stuff. Until then, Cheers!


Mike said...

It seems we have kind of sneaked up to the top of the table while none of the other big clubs were looking. It doesn't mean a whole lot, but I'll take it. After the Fulham loss I'm sure a lot of people doubted we would be top at any point this season. I know I did.

Reading Arsene's list of potential young players who may feature tomorrow, it occurred to me how many players we have with "Emmanuel" in their names.

Fab 4 said...

I love the fact that we're top of the league. it seems history is repeating itself. See my blog (Fab 4 Arsenal) for details, but I'm excited about this season. By the way, does anyone know how to get listed on Goonernews? I've been trying, but I can't find any "submit your site" links or contact info. Can anyone help?
Great blog anyway mate, and i hope you can help me.

Fab 4