Sunday, May 3, 2009

Arsenal 3-0 Pompey Report

Hello all. Nice match yesterday wasn't it? It's great to see some of the younger players get a chance to play in the league games, especially when they take full advantage of their opportunities and we get a win. With everyone focused on Manchester United on Tuesday, this match had been pretty much forgotten about by most of the Arsenal community. It wasn't really a game we had to win, but win we did, and with some style.

The lineup was an interesting one.

Fabianski
Sagna-Song-Djourou-Eboue
Ramsey-Denilson
Walcott-Arshavin-Vela
Bendtner

The bench was all reserves as well, with the likes of Coquelin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas on the bench and no sign of Adebayor, Fabregas, Toure, or any of the regulars. You could definitely tell that the focus was on Tuesday's all-important match by the lineup.

We pretty much dominated the match throughout, and while Portsmouth had chances to score, Fabianski did well and Pompey's finishing was dreadful. They had several chances but none came that close to going in. Attacking, though, was where we were at our best. I thought Vela and Arshavin were outstanding, their movement and passing was great fun to watch, and Bendtner also had a good game, netting a header and a penalty.

Eboue looked really good attacking down the left and pretty assured in his defense, even though it is not his prefferred side. Having watched him at fullback a few times the past couple of weeks, it makes you realize what a mistake it is playing him in midfield. Eboue is a very good fullback who knows when to get forward. He is, however, a terrible midfielder, with no end product whatsoever and a poor decision maker. I wouldn't mind seeing him play left back against United. That's right, I'm supporting starting Eboue against United. Even though Gibbs has played pretty well, I think it'd be the right choice to go with.

After we were up 3-0 in the second half, we got to see the likes of Randall, Bischoff, and Fran Merida come on. It's a few players we haven't gotten to see a lot of so it's nice for them to get some experience in a real Premier League game.

Fabianski will be thrilled to have kept a clean sheet after the disatrous game against Liverpool, and I was really happy for him. With young keepers, you really need them to get confidence and keep it, because it really can affect them long term. With that said, this clean sheet will go a long way to helping his confidence and I really do think he can be a future Arsenal number 1. The way Almunia has been playing though, it could still be some time to wait, so lets hope he's ok with being the number 2 for a while.

Man of the match for me though was Carlos Vela. What a player that young man can be. I'm really surprised we don't see him come on more often than he does. He brings an added dimension of cleverness that not a lot of our current squad have with the ball. The goals he scores are usually spectacular, and his movement and strength is really good for being so young. Arsene certainly showed good vision signing him a couple of years ago, even though he couldn't get a work permit right away. It's looking like it's going to be well worth it.

We really miss Arshavin in the Champions League games. It's been said before, but his experience and quality is something we've desperately been needing. If he was eligible we could have played Cesc in his prefferred central midfield role and played Arshy in that support striker role, which he loves playing. Getting to see him next year against those European clubs should be a real treat, but we'll have to make do without him on Tuesday.

Ok that's it for today because I've got to go to work. I'll get up a Manc scum preview tomorrow, and some additional stuff the day of the match. Leave your thoughts on Vela, Arshavin, Ramsey, Fabianski, or anything else you want to discuss in the comments section. Cheers all. Have a good one.

3 comments:

Vertino Aleci said...

You made the formation a 4-2-3-1? Interesting i thought it was more 4-4-2 with Vela and Bendtner up top. Defense had a few trouble moments but it had to be expected since it was make shift unit, and we were away.

Ramsey, Vela impressed the most. A good performance from Arshavin is now the norm isn't, I would like bendtner to start on tuesday. He has more determination about him.

About Eboue, he is a wing back compared to Sagna who I feel is more of a Centre back that plays on the far right side since he is so defensive.

John said...

What's happened to Djorou? Is he injured? If not, then why isn't he playing?! With defense (rightfully) in the firing line, and since Wenger (probably rightfully here too) wants to keep the focus on developing good young talent and add only good, experienced players who will fit in well with the existing team, a player like Djorou simply must get more playing time than someone like Silvestre.

... Or maybe I'm not being fair. After all, there's not that much to separate the two, except that Silvestre is slower and smaller, he's in the downward cycle of his (illustrious?) career, and has a greater proclivity to make the kind of mistakes one expects from a player the age of Djorou.

Djorou is like Eboue (not everybody likes EE, but put him in alongside a good solid midfield player who will keep him disciplined, and he can be quite good), in that he is useful at more than one position. He started out as defensive midfield player, and has good skills on the ball. Someone with his skill, intelligence, ability and team spirit needs to be playing now to get the experience that will be needed for the games next year (when they'll count for something again).

What's happened with him? When I looked at the roster for today's match (against Northwest England Troglodytes United), Djorou didn't even make the bench roster.

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