Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thoughts on the Everton Match, Celtic Preview

Morning all, hope you're well. Been a bit busy over the last week or so so I haven't had much of a chance to write quality articles, and in my opinion it's better to post a few quality articles than post shite ones all the time.

What a start to the season we've had then, eh? I'll admit I was worried that we might draw or even lose at Everton to start the season. It's a tricky fixture every year and I'd say by far the toughest first match of the season out of the big four clubs. Some would argue that Liverpool had it tougher but since we haven't lost to Sp*rs in the league since about 2000 I don't really think of them as being any good. What a performance though by the Gunners. 6-1, and the 1 was in the 90th minute. I will say that I was a bit pissed off when we allowed that goal right at the end, because 6-0 looks just ridiculously good and a clean sheet would have given Almunia and the defense a lot of confidence going forward. But 6-1 is still bloody good and we're top of the league!

Just a couple of thoughts from the match then. I thought Alex Song was absolutely terrific, his work rate exceptional, his passing good, and his closing down extremely good. Something happened to Alex last year that completely turned him around and now he's become almost essential to the team. The problem is, he'll be leaving for the African Nations Cup in January...

I love the 4-3-3 system that we're using now. While I'd maybe consider putting Bendtner up top and RvP on one of the wings, I'm not Arsene Wenger so I have no say. I thought having Denilson and Song in there as defensive players behind Cesc was fantastic, because you saw what Cesc can really do when he can play openly and not worry about tracking back quite so much to cover in front of the back four. Cesc was immense, as he always is when we play well, and it's amazing to think that we scored 6 goals yet none of them came from RvP, Bendtner, or Arshavin. 2 from Cesc, 1 each from Gallas and Vermaelen (who had a very solid debut), an absolute gem from Denilson, and a late one from Eduardo who came on as a sub. That's what we've been missing the past few years is goals from players other than our strikers, and we really got it done against Everton.

Everton were clearly not at their best, and yes it was only one match, but it's just what we needed to start off the season. It should raise the squad's morale and confidence in the team, and push us going forward. Top of the league is a nice place to be, so let's keep it that way lads.

So in just over two hours we play Celtic in Glasgow. An intimidating place to go for sure, but you'd have to say that we are the better team if each team was playing their best on a given day. Injury worries are for Sagna, Denilson, and Cesc, who are all questionable according to Arsene Wenger. It's a problem if both Denilson and Cesc aren't able to go, although I suspect that Cesc at least will be out there. If neither one of them are able to go, who plays in the center of midfield? Song and Diaby, most likely with Aaron Ramsey, who looked good in the preseason but Celtic Park is a tough place to play for anyone, especially someone as young as Ramsey. He and Jack Wilshere exude the same confidence though in almost any situation you see them in, so if he is in there I have all the faith in the world in him to get the job done.

Walcott, Rosicky, Nasri, Djourou, and Fabianski are all still out for sure. The best news of all though is that Andrey Arshavin can finally make his Arsenal debut in the Champions League. Of course last year he was cup-tied after playing in the CL for Zenit St Petersburg, so this will be his first taste of contenental action for the Gunners. I'm going to go ahead and pick Andrey and RvP to score goals as Arsenal win 2-1. Looking forward to the match immensely, and I'll try to get a match report up tomorrow.

Cheers all!


Andre said...

The goals were hilarious today.

I was starting tot like Song last winter. I hated him a couple years ago, but now he's huge. I remember suggesting a last year that he could be the next Essien, but it won't be ong before Essien is trying to be the next Song.

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