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GCR Books

24 October 2010. Man City 0 Arsenal 3. Two reviews with hope for the future.

This victory left Arsenal second in the league, having won five, drawn 2 and lost 2 so far in the 2010/11 season and suggested that the two consecutive defeats against WBA at home and Chelsea away at the end of September and start of October, were a blip from which the club had recovered.

From Gf60

Man. City 0 Arsenal 3

It wasn’t so much that our performance was easy on the eye; it wasn’t so much that No flap Fab had  a really sound game; and, it wasn’t so much that Alex; Sami; Denilson and Chewbacca performed admirably …it was the poke in the eye we gave Manchester that really got the blood racing.

That deserved a couple of bottles and the Merlot will flow tonight.

Fair enough, right at the start we looked a bit anxious, especially down the left flank where Gael and JD were getting skinned by Tevez. Good work by Fab and Squelch kept City out and the sending off inside 10 minutes after Marouane had moved beautifully onto Sami’s through ball certainly did nothing to hurt our cause. For sure we can’t take this as the standard, various bodies departing the City ranks and/or not even appearing, made the victory “OK, but nothing to put hopes on yet.”

Once again, we made mountains out of mole hills when it came to sticking the ball away…and we won’t talk about Fab’s penalty kick. Is it my memory but Fab going to the keeper’s left hand seems to result in a miss? Whereas I can’t remember him missing going to the keeper’s right.

I was surprised by City’s apparent no show. Maybe over the years we’ve become more used to playing with 10 men and are far better equipped to put in a performance. Maybe their finding out that we are no longer a Southern soft touch, also played a role. For sure we weren’t upset by the Dutch clogger and our getting a more than average yellow card count also said a lot.

On that subject, the best performance I saw by a ref last season was from Clattenberg. That it was the game we lost to the spuds emphasises to me how good he was. If you can’t blame the ref for losing to that shower, then he did well. Same today. Consistent and always up with the play. This I’m told was the first time in about 15 games that he’s reffed a losing City game.

Now for the Geordies on Wednesday. Watching them yesterday was marginally better than watching West Ham. I’d thought at half time, here comes a home banker. What a shower. Teach my son to support the wrong side. Looks like fizzy pop league for them next year.

And from Untold Arsenal

Once again Untold predicted everything perfectly about the Man C game, except the result. And the sending off.

By Tony Attwood, sitting in front of the tele (with the fire on; it is cold in the Midlands)

Yes, ok, in Phil’s preview of the game Man City I listed them as having 12 players on the pitch.  Some said that was a silly mistake, but it was in fact a clear sign (for those who know how to read such things) that these northern fellows are cheating bastards who will stop at nothing to get one over us.

In effect Sheikh Yerbooty’s team ended up playing with 10, and I am sure much of the press will use this as some kind of excuse for the score, although I think it is a just outcome after they tried to cheat in such an unseemly manner.

Besides which some of their players were bigger than ours.

In reality we done great, we played great and we dominated possession, shots, shots on target, running around a bit, and everything else that we are required to do.

I would pick out Fabianski, Nasri, Fabregas, Song… actually I could go on and on and end up listing the whole team, but that would be silly.   So, my four…

Fabianski: was it three or four great saves – including the shot in the first couple of minutes which set the scene.  He looked commanding, as he has in recent games, and there was no doubt that as each save was made there was a growing feeling that the confidence that has been seen to grow over the last few matches is now deeply embedded in the team.   Confidence is what the Arsenal style is all about – the confidence to pass and pass and wait for the moment, the confidence to do the flicks, and know that even if they don’t all come off, you can get the ball back and go again later…  And irrespective of how well the keeper is playing, if the team don’t have full confidence in him, then everything wobbles.

Nasri got a terrific goal and dazzled his way around the pitch.  What commentators often don’t pick up is that he spends a part of each game playing at right back, fitting in and covering when need be.  It wasn’t just this game, it is every game.  But in addition the goal, when it came, made everything else take on a different perspective.  Even with Manchester Money throwing everything at us in the first half, they had to watch and watch him because no one was quite sure where he was going to be next.

Fabregas – from the opening passes, right the way through he was supplying the passes, and like Nasri the opposition couldn’t take their eye off him, because everyone knew, the next pass could be definitive.  There was no Jack – and it could have been even better had there been – because watching the pair of them playing together on Tuesday last (although against undemanding opposition) was a revelation in itself.   If we do play both of them then then puts Nasri out wide with Arshavin and Chamakh in a forward line.  But when Van Persie comes back do we play him and Bendtner?  Complex isn’t it, when there are fewer injuries.

Song. Included here not just the goal, not just the interceptions, but just the way he has grown week on week over the past two years.  The number of fouls is down on last year, the number of retrievals is up.  Remember Alex Song started as a player who was booed by the Anti-Arsenal Arsenal and was said to be “not fit to wear the shirt”.  (I like to keep rubbing that in, not just because it shows how stupid the AAA often are, but also because a couple of years back at the start of the season I had Alex Song as my tip for the young player who would make it.  I don’t get that many right, but I still like to mention just in case people forget).

And maybe a word too about Bendtner. He is still rusty and I know he’s another player that the AAA have had a real go at, but that final goal was not a simple tap in, and he’d only been on the pitch a few minutes.  It is really good to have him, and Theo, back in the squad.  And maybe next month we might see Ramsey too.

As for this coming Wednesday, Lord Wenger says that he will put a strong team out, including some of the players who were in this game.  He also mentioned that “some players need games”, some that would suggest Koscielny, Gibbs, Eboue, Denilson, Theo, Bendtner…  Maybe Almunia will be back, knowing that his position is now under threat from Fabianski…  (I take it Wilshere is banned from the league cup match as well as in league games, so that means the Newcastle game will be match 2 of his ban, and the pornographers will be match 3 next weekend).

I think we might also see Jay Emmanuel Thomas and Henri Lansbury for the Newcastle game.  JET scored a hat trick for the reserves this past week, and Lansbury look worthy of his place in the smashing of the Tinies in the previous round.  (Incidentally I hear the Tinies have now issued the DVD of Inter v Tottenham: the second half, along with free celebratory mug of the victory (in the second half).

Thus, we are second, when a reversal of the result meant that we would have been drifting down the table and the AAA would have come out from under their cushions and screamed more abuse at Lord Wenger.  Good news all round, and I’m already looking forward to Wednesday in front of the TV, plus next weekend a really amusing little encounter against West Pornography Olympic.

PS: Mr Adebayor didn’t look up to much did he?

 

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