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Archive for August, 2009

We registered our league second victory in the new season, beating Portsmouth 4-1 at home. After the demolition of Everton at Goodison Park, everyone expected another big win.

We rested Sagna, Clichy and Song in this game, while Eduardo gothis first start in the new season in place of Bendtner. Diaby was playing very well and got two superb goals, while Gallas and substitute Ramsey got the other two.

Almunia did not have much to do but he was totally at fault for Portsmouth’s only goal. He was outjumped by Kaboul in the six-yard box and in my opinion that was unacceptable for a goalkeeper. Gallas and Vermaelen did well, and looked solid as a partnership. Gibbs was very shaky while Eboue was solid in defence and offered much more than Sagna going forward.

Denilson was playing the role of Song but we really missed the physical presence and ball-winning qualities of Song. Diaby and Cesc was playing a slightly offensive role in central midfield and both did very well.

The front three of Arshavin, RVP and Eduardo still did not get any goals. Eduardo was lively and his off-the-ball movement was very good. RVP was rather static in my opinion and didn’t really combine well with the rest. Arshavin was ok, having a few moments of brilliance but was rather isolated by his teammates. As for the substitutes, Ramsey fitted well into the central midfield, Bendtner seemed a bit too eager to prove himself but didn’t have much support from a very static RVP, while Merida didn’t look out of depth either.

We were a bit complacent, especially after we went 2-0 up. The whole team was playing as if it was a training session, until Portsmouth scored and reminded them that this is a competitive match. If there is something that I felt this team needs to learn, it would be respect for your opponent no matter who they are.  A better team may just punish us for being complacent (and arrogant). And seriously, until we really win some trophies, we are not in any position to feel arrogant.

So, let’s hope this team can continue to grow and improve.

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This is perhaps the best start we can expect to the new season.  Lots of pundits have written us off before the season begins, and our lads simply let their feet do the talking. A 6-1 victory at Goodison Park is no mean feat, no matter how shit your opponent was on that day.

The lads was playing like possessed men, chasing after every loose ball, playing like they had a point to prove. Even when we were 5-0 up, we were still attacking. This is something I had not seen for the last season. The attitudes. The characters. The hunger.

My man-of-the-match would be Alex Song. He had stopped countless of Everton’s attack, and won countless of tackles. It’s hard to imagine this kid looked so average just two years ago. He had gone leaps and bounds since last season and I believed he would continue to grow into a monster midfielder.

Denilson had a very good goal, and in fact played quite well as a CM. I think he was more of a CM than a DCM, and should continue to be deployed there. Fabregas had two goals and two assists, but apart from that had a rather quiet game. Arshavin was also a bit quiet by his standard but I wasn’t too worry as he had so much quality in him.

Bendtner was a pleasant surprise at the right wing. I was quite skeptical with deploying him on the wings as I don’t think he had the pace to take on fullbacks. But he did very well in this match, causing the fullbacks lots of trouble with his trickery.  New recruit Vermaelen did very well, had a goal and won a lot of ariel balls. His partnership with Gallas would be very interesting.

Now, having talked about all the positives, let’s get back to the more pragmatic side. I hoped the result doesn’t lead Wenger to think that he don’t need any more new signings. Firstly, right now Song is the only DCM we have. If he is injured, suspended or off to the ACN in January, it would leave a big hole in our central midfield. A new defensive central midfielder signing is a must. Our first choice central defence looks good, but if Senderos is leaving then we need a good replacement. Silvestre is shit and Djourou seemed to be quite injury prone (and inconsistent).  If either one of Gallas or Vermaelen is injured, we would have big problem.

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