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Archive for September, 2009

Four straight wins….

After our disappointing defeat to Manchester City, we went on to collect four straight victories in premier league, champions league and carling cup.

We came from behind to defeat Standard Liege 3-2 in a tricky Champions League away fixture. Its a hard-fought victory but the way we concede 2 goals within the first few minutes was quite alarming.

Three days later, we were at home against Wigan and thrashed them 4-0. Ironically, our first premier league clean sheet of the season came from our reserved league keeper Mannone. Wigan rarely threatened us though Mannone looked a bit nervous in his premier league debut.

Next, our carling cup kids managed a 2-0 victory over WBA. From the highlights, Vela had a good goal and I hoped to see him soon in the first team action.

The away 1-0 victory over Fulham was a rather lucky one. Credit to Fulham, they played very well and pressed our players for every ball. Young keeper Mannone had a man-of-the-match performance and single-handedly kept his second premier league clean sheet.

Fabregas and Arshavin were both below their usual standards. Song didn’t looked as dominating in central midfield as he usually did, but I would say he still did a decent job. Diaby was in his usual dribbling-and-then-lose-possession mood. I hoped Rosicky could get back to 100% as soon as possible so that we don’t have to see Diaby in the starting line-up. Or even Denilson, whom I don’t really rate, is much preferred over Diaby. RVP was still below par even though he got the winning goal. In short, it wasn’t a convincing victory and somehow Danny Murphy was right when he commented that Gunners had lost the intimidating factor (something along this line). Gone were the days when opponents knew they would lose before they stepped onto the pitch with us. No matter what Wenger thinks, our current squad does not have players of the class of Henry, Bergkamp, Pires and Vieira.

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This is our second league lost, after a rather promising start to the season. There’s a feeling that all those frustrations of the past few seasons were going to happen again this season. Maybe, we haven’t change a bit afterall.

Almunia is just a clown. He is at best a backup keeper. To think that we went from David Seaman and Jens Lehman to this bloody clown. And its the same old story about how Bendtner, Denilson, Diaby and Eboue were average and not good enough (yet?) for Arsenal, I think I am beginning to sound like a broken record. Bendtner was still inconsistent, Denilson was still easily pushed off the ball, Diaby was still the clueless dribbling master that dribbled to a dead end, and Eboue was still lacking end product. And add Sagna and Clichy to it, when it comes to useless crossing. This team never change. Wenger never change.

The only good thing about this match would be the return (finally) of Rosicky. Hopefully he can stay injury and pushes D&D out of the first eleven.

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Blunders from Almunia and Diaby gifted Man United 2 goals.  It was rather sad to see us losing that way. We started the game without key players like Rosicky, Nasri and captain Fabregas. It was rather obvious that the absence of the trio resulted in a lack of creativity from the centre of midfield.

Our front three comprised of Arshavin, RVP and Eboue. Arshavin scored a wonderful goal seconds after he was wrongly denied of a penalty.  RVP was, in my opinion, neither strong nor mobile enough to be the central striker.  He really needed to step up and not take a starting place for granted. His decision making and lack of mobility is holding up the fluidity of our attacking play. As for Eboue, I don’t really understand why the preference of him over Bendtner or Eduardo. He wasn’t a bad player but he was being deployed in too many different positions.

One look at our midfield trio of Song, Denilson and Diaby, you will wonder where would the creativity come from. Song seemed a bit tense up, but still went on with his defensive job well enough. Denilson showed that he was average in both the offensive and defensive aspect. His forward passes were inaccurate, he had no vision for killer pass, and he was too easily knocked off the ball to be a defensive midfielder. In short, he was a jack of all trades but expert in none. As for Diaby, apart from the outrageously idiotic own goal, he did show a lot of his dribbling skills. However, I really wonder whether he could fit into our passing game as he was too individualistic and didn’t have the quick thinking and passing skills to play a fast passing game.

Our back four did well, except for maybe Clichy as he still had the habit of placing our defence in a dangerous position. There was once whereby he tried to dribble the ball out of our own penalty box and almost lost the ball. And lastly, Almunia had shown once again that he is an average goalkeeper. I had always have reservations about Almunia, particularly his decision making. Almunia did pull off quite a few good saves in the past, but a good goalkeeper isn’t one that makes those hollywood supersaves. A good goalkeeper should have a good judgement and decision making, knowing when to come out  to claim the ball and when to stay on his line. A good goalkeeper should be able to command his defenders and give them confidence. Almunia offers none of those. That’s the difference between him and previous keepers like David Seaman and Jens Lehmann.

Let’s hope our team can pick themselves up and come back stronger in the future matches. Show us you are different from last season!

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