Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The 'new' Arsenal

Looking at Sunday's team, I was struck by the lack of longevity:

Mannone – not played much
Jenkinson – 2nd season
Vermaelen- 3rd
Mertesacker – 2nd
Arteta- 2nd
Diaby – like Rosicky, so often injured, that he’s a 'new signing‘ each season
Cazorla – 1st
Gervinho – 2nd
Podolski – 1st
Giroud – 1st

I guess the short time at Arsenal is balance by the age and experience of the players who have come in.

Stoke away

Things started very well. An excellent pre-match chicken balti pie – good sage pastry with just enough moistness and an excellent meaty, spicy filling with a mixture of breast and leg to give a wonderful oral experience.

My feelings are about the match are ambiguous – the positive of a second clean sheet tempered by the typical domination of possession but little to show in terms of chances created.

I thought we had a good first 30 minutes with Cazorla particularly active and it seemed a real possibility that the goals would come – at either end, in fact, as Stoke had one or two dangerous breaks.

After that ‘normal service’ was resumed as Stoke settled for a point and we struggled to break them down. This continued into the 2nd half with only a fluffed attempt by Diaby (ok the ball came to him unexpectedly but he reacted like it was a time bomb rather than the leather/plastic orb), a good turn and shot by Ramsey and a speculative effort by Giroud that would have been a goal of the season contender had it gone in but is now remembered for the fact that he didn’t pass to Ramsey. Personally, I would rather see players trying things.

Subs didn’t really change the situation – Theo still can’t take players on and still doesn’t make himself available for the pass and Ramsay still struggles physically.

Back up the M6 again at the weekend. Will be interesting to see how the team perform in a game in which the defence should be under more pressure as Liverpool will surely show more attacking intent than ‘red stripes’ x 2. This could open up the game and afford us more attacking space. We’ll see!

PS: just been reminded of Giroud's scissor-kick attempt from a corner in the 2nd half - now categorised as 'should have headed it'!

Shoulda, woulda, coulda - if my aunt had cojones, she'd be my uncle!

Finally, a word about the ref, Lee Mason. Apart from a mad two minutes when he seemed to forget himself and let all kinds of tackles go, he had a reasonably good game.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Villa in the cup - O ye, of little faith!

I predicted a 3-2 victory at half-time. A shame I didn't have the courage of my convictions and back it up with a wager.
Half-time was particularly funny for the string of abuse launched in my direction by the perpetual moaner who sits 5 or 6 rows behind me. He loudly announced that Wenger should resign. I started laughing but any attempt to engage in a rational conversation was met with a stream of expletives. I'm not sure whether he took me up on my suggestion that he should go home immediately and watch Spurs on Sky+. 
A strange first half. The Arsenal dominated with Rosicky, in particular, finding acres of space but with little end-product in the final third. Villa had two attacks and scored twice. Arsenal booed off by some so-called fans, including, no doubt, the 'moaner'.
A switch-about in the second half, with Arsenal showing more penetration resulting in two pens and a fortuitous ricochet off Theo. Cue celebrations and cheers all around. The fickle fans with little faith!

Szczesny points the way!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Arsenal v. Marseille

After Saturday’s epic, the Marseille match was flat. It was almost as if, having beaten Chelsea, the team thought they just needed to turn-up to get another victory. Some first half chances went begging and little of note was created in the second. Overall, the movement was poor and the same early season lack of tempo was prevalent. Song had his poorest game for a long period – he appeared slow and cumbersome and his passing radar was in urgent need of re-calibration. The substitutions brought Rosicky, Arshavin and RvP onto the field but there was no discernible impact as the game petered out 0-0.

Marseille: pre-match food

Round to Piebury Corner on Tuesday night to sample the ‘Ian Wright’ which is lamb with vegetables in a flavoursome gravy just the kind that Mrs H would love. Unfortunately, the preponderance of peas in the veg would not be appreciated by her. All in all another great gastronomic experience but, perhaps, not quite good enough to break into the top three. So 4 pies eaten, 2 fixtures remaining - the two Charlies: Nicholas and George. The former is the Scotch pie while the latter is a 'lucky dip' - I'm not sure if this is just a random selection from the other 5 or whether it is truly something different.

Piebury Corner League Table:
1.     Dennis Bergkamp – eaten 1
2.     Tony Adams – eaten 1
3.     Reg Lewis - eaten 1
4.   Ian Wright - eaten 1