Monthly Archives: October 2008

Hoffenheim, the Hull City of Bundesliga

If you thought Hull City was the only unknown club making waves in Europe by sitting pretty at the top of the premier league, you were wrong. There is a little known club in the Bundesliga, called Hoffenheim which is making more waves than anyone had ever imagined. They are currently ranked second, a point behind the leaders Bayer Leverkusen with a match in hand. There is a good read in the Guardian.

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Filed under Bundesliga, Hoffenheim

Been missing a lot of matches :(

I have been missing a lot of Arsenal matches with my reocation to Hyderabad and finding a new place to stay etc etc…The guest house that I stay in shows two channels which show only Cricket 😦 But I guess Arsenal has been doing a good job so far. With the derby coming up against Spurs, I hope the good form continues.

There has been some good work done by Song in the midfield which is probably alowing Cesc to play more freely. Ade’s substitution wored in the team’s favour as he came in and had a part in the first goal and scored the second.

So here is to a comfortable victory against the Spuds 🙂

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Filed under Arsenal, EPL, Tottenham Hotspurs

Sunderland and other thoughts

After the Sunderland fiasco I am convinced that in the last couple of years Wenger has not been able to think of a strategy to deal with any team that defends with 10 men. The same happened last Saturday and it was a pain to watch so much of possession being wasted. We did nothing in the final third of the pitch.

Another reason possibly is playing players out of position and not choosing the right combination. Why was Nasri not started in this match and getting Denilson and Song along with Fabregas was not a right move. We did not have any width and the left flank was hardly used. Only after Nasri came in did we see any play on that side of the pitch. The start for this season has been a problem but if we can start showing some consistency it would be good. Now we are left with no choice but to beat Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool if we need a sniff of the top honours in the league.

Tim Vickery, who probably writes one of the best football blogs in BBC, writes about Riquelme, one of my favourite players. He says

I love watching a player who does his part to keep alive two unfashionable concepts in modern football.

One is change of rhythm, the idea that the game can be slowed down before the application of the killer pass. The other is surprise – the ball that no one was expecting, that wrong foots the entire defence.

I call these kind of players the second-thought-players. They always think twice before making a pass. What a common person would think “on second thoughts”, he does it in the first instance itself. The other player I know of who does the same is Cesc Fabregas. He keeps the ball, waits for the right moment before slipping in the ball. He deliberately does that, making the defenders make the first move and commit themselves before delivering that killer ball. I love that guy.

And here is the Bentley dude complaining yet again. Isn’t he the same guy who asked Theo Walcott to leave Arsenal if he dreams of playing for England??? And now the same Walcott has replaced him from the team…Justice done I believe 🙂

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Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, BBC, David Bentley, EPL, Fabregas, Riquelme, Sunderland, Theo, Theo Walcott, Tim Vickery, Walcott, Wenger

A fitting reply in Europe…but doubts persist

Arsenal beat possibly their toughest group opponents in their group in Europe, Porto by 4 goals. “Complete performance” termed it Wenger, but I still feel that Porto did have their chances and a better team would have made this core line look like 4-3 or 4-2.

Standout performance to me came from Theo Walcott. Everytime he had the ball there was an excitement. He has improved quite a bit and I feel this year he will score some goals and assists. Well he better…

It is nice to see both your key strikers scoring goals and Adebayor did have some chances to score a hat-trick but he missed out. He provided an assist to Van P for his goal.

Fabregas was regaining his touch with some awesome through balls. I thought he had a very good match and he is getting used to playing next to Denilson.

The doubts I have are on our defensive form. Though Wenger came out and praised the defence a day before the Hull match, I seriously feel that they lack the discipline, especially from Gallas. There was a specific incident where Gallas went ahead on the left side and passed it to Nasri who lost possesion. Porto were starting an attack and our man Gallas was leisurely coming back to the line when Porto forced a save out of Almunia. Gallas should have rushed back to protect the goal instead of hopping back to the backline. Sometime I feel he needs to be shouted at. I still have this grudge against him for shouting at Clichy(one of my fav Gunners) for giving away a last minute penalty against Birmingham, which started the slide last season.

We need to win consistently in the league to top it and the next one against Sunderland will take us a step closer to that goal.

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Filed under Adebayor, Arsenal, Champions League, FC Porto, Gael Clichy, Gallas, Van Persie, Walcott