Category Archives: Adebayor

Arsenal survive & a thought-provoking article

Arsenal held on to some 20 odd nervous minutes in the end to take all three points at home against Wigan. Adebayor’s first half goal was all that they had to show at the end of 90 minutes. Van Persie missed quite a few chances and if his hooting was a bit more sharp all those penetrative passing from Fabregas would have resulted in assists to goals. Denilson had a couple of chances too and it was nice to see that he was taking his chances.

It was unfortunate to see Eboue being booed off the ground. It was unwanted and I hope the fans are better behaved. It is true that he is a player that most fans do not like but I think we should stick by our players. He did some really gross mistakes and Wenger thought it safe to sub him instead of playing him for the last 5 minutes as Wigan were on the offensive and smelt an equaliser. Silvestre and Song were also showing some signs of weakness towards the end of the match. But for me it was Cesc who shone throughout the match and he is getting his groove back.

ade-eboue

Here is a thought-provoking article from The Independent on the debt doom of the clubs in the Premier league. A good read.

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Filed under Adebayor, Arsenal, Eboue, EPL, The Independent, Wigan

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

Bolton bolted at Reebok

In a superior performance laced with style and substance Arsenal overcame a physical Bolton at their home ground by three goals to one. With this result and other results going Arsenal’s way, the Gunners could well end up on top of the Premier League come the weekend.

The match started off with Arsenal showing their class and superiority in passing the ball around. but everytime Bolton won a free-kick, or a throw in or a corner, they looked threatening. Arsenal conceded first from a set-piece and the home crowd were celebrating first. But then came a brief 10 minute spell of Arsenal domination which left the 11 Bolton players to defend their goal. It was a exhilarating football fom Arsenal and it was a matter of when they will score. A brilliant one two from Adebayor and Bendtner saw the ball reach Eboue who played in the left wing who smashed in his first goal for Arsenal in the premier league. Arsenal continued their domination and was again rewarded with a neatly made goal orchestrated by Fabregas and Denilson and finished by Bendtner.

The first half ended with Clichy getting injured by a red-card-Kevin-Davies-tackle which ended only in a yellow. Anyways Clichy is fine now and hopefully should be back in training in a couple of days time. We have replacements in the form of Silvestre, provided he is fit and the dude Kieran Gibbs!!!

The second half saw a recharged Bolton taking control of the possession and movement though Arsenal did have their chance. Adebayor had a very good performace if you ask me setting up a lot of moves and providing assist for the third goal. Arsenal were less forceful in the second half and the one goal lead was always under threat as long as Bolton crossed into the box. Almunia was called into action more then once and he did have a creditable performance under the bar.

No match is complete these days without mentioning the man of the moment, Theo Walcott. He came in for Eboue and was instrumental in some of the best moves in the second half. His run with the ball from the centre and cross to Adebayor on the right was the move that resulted in the third goal. Adebayor was selfless and crossed to Denilson who scored his second of the season. What a way to end the match.

So far Wenger has taken care of two of the toughest away matches of the season, Blackburn and Bolton in style and that too in between the trip to Kiev. Lets see if Wenger can keep this run going with this young team.

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Filed under Adebayor, Almunia, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Bendtner, Bolton Wanderers, Clichy, Denilson, Eboue, EPL, Fabregas, Kevin Davies, Reebok Stadium

2008-09 Season: Contenders – II

Liverpool

Having finished the league without any honours, Liverpool will once again start their campaign in the hope that they will be able to challenge for the Premiership. Rafa’s primary target was to get Gareth Barry from Villa but the owners were not keen on shelling out 18 mil on him, instead they bought a proven striker in Robbie Keane. I seriously believe that Keane and Torres would be able to provide the goods upfront with Gerrard also contributing. But if you leave out these three and to some extent Mascherano the team is hardly any quality. With Gerrard not in the team they struggled against their Champions League qualifier opponent also.

Rafa Benitez is never known to make any sensible buys except for lets give it to him, Torres. But in Reina they have one of the best goal keepers in the league. And he has kept them in contention in a lot of matches, including their last competitive fixture. They have bought Philipp Degen (Borussia Dortmund – free), Andrea Dossena (Udinese – undisclosed), Vincent Lucas Weijl (AZ Alkmaar – undisclosed) Diego Cavalieri (Palmeiras – undisclosed) and David Ngog (PSG – £1.4m) other than Robbie Keane. But honestly how many of them will finally make us sit up and take notice, needs to be seen.

Prediction: Finish 4th

Arsenal

When you get beaten in the Champions League by some controversial penalty decisions and you finish 3rd in the league, you wonder if the team did very well despite some stars leaving the team and some very crucial injuries. Eduardo, Robin van Persie, Tomas Rosicky and Bacary Sagna were among the injured for most of the season and except for Eduardo and Rosicky everyone will be fit once again. Though at the start of the season the players on the injured list include Cesc Fabregas, Rosicky, Diaby and new signing Bischoff. the other one missing is the Olympian, Alex Song.

There has been many a comment passed on why Arsenal is not buying a defensive midfielder to replace Flamini and a central defender as cover for Toure or Gallas. Wenger probably believes that he has the back up for the defensive part and has made his intention clear in getting a holding midfielder before the next leg of the Champion’s League encounter with Twente FC. There are just three new signings – Aaron Ramsey (Cardiff – £5m), Samir Nasri (Marseille – £11m), Amaury Bischoff (Werder Bremen – undisclosed) of which Nasri is probably the only proven player, bouhg to replace Hleb. He has Carlos Vela back from loan who has experienced the La Liga last year. But Wenger will probably be thinking that Persie and Rosicky are back from injury and are like two new signings. Walcott’s biggest problem has been his inconsistency and he will get more starts than last year hopefully. Bendtner would be waiting in the wings to pounce on any let off from Ade or Persie. The team is strong once we buy a new holding midfielder and I cannot wait to see the match against West Brom though Fabregas is not starting.

Prediction: 2nd place in the League and probably Champions League winners 🙂

My team for this season

Almunia

Sagna Toure Gallas Clichy

Walcott New-signing Fabregas Rosicky

Adebayor Persie

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Filed under 2008-09 season, Aaron Ramsey, Adebayor, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Champions League, EPL, Fabregas, Gael Clichy, Gerrard, Liverpool, Rafa Benitez, Robbie Keane, Song

Amsterdam reveals Arsenal fragilities

Despite Arsenal retaining their Amsterdam tournament crown the event itself exposed some of the issues that could cost the Gunners in the season to come. After a tremendous comeback in the first game against Ajax, where the side showed a lot of grit and determination to come from two goals to win 3-2, the second match against Sevilla was a little more worrying.

Taking into consideration the quality of the opponents the young Guns were facing it was still a worrying sign that Arsenal’s squad is rice paper thin. Despite this being another pre-season tournament when Sevilla stepped up their game Arsenal were just blown away. The first half was very impressive, taking the lead early on through Carlos Vela who looks to be a phenomenal prospect for the coming and combined very well with Nicklas Bendtner in attack.

Arguably Arsenal’s strongest department is the attacked minded one, the Gunners all ready have two world class strikers in Emmanuel Adebayor and Robin van Persie with another on his way back to fitness in Eduardo. However behind them there are emerging talents in Vela and Bendtner with Theo Walcott capable of playing up top should Arsenal suffer a plague of striking injuries.

However when you start to move back through the team cracks begin to appear and the alarm bells start ringing. Going back to the second match against Sevilla the Arsenal midfield’s oldest player at the start of the game was 19-year-old Mark Randall, who you can hardly call experienced having made just one Premier League appearance.

The rest of the midfield consisted of Aaron Ramsey, who looked good going forward but unreliable when defending as he gave away the ball far too many times for my liking. The Gunners also had Jack Wilshire, who looks like another potential superstar and was actually the only midfielder who didn’t look light weight when in a physical confrontation. Finally completing the midfield quartet was Jay Emmanuel-Thomas who looked cumbersome and extremely slow, eventually being switched to left-back with Kieran Gibbs moving up where Thomas enjoyed a better time of things.

Now if these are the replacements for the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri then Arsene Wenger will be praying that none of his first choice midfielders pick up an injury. Once again it’s a question of Wenger putting his faith in the kids, but judging by what we saw at the Amsterdam tournament that faith may be misplaced. Obviously the Gunners won’t be facing opposition of the same quality of Sevilla every week, no offence to Hull or Stoke! However they will be facing a different type of opposition, the likes of Bolton and Wigan won’t be playing short, quick passes and will use a lot more physicality. See what the odds are that Arsenal can over come that physicality here.

As Arsenal have demonstrated over the past they don’t respond well to be bullied around the park, anyone remember losing to Sheffield United not so long ago? My biggest fear is that we could suffer the same fate when Arsenal travel away from home. Looking at the defence doesn’t fill me with hope either, although I was impressed with the way Johan Djourou performed, he outshone his Swiss counter part Philippe Senderos.

However that’s were the praise stops because once again Justin Hoyte showed he is no where near good enough to play for Arsenal. Why Wenger continues to press forward with Hoyte is beyond me because he was skinned time and time again by Diego Capel. I thought that his performances in the humiliating defeats to Manchester United and Tottenham would have been enough to seal his fate. Wenger should take however much Middlesbrough are offering and run. The other thing that worried me about the Arsenal defence was Gibbs playing at left back, surely Armand Traore should have been in there. Now if Traore was injured then I can understand but then that raises another worry that if Gael Clichy and Traore were to pick up an injury then we would play someone who is normally classed as an attacking midfielder at left-back.

Now there is no way Wenger is going to be able to solve all these problems before the transfer window shuts but with 20 days left until it does close the French magician can sure up the midfield, hopefully with the signing of Gohkan Inler who looked a decent player in Euro 2008 with Switzerland. A defender would be nice as well and never count Wenger out on shocking everyone by bringing in someone, much like he did last year with Lassana Diarra. We can only wait and see, whilst I hope that all my doubts are laid to rest within the opening weeks of the season. Check out Arsenal’s odd for the new season here.

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Filed under Adebayor, Ajax, Amsterdam, Arsenal, Denilson, Djourou, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, Mark Randall, Sevilla, Van Persie, Vela, Walcott, Wenger

Transfer news and new kit

With the Euros over,time for some transfer news.

Manchester United – Ferguson has come out in the open and has said that he is looking for only one signing this season to strengthen his team. The position has not been specified but I presume it should be in the forward line given the injury prone Louis Saha might leave or get injured again. Lets not talk about Ronaldo and his impending transfer to Real Madrid. I feel United should just cash in as much as they can over him and pay off their debts. Will they go for Berbatov needs to be seen.

Chelsea – With Scolari coming in at Stamford Bridge,the playin style of the club is sure to change. And on his first day in office, he got Deco on board, something that Jose Mourinho could not do. Now this latest addition to the midfield means Lampard and Ballack are going to have competition for the second place. Does that mean Lampard will leave the club, again a debating point. Scolari is also strongly rumoured to get Robinho from Real as well. Now that should be interesting. Will Drogba be their come the start of the season, remains to be seen. Arshavin is the latest one who is tipped to be heading to Stamford Bridge this season.

Liverpool – Rafa is not good at buying players and to make it worse his hands are tied this time around with the transfer funds. The Gareth Barry tussle with Aston Villa is really sad, infact it is worse than the continuing Ronaldo saga. Barry has been asked to train on his own and Martin O’Neil has made it clear to Liverpool that they should pay 18 million if they want to see Barry in a red jersey next season. Fair enough. Do they have the money to buy David Villa??? No I do not think so.

Arsenal – Nasri is in. I hope he plays better than his Euro performance in an Arsenal jersey. Hleb stories have become silent and Adebayor stories on the rise in the last few weeks. Ade’s salary demands if it is true is showing him in a poor light. It is strange how one good season can make a player think so highly about himself. If he had made this demand at the end of next season after scoring 20 goals, it would have looked better.

The official jerseys are on sale from today. Here is the home jersey

And here is the rumoured to be away jersey

Also the 2008-09 Arsenal first team squad numbers have been finalised few weeks back. Notable ones;

12 Carlos Vela

14 Theo Walcott – ya he gets Henry’s number. Now only if he could play like him 🙂

16 Aaron Ramsey

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Filed under 2008-09 season, 2008-09 Squad numbers, Aaron Ramsey, Adebayor, Alex Ferguson, Arsenal, Arsenal Away Jersey, Arsenal Home Jersey, Arsene Wenger, Arshavin, Berbatov, Carlos Vela, Chelsea, David Villa, Deco, Drogba, EPL, Gareth Barry, Liverpool, Manchester United, Robinho, Ronaldo, Samir Nasri, Scolari, Theo, Walcott

3 points at Emirates and an exciting title race in prospect

Arsenal won at home atlast. It came courtesy a wonderfully taken goal from Adebayor and from a deflected goal from Gilberto, his first of the season. The quality of Arsenal was in display as Reading were left with the scraps though the scoreline should have reflected atleast for two more goals, but for Arsenal’s poor finishing.

For me Song has been looking increasing like our answer for the centre back, good with headers and strong against opponents. If he gets a run in for the next 3 matches, we could be having a strong back up for centre backs. Gilberto came into the team and played a decent game, but somehow Flamini’s bite was missing. Fabregas had a good game but for his finishing. He needs to get his one-on-one situations sorted out. But the stand-out performance was from Walcott, who started the match and justified his selection with a lot of running on the right side of the park.

One of the problems that Arsenal has had this season has been there inability to kill of the game after taking the lead. That was taken care of today but if Reading had put one back, it would have led to some nervous moments. The third goal was always there but finishing let us down yet again. But when Walcott plays we seem to be creating more chances. Maybe he will also benefit from this run in.

Last but not the least,the title run in has opened up a bit for Chelsea with Manchester United drawing at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers. I thought Blackburn played really well and Brad Friedel was in his elements coming up trumps in more than one occasion. But it is still Man Utd’s to lose as their superior goal difference means they can still afford to lose against Chelsea, win the other two matches and still win the league. Easier said than done!!! But full credit to Tevez for a wonderful goal. How many times has he done this, this season.

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Filed under Adebayor, Arsenal, Blackburn Rovers, Brad Friedel, Chelsea, EPL, Fabregas, Manchester United, Reading, Song, Tevez, Walcott