Arsenal travel to Craven Cottage for a tricky tie against Fulham. Tricky because Fulham at home is a well organised team. Arsenal have had a couple of tough matches away to Fulham.
The good news for Arsenal is that our most influential player this year, Arshavin (yes he is more influential than Cesc this season) is back from injury and should play a part in the game at some point of time. So is our English star, Theo Walcott who is back. I am looking forward to seeing him play this season and see the difference and pace that he can provide to the team.
Possible starting line up
Sagna Gallas Vermaelen Clichy
Rosicky Fabregas Persie
Look forward to a thrilling encounter with Arsenal emerging winners 🙂
This is an old stat(dated May 1st, 2009) but still worth a look… courtesy Setanta and Opta
Opta Stats Premier League 08/09 Arshavin Fabregas Nasri Walcott
Appearances 9 19 27 18
Starts 9 19 26 13
Minutes played 768 1,632 2,243 1,077
In front of goal
Goals 6 3 6 2
Minutes per goal 128 544 374 538
Goals in the box 4 3 4 2
Goals from outside the box 2 0 2 0
Shots 29 32 23 30
Shots per game 3.22 1.68 0.85 1.67
Shots on target 14 18 14 14
Shots off target 15 14 9 16
% of shots on target 48.3% 56.2% 60.9% 46.7%
Conversion rate % 20.7% 9.4% 26.1% 6.7%
Touches per game 62 102 73 40
Assists 4 8 2 2
Chances created/game 2.67 3.37 1.67 1.11
% of successful passes 77% 80% 88% 83%
Crosses per game 2.9 4.0 3.2 3.3
% of successful crosses 31% 14% 20% 17%
Dribbles per game 3.3 1.4 3.4 4.9
% of successful dribbles 50% 73% 57% 53%
Tackles per game 1.9 2.7 1.8 0.9
% of tackles won 88% 73% 71% 82%
Interceptions per game 1.7 2.3 1.7 0.7
Its been a while since I blogged but I should put in a word for the entry into the semi finals of the Champions league where we take on a lacklustre Manchester United. Villareal were without their influential midfielder Senna and Arsenal has three of their back four injured and Fabianski at goal.
Walcott had one of his best European matches and his goal was a cool finish from a deft pass of Fabregas of a Eboue pass. Adebayor scored his 8th consecutive Champions League goal in 8 matches in which he has started. Van Persie rounded off a penalty in the 69th minute to kill the tie. Song, Eboue and Fabregas were brilliant and it seems the young Arsenal team is now gelling together and producing results.
The best thing is Arshavin is fresh and raring to go in the Premier league and FA cup so we have one creative guy waiting to perform. With Eduardo also expected this team is looking really good. Gibbs deputising for CLichy is also in his elements and looked confident in the CL tie. Walcott was causing all sorts of trouble for the current European Champions left back, Capdevila.
The weekend also sees us taking on Chelsea in the semis of the FA cup. Chelsea played one of the best European matches in drawing with Liverpool 4-4 and hence qualifying for the semis with an aggregate of 7-5. It was one of the best European ties I have seen and I was quite happy that Liverpool lost. Sweet revenge for what they did to us 2 years back. With Arshavin etc available for the weekend I am looking forward to that match.
Last weekend’s league match in which we beat Wigan 4-1 took some time coming, making many a fan nervous. Arshavin has been a catalyst who has come and improved the team and Fabregas has been looking very effective with Arshavin as you see that these two are involved in almost all the Arsenal build ups. Anyways lets see if we can win at Wembley on Saturday.
The best match of the season and except for Bendtner missing all those chances every single player in an Arsenal jersey on the field player exceptionaly well. Clean entertainment for all fans and neutrals alike, class and style was oozing in every move.
Arshavin was no doubt the man of the match followed very closely by Samir Nasri and Song!!! Ya Song had a very very good match and maybe he is improving at the right time for the team. Walcott has his best match after his comeback and Eboue played a cameo which he will never foget in his lifetime with two goals in this match. Almunia made some crucial saves and our back four were very consistent. The team that started was
Sagna Toure Djourou Clichy
Walcott Denilson Song Arshavin
Nasri fit well into the slot behind Bendtner and Arshavin also found himself in that role quite often. Nasri had a freekick rebounding of the cross bar and was involved in every Arsenal move forward along with Arshavin and Walcott who seems to be returning to his speedy ways. Diaby, Vela and Eboue replaced Walcott, Bendtner and Nasri towards the end. If Bendtner had not missed out on his chances we would have won this match some 10-0. Great stuff from the Gunners and the home crowd had a good match to remember for a long long time.
Though the first goal was also credited to Arshavin it was rebounded off a Blackburn defender. And when the second half resumed Arsenal produced chance after chance and it was in the 65th minute that Arshavin the star scored his first goal for the team and what a goal it was. Denilson’s measured pass found him on the right flank and then he meandered through the Blackburn defence and feinted the last defender and from a narrow angle hit the roof of the goal. This is what he has brought in the club to do, trickery and clever play from the Russian.
Bendtner’s luck at goal meant that he will be replaced by Vela who produced a cross from the right side which found Arshavin on the left and his shot on goal was saved and Eboue was available for the tap in. That was 3-0. And the last goal was again a Vela creation as he was fouled inside the box and guess who took the penalty, Emmanuel Eboue – The stadium announcer said “The new Arsenal Goal machine, Emmanuel”!!!Well Football can surprise anyone and this team means business now.
But it has been a long time since any Gooner would have gone to sleep with satisfaction after watching an Arsenal match. Tonight is one of those nights, so enjoy it wherever you are.
Filed under Almunia, Arsenal, Arshavin, Bendtner, Blackburn Rovers, Carlos Vela, Clichy, Denilson, Diaby, Djourou, Eboue, Gael Clichy, Sagna, Samir Nasri, Song, Theo, Theo Walcott, Toure, Vela, Walcott
A great display of finishing from Eduardo and Vela sealed our entry into the quarterfinals of the FA cup followed by one of the most surprise combinations for an Arsenal goal ever, a Song backheel and a Eboue drive for the third goal.Well surprises do happen but credit should be given where it is due, Song and Eboue had a good match.
But for me the man of the match was Arshavin. He was making those piercing runs, giving those through balls and looked like doing the unexpected and make the opposition in disarray.Like I have been saying in this blog for some time now, he is going to be the key difference for us from now till the end of the season. And this match saw the comeback fo Eduardo(with the captain’s armband) and Walcott from their long layoff from injury. Burnley should also be credited for not parking their bus in front of their defence and attacking right from the 1st minute. A word of praise for Kieran Gibbs too. He is a star for the future.
One of the things which was lacking in Adebayor and Bendtner and to some extent in Van Persie was their finishing. If they needed some lessons, they should just see the replay of the Vela goal for maintaining composure and scoring with his leg but thinking from his head…and the Eduardo goal for the turn which broke the offside wall and the heel kick which surprised the goalie on the direction of the shot. Again a strikers instinct in display. He is our poacher when it comes to playing inside the box. One should note that Van Persie got a similar chance like Eduardo’s and he missed and Walcott had a similar one to Vela’s and he too missed. But I am sure these guys will all improve and the team will get better and better as the season comes to an end.
With this result we are 3 matches away from the FA Cup triumph. I know we should not take it too soon, but if this team just displays some consistency we are in store for a cracker of a finish in both the cup competitions and for the league, though we may not win it now. The CL match tomorrow at Roma is going to be crucial and I believe we will score as Roma will be looking to score and therefore opening up space at the middle of the park and back. I would love to see Van Persie starting with Eduardo up front. The likely team:
Eduardo Van Persie
Arshavin Nasri Denilson Walcott
Clichy Gallas Toure Sagna
Well this is a good team and I have the confidence that they can beat Roma away from home.
The Dane has been quite inconsistent throughout the season, but his 2 goals set us up for the 3 points that we have not seen for a long time. We finally ended the goal drought. This together with Toure’s header gave us a safe 3 points which we can cherish after so long.
If we had not conceded it would have been a good run of keeping clean sheets but I think we look good defensively and what we need is some attacking instinct and some luck to get those goals going. Coupled with this the Villa results going our way we have made ground on 5 points this week and with three points seperating us from the 4th position we should start getting the goals and 3 points going. The luck we can have with the Villa results are going our way and I believe even if they don’ t lose too many, they can draw games. And during those weekends we should be able to get the 3 points from our matches.
Looking forward to Walcott to make the impression after his long lay-off and see Eduardo also play. I have missed the last few matches and haven’t seen our Arshavin, Eduardo etc play. May Walcott get into the groove fast and give some wonderful runs to get a few goals. Go Gunners!
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 🙂
Filed under Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, BBC, David Bentley, EPL, Fabregas, Riquelme, Sunderland, Theo, Theo Walcott, Tim Vickery, Walcott, Wenger