Having seen Fabregas the King’s report of yesterday’s match I will not go into much detail of events. You have all read what the goal was like and as I mentioned last time, it seems the flag stationed at one point in the Emirates: “I Arsene we trust” really must be adhered to. He said Eduardo would come good in the second half of the season and in this period already has 3 goals in 2 games and 3 brilliantly taken goals at that. It really does seem he needs only a sniff to get a goal. The chants I have read on F.T.K’s report are good and one must take off, the “walk 500 hundred miles” song I like and hope to hear soon.
Another aspect of the opening goal I want to draw your attention to was the link up of Rosicky and Fabregas. When Hleb and Cesc were both out, many relied on the Czech to be the creative man in midfield. He did struggle without these two in the side but it seems when there is a combination of these players in the team, they seem to find each other with such fluency. Against Tottenham, Rosicky picked out Fabregas’ run through a packed midfield. Against West Ham he did the identical thing, giving the Spaniard time and space to pick out Eduardo.
Fabregas has had a bit of a dip in form recently but yesterday went some way to finding his best. His passing was much better and he got forward more. He seemed to be holding back too close to the back four for me and needed to bring Arsenal forward. In the 4-5-1 I felt he was almost forced back with Hleb in the space behind the striker but with two strikers he was freed up a little bit more. What pleased me though was to see Flamini bursting into the box early on and pushing on towards the opposition penalty area, while being disciplined in his covering of the defence.
The 4-4-2 formation leaves us a bit more open in the midfield and when teams line up as West Ham did, they do have the extra man in midfield. There will be times when the opposition have the ball and to be honest we have to deal with this. We should not be under immense pressure at the back if the defence is playing well. Toure and Gallas are good enough to stifle one striker and apart from a few sloppy errors from them, they were pretty effective in their work.
The benefits of a 4-4-2 are clear for me. With two strikers, in particular Eduardo who likes to push onto the last defender and get in behind the back line, we are much more potent. Adebayor came deep as Van Persie normally does. This gave him the opportunity to link play with everyone in the midfield, whether it be Eboue on the left side, Cesc in the middle or Rosicky on the left. He can come deep and we still have a dangerous front man in the box for an early cross or through ball. When we have played with the one striker, that man has been increasingly isolated and lots of possesion has failed to be turned into goals, now goals are coming back and with Eduardo and Ade in form I call on Wenger to keep faith with this in the next couple of weeks.
With Sagna rested I was interested to see how Justin Hoyte played. There has been much speculation over his future at Arsenal but after yesterday’s game he has two more games to show what he can do; for me he will start the FA and Carling cup ties in the next week. He did ok at right back against West Ham without standing out. He stuck to his defensive duties well and got forward a few times. He must improve his crossing from yesterday and he made one error early on but I think he was a bit rusty as his chances have been limited. He has a lot of work to do to dislodge Sagna who has been fantastic this season but he is a more than capable back up. He loves this club and is a valuable squad player to have. Plus he’s English!!!!
Clichy was brilliant again and it was nice to see some marauding runs from Gallas. With Toure off the African Cup of Nations soon, Gallas will have the job of bringing the ball out of defence as Kolo has done for so long. We will miss Toure so much and as his departure bears ever closer I am getting even more worried. I am not sure over Senderos and Wenger has the decision to make as to whether to open up the chequebook this month. What would you guys do if you were Wenger, stick or twist?
Eboue had become the most frustrating player to watch over the last few matches; his predictable dribbling, poor passing and lack of effort were really starting to annoy fans but he played better against West Ham. With Wenger moving back to 4-4-2 he knows his place is under threat with Hleb having to move back to a wider position and he seems to have a hunger now to remain in the team. Yesterday. he went past players with ease and his crossing was much better. He did go down easily at times but overall was much stronger on the ball, linked well with his team mates and took up some dangerous positions, both out wide and through the middle. I did like his dance with Ade aswell!
The last player to look at is Adebayor. It is brilliant this guy will not be off to Africa after Togo failed to qualify. I hope people realise how good that is for this team. Bendtner showed against Everton that he is not ready to start yet and with Van Persie out it is so important he is here. His partnership with Eduardo is developing well and when Van Persie gets back, we have a very exciting trio of strikers who can all start the game and score goals. Yesterday Ade linked play and showed some sublime skill even his team mates failed to read at times, but his power, control and drbbling stood out. He is second in the Premier League scoring charts with 12, already more than last season I believe. How he got the ball in from the angle he was at I still do not know, I guess when you are playing well, those things go your way, keep it up Ade and lets see a first Champions League goal in an Arsenal shirt very soon!
I would like to finish off by extending Fabregas the King’s request for a song for Eduardo by setting the challenge of finding chants for Eboue, Hleb, Clichy, Flamini and Sagna. These played are all first team players but none of them have chants at all, or ones that are sung/known by fans. We will get suggestions sent to RedAction and hopefully get them sing soon. The atmosphere was not brilliant but I will put that down to many a new year hangover, I heard many fans complaining of such, I may have been nursing a slight one too and was not up for a massive roar constantly in my ears. Against Tottenham next week we will see a proper atmosphere once again.
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